Mater semper certa est? Reconceiving surrogacy law in New Zealand

Henry Kha, Kelly Rankin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As science and technology have evolved over the past few decades, there is a need to reconceptualise reproduction and what it means to form a family. Assisted human reproductive (AHR) procedures have paved the way for those who cannot conceive naturally and to fulfil their dreams of having a child. For example, heterosexual couples struggling with infertility, same-sex couples and single people. The article will explore various legal and ethical issues surrounding surrogacy, and how surrogacy can be regulated in regards to providing the appropriate legal recognition of the parental status of the child. The article will also consider the Roman law principle of mater semper certa est, which translates into English as “the mother is always certain”. It shall be argued that this legal presumption is questionable given the contemporary development of surrogacy in the New Zealand context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-178
Number of pages7
JournalNew Zealand Family Law Journal
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


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