New law lets woman list two mothers

NZ Herald 10 April 2014
A bill which will allow a 21-year-old woman to list two women as her mothers on her birth certificate passed in Parliament last night.

The Sullivan Birth Certificate Act will allow Rowen Sullivan to have the name of her late birth mother, Diane Sullivan, included on her New Zealand post-adoptive birth certificate, with that of her adoptive mother, Doreen Shields.

Rowen was born in England in 1993 to the same-sex couple, Ms Sullivan, a British citizen, and New Zealander Ms Shields.

However, only Ms Sullivan’s name, as the birth parent, was recorded on Rowen Sullivan’s birth certificate.

The family moved to New Zealand in 1999, and Rowen and Ms Sullivan became permanent residents on family grounds.

The law at the time did not allow Ms Sullivan and Ms Shields to marry or jointly adopt Rowen.

Ms Sullivan died in 2010, and Rowen was formally adopted by Ms Shields in January last year.