The right of the child to know
Many men who have visited the MENZ site will be interested in this decision which relates to birth certificates.
STUFF NEWS artice: the truth will shock boy
The complete article is quoted below:
A south Auckland couple who falsely registered a newborn as their own have been convicted and sentenced to community work.
The pair appeared in the Manukau District Court this morning charged with falsifying birth records.
Both have name suppression.
The court heard that in 2004 the married couple were frustrated with being unable to have a baby.
The husband approached a female colleague for help and it was agreed that they would conceive the child together, but the husband’s wife would raise it as her own.
The natural mother, considered by the married couple to be a surrogate, received antenatal care under the name of the female defendant and was even admitted to the hospital to give birth under that name.
When the baby boy was born in 2005, the couple signed a birth certificate stating they were both the mother and father of the child, failing to mention their third-party arrangement.
The natural mother confessed what had happened to the Department of Internal Affairs in 2012, but the couple denied everything, alleging the other woman had been the instigator of the deception.
Judge Ida Malosi said in court today she considered their accusations “highly unlikely”.
She noted the pair had pleaded guilty only at the last minute.
They had taken no steps to correct the birth record until last year and Judge Malosi considered it unlikely they ever would have if they hadn’t been caught.
She rejected the defence’s application for a discharge without conviction, saying the gravity of the offending was moderate and that it was in the public interest a sentence be imposed for people to have faith in the integrity of the birth registration system.
“This offending was a serious lapse of judgment which has had and will continue to have serious consequences for the adults involved but more significantly for the child involved,” Judge Malosi said.
The boy had yet to be told who his real mother was and Judge Malosi said “the truth will come as a shock to him and will take some time to process”.
She ordered interim name suppression for the defendants to give them time to inform their son.
The pair were ordered to each serve 60 hours of community work.
The maximum penalty for the offence is five years’ imprisonment.
Department of Internal Affairs spokesman Jeff Montgomery said the department wouldn’t hesitate to prosecute people for making false statements on birth records.
“Accurate and timely birth registration is a right of every child born in New Zealand,” Montgomery said. “A child is entitled to know who his parents are.”