Adoption of a child

Adoption is an option for couples who are unable to conceive naturally or for whatever reason do not wish to have biological children. The decision to adopt a child is a personal decision for every couple and there are a number of factors to think about when considering this option.

Only a small number of children are adopted each year in New Zealand and many of these are ‘Open’ adoption where birth parents and adoptive parents maintain an ongoing relationship. Often the birth parents continue to have a part in the child’s life.

The Process

Child Youth and Family’s Adoption Services used to look after the adoption process in New Zealand. CYFS has now been replaced by Oranga Tamariki – Ministry for Vulnerable Children. The process has a number of steps. They have information on adoption and also run Group information meetings.

If you decide to adopt you will need to fill out an application form which will require:

  • names of 2 referees
  • permission for your doctor to provide medical information
  • permission to do a Police check

If you are worried about anything that these checks may uncover talk to Adoption Services about it.

Once your application is received you will be invited to an adoption Education and Preparation Programme. Here you will find out more about adoption. You will probably be assigned an adoption social worker at this time. During and after the programme you will have a number of interviews with social workers. Remember that the overall focus is keeping what’s best for children at the centre of any decision.

Once the assessment is complete you will then submit a profile of your family for birth parents to consider.

The final stage after you have been selected is the consent and legal stage.

You can find more about adoption in New Zealand in the following places:

Oranga Tamariki – Ministry for Vulnerable Children
Adoption NZ – a place for adopted people, parents, partners, friends and families living with adoption in NZ
Citizens advice Bureau – information about what you need to adopt a child

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