How to adopt from over­seas

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New Zealand has adop­tion agree­ments with seven coun­tries through the Hague Con­ven­tion, with New Zealan­ders able to ap­ply to adopt a child from Chile, China, Hong Kong, In­dia, the Philip­pines, Lithua­nia and Thai­land. Each coun­try has its own re­quire­ments for adop­tive par­ents and their own adop­tion process.

There are two key steps in­volved: the first is to be as­sessed so ap­pli­cants can ap­ply to be ap­proved to adopt. Assess­ments are car­ried out by ei­ther the Min­istry for Vul­ner­a­ble Chil­dren or a pri­vate provider, Adop­tion First Steps. This process in­cludes po­lice and health checks, ed­u­ca­tion and prepa­ra­tion pro­grammes, in­ter­views and Home Study Assess­ments, which con­firm a per­son’s abil­ity to care for a child. Some coun­tries have cri­te­ria for the types of par­ents they’ll con­sider for adop­tion, in­clud­ing age, fer­til­ity sta­tus, mar­i­tal sta­tus and du­ra­tion of mar­riage, as well as the num­ber of chil­dren already in the fam­ily and re­li­gious re­quire­ments.

The sec­ond step is to work with one of two pri­vate agen­cies who can help place chil­dren with fam­i­lies – In­ter-Coun­try Adop­tion NZ (ICANZ) and Com­pas­sion for Or­phans (CFO).

Adop­tive par­ents will also need to work with Im­mi­gra­tion New Zealand and the Depart­ment of In­ter­nal Af­fairs to com­plete in­ter-coun­try adop­tions.

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