How to adopt from overseas
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.