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Page URL: https://practice.orangatamariki.govt.nz/our-work/adoption/intercountry-adoption/approving-intercountry-adoptive-applicants/
Printed: 24/10/2021
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Last updated: 15/12/2020

Approving intercountry adoptive applicants

The New Zealand Central Authority (NZCA) approves intercountry adoptive applicants as eligible and suited to adopt tamariki from overseas. We provide the NZCA with our Home Study assessment report and recommendation to approve the applicants.

Upcoming changes for this guidance

This content will be strengthened so it more completely reflects our commitment to practice framed by te Tiriti o Waitangi, based on a mana-enhancing paradigm for practice, and drawing from ​Te Ao Māori principles of oranga to support mana tamaiti, whakapapa and whanaungatanga. We each need to consider how we can apply these principles to our practice when reading this guidance. The following resources provide support:
Practice for working effectively with Māori
Our practice shift

Assessing and approving intercountry adoptive applicants

1 Assessing adoptive applicants

In consultation with our supervisor and by following the caregiver and adoptive applicant assessment policy and process, we assess adoptive applicants (relative and non-relative) as eligible and suited to adopt from a particular overseas country.

The applicants’ motivation to adopt a tamaiti from another country must be to create a permanent whānau or family life for a tamaiti who otherwise does not have a suitable permanent whānau or family life in their country of origin. Adoptive parents will welcome te tamaiti as a permanent member of their whānau or family and commit to their upbringing.

Policy: Caregiver and adoptive applicant assessment and approval

Assessing and approving caregivers and adoptive parents

2 After the assessment is complete

After our assessment of the adoptive applicants is completed, the assessing social worker and supervisor make a preliminary decision about whether the applicants can be considered as eligible and suited to adopt a tamaiti from overseas.

If we reach a preliminary decision to decline an adoptive applicant, we follow the prospective adoptive applicants’ decline process. We should consult with the NZCA if we require further information and discussion to inform our decline decision.

Policy: Deciding to decline a prospective caregiver or adoptive applicant – Caregiver and adoptive applicant assessment and approval

If our preliminary decision is that adoptive applicants should be approved to adopt a tamaiti from the identified overseas country, we draft a Home Study assessment report.

3 Placing the assessment record in CYRAS on hold pending approval of the Home Study report

When we start drafting the Home Study report, our supervisor enters a case note in CYRAS stating that the Home Study assessment report is being completed pending the NZCA approval of the intercountry adoptive applicants’ suitability to adopt.

4 Drafting the Home Study report

We draft the Home Study assessment report according to the requirements of the country the adoptive applicants are applying to adopt from. The Home Study report helps the NZCA determine if applicants are eligible and suited to adopt a tamaiti from overseas. The Home Study report also helps the overseas Central Authority to select a suitable adoptive whānau or family for a particular tamaiti.

Our supervisor reviews the Home Study assessment report draft and forwards the reviewed draft to the NZCA for consideration and approval of the applicants as meeting the suitability and eligibility criteria to adopt from the identified country.

As part of this consideration and approval process, the NZCA may identify some concerns with the applicants and request more information from us.

When satisfied with the information provided, the NZCA approves the applicants if they find them to be eligible and suited to adopt from a particular country.

Intercountry adoption Home Study report

Staff resource: Adoption Service - intercountry adoption manuals and guidelines

5 Approving intercountry adoptive applicants

Intercountry adoptive applicants can only be approved to apply to adopt from one specific country and the approval must identify the age and nature of special needs of the tamariki that the applicants have been approved to adopt.

Under the Hague Convention (Articles 5 and 15), it is the responsibility of the NZCA to:

  • determine that the prospective adoptive parents are eligible and suited to adopt te tamaiti from a particular country
  • provide a Home Study assessment report about the adoptive applicants to the Central Authority of this country according to that country’s requirements.

When the NZCA is satisfied with the applicants’ eligibility and suitability to adopt tamariki from a specified country, the NZCA issues its approval with a certificate of applicants’ eligibility and suitability to adopt under Article 15 of the Hague Convention.

Our supervisor enters the applicants’ approval in CYRAS, and we inform the applicants they have been approved to apply to adopt from a particular country.

The NZCA sends the Home Study assessment report and Certificate of applicant’s suitability to adopt:

  • directly to the country’s Central Authority, if adoptive applicants are applying to adopt from another country via Oranga Tamariki, or
  • to the accredited intercountry adoption agency in New Zealand, if the adoption application overseas is facilitated by the accredited placement agency (Inter-Country Adoption New Zealand [ICANZ] or Compassion for Orphans [CfO]).

Policy: Adoption — Intercountry adoption: adopting a tamaiti from overseas

Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption