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 approach
Overseas dossier requirements
Each sending country indicates what documentation is required to apply for an intercountry adoption from that country, and what’s required to identify these documents as legal and official.
Documents that confirm applicant criteria
When adoptive applicants decide to pursue an intercountry adoption from a particular country, we need to take each country’s applicant criteria into account and provide documentation that confirms these requirements.
The documents that may be required include evidence of:
- citizenship of applicants
- psychologist report
- financial stability.
Citizenship of applicants
Evidence of the citizenship or residency status of applicants is required as it has a direct impact on the citizenship entitlements of any tamaiti to be adopted.
As part of ensuring that adoptive applicants can provide safe and appropriate parenting of an adopted tamaiti, most countries require adoptive applicants to provide a psychological assessment report. This report is a compulsory requirement for Thailand, the Philippines, Chile and India.
The psychological assessment gives assurance that adoptive applicants have been evaluated for their mental health and psychological functioning which will determine their parenting of an adopted tamaiti. This assessment should identify the psychological strengths of the applicants as well as any psychological risks that could cause any harm or danger to te tamaiti, and address applicants’ ability to cope with the challenges of parenting a tamaiti adopted from another country. Some countries require adoptive applicants to complete specific psychological screening tests as a part of their psychological assessment.
A registered psychologist should undertake the psychological evaluation. Adoptive applicants commission their psychological evaluation report by a registered psychologist of their choice. The report should include the psychologist’s contact details and a copy of their practicing certificate and registration details. The cost of the assessment and report is covered by the applicants.
We refer to the individual country process guidelines for the psychological assessment and report requirements for a specific country. Give the psychological report guidelines to the applicants to inform the psychologist they have selected to undertake this report.
The psychological assessment report is part of the documentation that informs the contents of the home study report and its recommendation. The applicants must provide the psychological assessment report to their social worker before the home study report is completed.
The original psychological assessment report must be included as a part of the overseas dossier.
Evidence of applicants’ financial stability is required.
Declaration of financial status
At the beginning of assessment, intercountry adoptive applicants should complete the declaration of their financial status. Applicants should also provide all relevant documents to verify their income, expenditure, assets, liabilities and insurance policies. The documents to verify financial status are listed in the declaration of financial status template. This includes a separate section to reflect how adoptive applicants intend to cover intercountry adoption costs.
Applicants who are involved with family trusts need to produce a statement from their lawyer and/or accountant which explains their position in the trust and confirms the information provided in their declaration of financial status.
Finance summary in the Home Study report
Based on the information in the applicants’ financial status declaration and their verifying financial documents, we should complete the applicants’ finance summary section in the Home Study report template.
We should review all relevant documents to verify the applicants’ financial status. Make sure that all the information in the applicants’ declaration of financial status is the same as in the verifying financial documents they provided.
We discuss and clarify with the applicants if the figures in the declaration and financial documents do not match, make amendments to the finance section in the Home Study report and ask the applicants to amend their financial declaration, if required.
Validating the document dossier
Each country has its own requirements for validating an applicant’s documentation dossier. These may include:
Some countries require all documentation to be translated before being sent. A recognised translator must do the translation, and the cost of translation and any other associated costs are the responsibility of the applicants.
The overseas dossier documents must be authenticated for the documents to be used in another country. The authentication process can be different for different countries. We refer to the country specific guidelines for the authentication requirements for a particular country.
We advise applicants that the authentication process is organised by the Intercountry Adoption Team and the applicants are responsible for paying all the fees and associated costs.
Use your NZ documents overseas – Department of Internal Affairs website