Selecting an adoptive whānau or family from profilesOnce expectant parents have settled on a plan to place te tamaiti for adoption, we explore their preferences and criteria for an adoptive whānau or family and provide profiles for them to consider, which meet their criteria.
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
Deciding to introduce profiles
Don't start selecting adoptive applicant profiles until expectant parents have carefully considered parenting options and involved the birth whānau or family where possible.
If you start profile selection before the expectant parents have decided to place their tamaiti for adoption (although they can change their mind):
- the expectant parents can feel added pressure that influences their decision
- adoptive applicants can lose the opportunity to be considered for another placement if they're placed on hold for lengthy periods.
Thinking about a new whānau or family for te tamaiti
We encourage birth parents/whānau to explore their own whānau or family backgrounds. This can help expectant parents think about what's important to te tamaiti in their new whānau or family.
We should assist expectant parents to identify the most important criteria for them. These criteria are what guide the selection of profiles for them to consider.
Reviewing adoptive whānau or family profiles
We provide birth parents with the profiles of adoptive applicants who match their preferences. They can also look at other profiles in the local pool of applicants.
The information in applicants' profiles must be:
- non-identifying so there are no full names and addresses
- kept secure
- treated with respect.
For tamariki Maori, discuss the advantages of an adoptive family/whanau who offer hapū and iwi connection. Identify and offer profiles of applicants where there are iwi connections wherever possible.
Getting profiles from other areas
If there aren't any suitable adoptive applicants in the local pool, we can request profiles from other areas through the supervisor. Where expectant parents seek an open adoption that involves direct contact with the adoptive whānau or family, they will need to understand that geographical distance will limit the nature of what direct contact is possible.
Selecting a suitable adoptive whānau or family from profiles
We can help expectant parents choose a suitable adoptive whānau or family by:
- providing an appropriate space to read through profiles, for example, in a private space at our office, or taking profiles to the expectant parents’ home so that parents, tamariki, partners and support people can be involved in the decision
- encouraging expectant parents to read each profile carefully, comparing attributes and deciding which are the most important to them.
While the choice of whānau or family is made by the expectant parents and every applicant in the pool has been approved, we need to be satisfied that the placement is suitable for both te tamaiti and the applicant before the issuing of social worker placement approval.
Expectant parents should only be shown applicant profiles that we are confident can meet the specific needs of te tamaiti concerned – and where the applicants can be supported through the issuing of a placement approval. Where any concerns arise about the selected applicants’ ability to meet the needs of a specific tamaiti, this should be carefully considered with a supervisor and, if necessary, with the expectant parents.
When expectant parents have made their final choice:
- put the chosen profile aside until after the birth of te tamaiti
- change the CYRAS status to 'on hold'
- when applicants have intercountry applications, inform the New Zealand Central Authority.
We don't usually let the adoptive applicants know about their selection before the birth. Expectant parents are aware that their selected adoptive applicants may not be available when te tamaiti is born so they should have in mind other profiles that meet their preferences.
Where expectant parents want to meet the selected adoptive applicants before the birth, carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of this with the expectant parents. While this step is understandable it may cause stress for everyone involved, particularly if the adoption doesn't go ahead.
Informing adoptive applicants of the proposed placement