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
What are the types of care
Caregiver and adoptive parent applicants can be assessed to provide 1 or more types of care. Family/whānau caregivers can only be approved for respite care, short-term care (was known as transitional care) or permanent care.
Short periods of care to support the usual caregiver of te tamaiti.
Short-term care (was known as transitional care)
Short to medium term care until te tamaiti:
- returns to their whānau or family or usual caregiver
- is placed with a permanent caregiver, or
- is living independently.
Permanent care/home for life
Home for life is a permanent care arrangement for te tamaiti that is secured by legal orders. Permanent caregivers may be joint guardians (additional) with the birth parents.
A small number of whānau or family caregivers may decide to care permanently for a tamaiti without a legal order.
Family home care
Care in a family setting in an Oranga Tamariki managed property. Often for unrelated tamariki until longer term placements become available.
Applicants become legal parents and guardians of te tamaiti when adoption happens through the New Zealand Family Court and an adoption order is issued.
For tamariki born in New Zealand, the birth parents choose approved adoptive parents to become the legal parents for their tamaiti.
Applicants become legal parents and guardians of te tamaiti.
The other country involved in the intercountry adoption must be a signatory to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.
New Zealand has intercountry adoption programmes with 5 countries through the Hague Convention when people want to adopt tamariki who aren't relatives:
Intercountry adoption applications for tamariki who are relatives can be considered and progressed for any country that's a member of the Hague Convention.
The Central Authority in each country must consider the intercountry adoption application. Oranga Tamariki is the Central Authority in New Zealand.
An Article 23 Certificate of Conformity of Intercountry Adoption is issued as evidence of the adoption. The certificate has the same effect as an adoption order.
If people want to adopt a tamaiti from a country that's not a member of the Hague Convention
Intercountry adoptions of tamariki known to applicants can be completed under the Adoption Act 1955 if the other country involved is not a member of the Hague Convention.