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Printed: 28/05/2022
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Last updated: 15/12/2020

Adoption — Intercountry adoption: adopting a tamaiti from overseas

This policy provides an overview of the intercountry adoption policy and process to adopt a tamaiti from overseas.

Upcoming changes for this policy

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 policy. The following resources provide support:
Practice for working effectively with Māori
Our practice shift

Who this policy applies to

This policy applies to our work with New Zealand citizens and permanent residents adopting a tamaiti from another country.

Receiving a proposal for intercountry placement

When the information about a tamaiti matched with the adoptive applicants for intercountry adoption is received from the sending country, the adoptive applicants must be given the opportunity to consider the proposal – but note the timeframes to accept the proposal vary for different countries.

Once a decision is made either way, the social worker must notify the NZCA about the applicants' decision as soon as possible.

Intercountry adoption proposals by relatives

A separate policy covers intercountry adoption by relatives.

Policy: Adoption — Responding to relative intercountry adoption proposals

Intercountry adoption applications to the New Zealand Family Court

If the adoption is to occur in the New Zealand Family Court, we must also follow the intercountry adoption applications to the New Zealand Family Court guidelines.

Intercountry adoption applications to the Family Court