All of New Zealand is at Alert Level 1. Please read the guidance.

COVID-19: implications for our practice

Page URL:
Printed: 29/11/2020
Printed pages may be out of date. Please check this information is current before using it in your practice.

The Practice Centre is being improved. We're moving content out of this section as we rewrite it.

Approval process for non-relative intercountry adoption applications

Updated: 01 April 2017

New Zealand has intercountry adoption programmes for non-relative adoptions in place with a number of ‘sending’ countries. Adoptive applicants who wish to adopt a relative for whom there is some insecurity of care or welfare issues in the child’s country of origin apply to adopt from a wide variety of counties. Each country has particular process requirements and specific criteria in regards to prospective adoptive parents’ suitability to adopt.

The Adoption (Intercountry) Act 1997 (The Act) governs intercountry adoption in New Zealand.

It gives domestic effect to the principles and standards of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Convention).

The Act establishes the New Zealand Central Authority for Intercountry Adoption (NZCA) responsible for fulfilling the Hague Convention procedural requirements in intercountry adoption. The NZCA holds expertise on intercountry adoption in New Zealand and internationally; adoption process and requirements in different countries.

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

  • determine that the prospective intercountry adoptive parents are eligible and suited to adopt a child from a particular country

Approval of the applicants as eligible and suited to adopt from a particular country, is done by the NZCA based on the Home Study Assessment report completed by the assessing Oranga Tamariki social worker, including any additional information the NZCA may request the social worker to provide as a part of the approval process.

The applicants’ approval status for intercountry adoption is entered in CYRAS and confirmed with the applicants after their Home Study Assessment has been approved by the NZCA.

The flow chart diagram below describes the process.

Intercountry adoption non-relative approval process flowchart (DOCX 125 KB)