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Creating families through adoption policy — Key information

Updated: 01 July 2013

What's Important To Us

Adoption is a means of providing some children with security, and meeting their developmental needs by legally transferring on-going parental responsibilities from their birthparents to their adoptive parents, recognising that in doing so, we have created a new kinship network that forever links those two families together through the child.

In adoption as in marriage, the new legal family relationship does not signal the absolute end of one family and the beginning of another, nor does it sever the psychological tie to an earlier family. Rather it expands the family boundaries of all those who are involved.

The child’s best interests are the paramount consideration as birthparents consider their options for the care of their child. It is the core component in sessions during which adoptive applicants prepare to parent a child not born to them, and when placements are made between families who are compatible and cooperative in meeting the child’s needs for attachment and identity throughout life.

Our practice vision for adoption

We will:

  • promote the development of strong attachment bonds, while sensitively responding to issues of separation
  • encourage adopted children to maintain and develop a strong sense of identity by having an understanding of their cultural and kinship links
  • ensure family/whānau and professional decision-making is supported by sound information and evidence.


Care for the newborn child pending adoption

Birth family history and use of profiles

Birthfather and family/whānau

Options for birthparents considering adoption

Planning for the adoptive placement

When a birthparent wants to discuss adoption

Direct applications

Direct applications to the Family Court

Domestic adoptions

Informing adoptive applicants of proposed placement, meeting and making a contact agreement

Post-natal contact with birthparents and registering the child's birth

Report to the Family Court for an adoption order

Social worker's approval for placement of the child

Intercountry adoption

Facilitating an intercountry adoptive placement

Policy: Adoption — Responding to relative intercountry adoption proposals

In-vitro fertilisation surrogacy

In-vitro fertilisation surrogacy adoption