If you want to adopt a child in New Zealand or from overseas or are wanting to view an adoption record, you should first contact Child, Youth & Family (external link)
On this page:
It’s free to apply for an Adoption Order.
If you need help to fill in the forms you can call or visit your local court
Your affidavit will need to give the following information:
You will need to attach the following documents to your affidavit:
You need to get the birth mother (and the birth father in most cases) to sign a Consent to Adoption Order form.
Use the A5 form if you don’t want the birth parents to know who you are.
You need to file the Consent to Adoption Order with the court. If consent isn’t being filed, you need to apply to dispense with consent.
The Consent to Adoption Order must be witnessed by 1 of the following people:
The person witnessing the consent must:
Generally to be valid, the consent should not be signed until 12 days after the child is born.
Find out about:
The Family Court must be sure that the mother or parents have agreed to give up the child for adoption. This is called proof of consent.
The court also needs to be sure that the people who want to adopt will be good parents. The Family Court will ask for a report on the person or couple applying for the adoption from a Child, Youth and Family social worker.
If the judge thinks the application should go further, an adoption hearing will be held in the court. You can be represented by a lawyer. The court can also appoint a lawyer to help if there are legal matters that need clarifying.
If your application is successful, the judge will make an Interim Order. This is a temporary Order that gives you the right to act as the child’s parents for up to 1 year. Social workers from Child, Youth and Family may visit you from time to time to see that things are going well. You’ll need to ask the court before you can take the child overseas during this time.
You can apply for a final Adoption Order 6 months after the Interim Order starts (unless the judge says you can do it sooner). You must apply for a final Adoption Order before the Interim Order ends. If you don’t, you will need to reapply for an Adoption Order.
When a final Adoption Order is made, you’re the legal parents of your adopted child and a new birth certificate will be issued for the child.
If there are special circumstances, a judge may make a final Adoption Order without making an Interim Order.
This page was last updated: