If a New Zealand resident or citizen, wants to adopt a child from overseas, here is the general information provided by Immigration New Zealand.


Pre-adoption information

a. Under the Adoptions Act 1955, social workers approve prospective parents and report to the Family Court, which rules on individual adoptions.

b. Generally, the authorities in the child's country of origin must give permission for it to leave, and the adoption must conform with the law of that country.

c. INZ offices should advise prospective adoptive parents to consult the New Zealand Child, Youth and Family (CYF), and to contact the equivalent welfare agency in the child's country.

d. CYF will arrange for a home study and liaise with the appropriate inter-country adoption agency for a child study, after which CYF will advise INZ of the results.

e. CYF may also ask overseas posts to investigate the circumstances of the child.


Guidelines for inter-country adoptions

a. If a New Zealand residence class visa holder or citizen legally adopts a child overseas, they may apply on its behalf for either New Zealand citizenship or residence.

b. If a residence class visa is applied for, the child must meet the same requirements as other children of New Zealand citizens or residence class visa holders.

c. The fact that a child has been adopted does not, of itself, entitle the child to be granted with a visa to travel to New Zealand, and immigration officers must assess whether or not the child meets the requirements for a residence class visa or a temporary class visa.

d. A standard prerequisite for a child to travel to New Zealand for adoption purposes is the support of social welfare agencies, both in New Zealand and in the child's country of origin.

Citizenship procedure

a. The Department of Internal Affairs administers the Citizenship Act 1977 and determines whether or not an adopted child has a claim to New Zealand citizenship.

b. Adoptive parents who are New Zealand citizens must apply to the appropriate overseas post or to the Department of Internal Affairs to determine the citizenship of the child.

c. The process of determining citizenship involves establishing whether or not the adoption meets the requirements under section 17 of the Adoption Act 1955, and the process can

be both complex and lengthy.

Immigration requirements for adopted children

a. Children adopted overseas or in New Zealand must meet immigration requirements unless, and until, their New Zealand citizenship is established.

b. Evidence of New Zealand citizenship should be supplied to INZ if a child on a temporary visa in New Zealand is granted citizenship.

Please note that this is general information abou the policy and should not be considered a legal advice. Pl. see any Licensed Immigration Advisor or Immigration Lawyer before acting on this information.

Arunjeev Singh Barrister may be able to give free advice on this matter.