Adopting from New Zealand
The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.
About New Zealand
The Polynesian Maori reached New Zealand in about A.D. 800. In 1840, their chieftains entered into a compact with Britain, the Treaty of Waitangi, in which they ceded sovereignty to Queen Victoria while retaining territorial rights. That same year, the British began the first organized colonial settlement. To learn more please read About New Zealand.
Hague Convention Information
New Zealand is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore all adoptions between New Zealand and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention. To learn more please read about New Zealand and the Hague Convention.
Who Can Adopt
Adoption between the United States and New Zealand is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from New Zealand, you must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). To learn more please read about Who Can Adopt from New Zealand.
Who Can Be Adopted
Because New Zealand is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from New Zealand must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the Convention requires that New Zealand attempt to place a child with a family in New Zealand before determining that a child is eligible for intercountry adoption. In addition to New Zealand's requirements, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee for you to bring him or her back to the United States.
How to Adopt
Child, Youth & Family (CYF) Ministry of Social Development
Because New Zealand is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from New Zealand must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention's requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below. You must complete these steps in the following order so that your adoption meets all necessary legal requirements.
NOTE: If you filed your I-600a with New Zealand before April 1, 2008, the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption. Your adoption could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions. Learn more.
- Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
- Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
- Be Matched with a Child
- Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States
- Adopt the Child in New Zealand
- Bring your Child Home
To learn more about this process please read How to Adopt from New Zealand.
Applying for Your U.S. Passport
A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave New Zealand. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports. Getting or renewing a passport is easy. To learn more please read about Traveling Abroad in New Zealand.
What resources are available to assist families after the adoption?
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it's another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.
Here are some good places to start your support group search:
U.S. Consulate General in Auckland
American Consulate General, 3rd floor, Citibank Bldg., 23 Customs Street East, Auckland 1010 Tel: Immigrant Visa Section - (64-9) 303-2724 ext. 2810
Embassy and Consulate of New Zealand
New Zealand Consulate General
Suite 1150, 12400 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025 Tel: (310) 207-1145 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Office of Children's Issues
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Intercountry Adoption, Bureau of Consular Affairs. U.S. Department of State Country Information adoption.state.gov/country_information/country_specific_info.php?country-select=new_zealand