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"Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world"  James 1:27


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‘Compassion for Orphans’ (CFO) is a Christian not for profit organisation established in 2003 to facilitate the adoption of legally adoptable overseas children into loving New Zealand families.

We are accredited under the Adoption (Intercountry) Act 1997 to facilitate intercountry adoptions and we currently have programmes with Chile and Thailand. We are also licensed to work with India however we have not commenced this programme at this time.  

Adopted Child
Adopted Children


Intercountry adoption is the process by which you adopt a child from a country other than your own through permanent legal means and then bring that child to your country of residence to live with you permanently.

There is an international convention (which New Zealand is a signatory to), the  Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. The Convention seeks to ensure that intercountry adoptions are made in the best interests of the child and with respect for his or her fundamental rights. It also seeks to prevent the abduction, the sale of, or traffic in children.

Father with adopted son

When a child is in need of an alternative care arrangement, intercountry adoption when conducted in the best interests of the child can provide a child with security, stability and permanency.

When considering intercountry adoption, every party involved in the process must ensure that every effort has been made to return the child to his/her birth family and that there should be a priority given to preventing abandonment. Should this not be possible, then domestic adoption may be considered as the next option.

adopted child drawing

“Adoption success begins with a commitment to support adoptive families. Successful adoption programmes require the recognition that adoption is a lifelong process and the understanding that there will be lifelong challenges associated with adoption. Adopted children often have experienced significant trauma as a result of some type of mistreatment.”

Credit: Mike Watkins, Chief Executive Officer of Big Bend Community Based Care

For the full harmonious development of his or her personality, the child should grow up in a family environment in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding. (Preamble to 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child).

For many children, for one reason or another, they are unable to live with their biological parents. One of the key principles for undertaking intercountry adoptions stipulated within international conventions is the principle of subsidiarity.

Teaching adopted child

One of our main aims is to make intercountry adoption affordable for the average New Zealand family and we do this by challenging all costs in the process. The Chile and Thailand Government do not require any payments and since our inception in 2003 we have not charged families any fees. 

Child Praying
Family Beach Visit

There is a large body of knowledge in the field of intercountry adoption. Please contact us as we have many resources across different mediums such as: videos, articles and books.



Video Testimonials
Magazine Article



Registered Office:
157 Vivian Street
Wellington, 6011
New Zealand

Telephone (if calling within NZ) 0800 236 000

Telephone (if calling from outside NZ) +6448890344

Email Us:

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