FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

WHAT IS INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION?

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. 

We only facilitate adoptions with countries who are signatories to the Hague Convention.

Click here for an outline of The Hague Convention

Click here for an information brochure on The Hague Convention

Intercountry adoption should only be considered when there is evidence that a child cannot be cared for suitably in his or her country of origin. Intercountry adoption may be one child protection measure among many to be offered to the child, in this will depend on each child’s individual needs, with his or her best interest been the paramount consideration.

(Reference: International Social Service)

WHO OVERSEES INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION PROGRAMMES?

The New Zealand Central Authority oversees the conduct and establishment of all adoption programmes New Zealand has with overseas countries. More details about the way intercountry adoption works in New Zealand can be found on the following website “Adopting a Child from Overseas”.

WHAT ARE INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION STANDARDS?

It is very serious for a child to be transferred from their country of origin and brought up in a foreign country by people of a different race and culture to their own. It is critical that every measure is taken to ensure that such a process is in the child's best interests.

Intercountry adoption must be regulated by strict principles and practices to ensure that no abduction of, sale of, or trafficking in children occurs.

WHAT IS THE HAGUE CONVENTION?

This convention is an international treaty, which was developed as a result of the establishment of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child, to address the particular rights and needs of children who are affected by intercountry adoption.

New Zealand has formally committed to these international standards in intercountry adoption by becoming a signatory to the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption. This came into effect in New Zealand on 1 January 1999.

FROM WHAT COUNTRY CAN A CHILD BE ADOPTED?

Children are adopted by New Zealand families from some countries that have ratified the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in respect of Intercountry Adoption and from countries with which New Zealand has country to country agreements.

New Zealand has entered into formal agreements with the following Hague Convention Countries:

Chile

China

Hong Kong

India

Lithuania

Philippines

Thailand

At present, Compassion for Orphans has programmes with Chile and Thailand. We are also licensed to work in India, however have not commenced the programme yet.

DO WE NEED TO BELONG TO A PARTICULAR FAITH TO ADOPT?

There is no requirement to belong to any particular faith to adopt from Chile or Thailand. Whilst we are a Christian organisation, neither we, nor the New Zealand, Chilean or Thailand Governments, preclude prospective adoptive parents from adopting based on religious beliefs. The Thailand government may however query some religions if they don't understand them.

WHAT AGE ARE THE CHILDREN?

In our Chile programme, infants are not available for adoption because, between the ages of 0 - 6 years, the aim of the State is to strengthen the child’s biological family with a view to sending the children back to the biological family. If this is not possible then the child is placed for adoption in Chile. In special circumstances the adoption of an infant will be considered.  These special circumstances are special needs (e.g. a child with a physical disability) or where the infant is part of a sibling group where one of the children is over 5 years of age. (Applicants must state the maximum age of the older child that they would be prepared to adopt). A child in a sibling group does not necessarily need to be a blood relative. There are circumstances where a group which has grown up together in the institution where it will be considered in the best interests of the child that group should be kept together. If separation should occur then provision must be made for them to remain in contact. Unless there are special circumstances as stated above Chile will only accept applications for children 5 years of age and over. The greatest needs are for children between 7 and 8 years of age children with special needs all of whom are likely to remain institutionalised if not adopted.

 

With regards to our Thailand Programme, the age of children is between 12 months and seven years of age.

 

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

Please note that no assurance of the time frames indicated can be provided.

 
 

IS THERE ANY SUPPORT AVAILABLE?

The process of adopting a child from an overseas country can be challenging. Formal supports and information are available to you throughout the process.

You should also have informal personal supports in place. You may go through periods where you experience unexpected delays or administrative complications and this can be difficult to manage. It is also important to share the joys experienced in the process of adopting a child.

For details of our Pre-Adoption Education, Pre-Adoption Support and Post-Adoption Support Services, click here.

WHAT IF THE FAMILY EXPERIENCES PROBLEMS?

The early stages of a child's placement can bring much joy. Sometimes there may be problems and difficulties. Family members need to make adjustments as the child learns to cope with a new family, new climate, new culture and new language. It is important the child adjusts at his or her own pace. Issues may return at different stages and the child may have certain needs as they grow and develop their own identity and place in the world. It is important to seek the help of personal and/or professional supports if difficulties arise. You are welcome to contact us for support and advice at any time.

For details of our Pre-Adoption Education, Pre-Adoption Support and Post-Adoption Support Services, click here.

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under the Charities Act 2005
Registration Number CC20353