Public views sought on adoption reform

Published: June 18, 2021

The public are being asked to have their say on the Adoption Act.

mother and her 2 children

Justice Minister Kris Faafoi today released a discussion document, Adoption in Aotearoa New Zealand, to help people engage in a review of the Act, which has not been substantially updated since it was introduced in 1955.

In particular, the Government is seeking views on six key issues, including: What is adoption and who is involved, cultural aspects of adoption, how the adoption process works in Aotearoa New Zealand including overseas and intercountry adoptions, the impacts of adoption, and the adoption process where a child is born by surrogacy.

The intent of the review is to modernise our adoption laws to better protect the rights, best interests and welfare of children, and uphold Aotearoa New Zealand’s international human rights obligations.

The role of Oranga Tamariki

Oranga Tamariki plays a key role in the adoption process, from engaging with birth parents who want to place their child for adoption, to assessing and approving adoptive applicants seeking to adopt both domestically and intercountry, reporting to the Court and responding to requests for information from parties to an adoption.

The review is being led by the Ministry of Justice, working closely with Oranga Tamariki and other agencies.

The discussion document outlines current adoption law and practice. It highlights the issues with keeping the laws as they are and suggests some options for how the law could be changed.

Making a submission

Public engagement runs from 18 June until 31 August alongside targeted engagement with groups such as Māori and Pacific peoples and those whose lives have been affected by adoption.

The discussion document and summary document have been translated and produced in accessible formats that are available now on the Ministry of Justice website along with information on how to make a submission.