Adoption Process

Sign the petition now to encourage the NZ Government to change the law around Surrogacy and Adoption.

If you are planning to have a child with the assistance of a surrogate, NZ law states that you will not have any legal parental rights over the child, even if you are the biological parent.

At the time of birth, the child’s legal parents will be the surrogate mother (known as the Natural Mother) and her partner, if she has one. You can find more information on the Oranga Tamariki website.

Our Experience

The Adoption Process is long and cumbersome, and it is recommended that you seek legal advice due to the complex nature of the law. The below information is our experience and our version of what we have been advised, and what we had to do. This may differ from what should have been done or was legally required.

The Adoption Act was created in 1955, and it is my opinion that it is no longer fit for purpose for today’s society. In our circumstances, we had already completed the ETHICS approval, which should mean we can circumvent the adoption process, as everything has been covered in the 6 months prior to starting IVF. You can read more about the ETHICS process on our page – www.tinylittlefootsteps.com

Costs

One of the major restrictions for adoption is the lack of information and knowledge available around what is required. Therefore it is recommended by most people to see an adoption lawyer. My major issue with this is the hugely extortionate cost that lawyers charge for completing this process. It is unfair and unjust to charge vulnerable, desperate want-to-be-parents the extortionate prices for completing these applications.

The quoted cost for legal fees we received were:

  1. Adoption Applicants (Intending Parents) $5,000 – $7,000 + GST
  2. Surrogates Consent and Affidavit $1,000 + GST

Due to these costs, I  decided to manage the adoption myself, which caused a lot of frustration and delays, but it is possible.

Tips and Advice

Here are some tips on making the adoption less painful.

  • Make sure you understand the requirements and forms early on. Start completing the forms in advance before baby is born. You don’t need the stress of completing these forms once your baby is born.
  • Reach out to Oranga Tamariki early on in the piece, as there is a lot to cover and they will need to do an in home assessment and provide a report to the courts once baby is born.

 

Process Of Adoption (as at 20 July 2018)

  1. Before Baby is born you will need to meet with Oranga Tamariki (OT) and have an in home visit. If you are going to be taking baby home from hospital with out the ‘natural mother’ coming with you, OT will need to provide you with a letter that allows you to take baby into your care before the adoption has been finalised.
    1. The natural mother will need to meet with someone from OT to confirm they are happy for the Adopting Parents to take baby into their care. The natural mother will also be required to email OT once the baby is born that she is still happy for the baby to go to the Adopting Parents
  2. Once baby is born, the natural mother is required to register the birth under her name as mother and her partner as father. Regardless of biological attachment. If the natural mother has been living with a male partner, he is deemed to be the father for the purposes of the birth certificate. In our case, we were fortunate that Aleisha was not in a relationship during her pregnancy, as this adds another layer of complexity. It was strongly advised that the adoptive parents are not registered on the birth certificate, as this can cause issues during the court process.
  3. The Adoption Application forms are then required to be completed. These are made up of the following:
    1. The natural mother is required to complete two forms:
    2. The adoptive parents will need to complete 3 forms:
    3. You will also need to attached (annex) the following:
      • Birth Certificate (original or certified copy)
      • Marriage Certificate (original or certified copy)

 

Completed Forms for example purposes attached:

    • Checklist
    • Consent of Natural Parents to Adoption Order (Form A4)
    • Affidavit of Natural Parents
    • Application for Adoption Order (Form A3)
    • Information Sheet to Accompany Application (Form G7)
    • General Affidavit

 

We are working with our local MPs, Louisa Wall and other members of Parliament to get this adoption process changed. Please sign the petition now to encourage the NZ Government to change the law around Surrogacy and Adoption.

Complete the form below to keep up to date on the law reform and to support the draft bill: