Adoption Option

Why we place our babies for adoption

Abigail Rebecca Summer


The Adoption Option has no paid staff therefore:


You may find your answer in these frequently asked questions.

Pregnant and thinking about adoption.

Q. I was just wondering if there was any phone number so I can ask further questions about adoption? My baby is due now I considered adoption from square one but the father will not let me even though he has left the country, what can I do?

A. All legal adoptions in New Zealand are done through Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) Adoptions Unit.  Please call their national number 0508 326 459. Ask to be put through to the Adoptions Unit nearest to your home. CYFS website is:

On our website,  you can find information on pregnancy, adoption and stories from women who have placed a child for adoption.

Please look at the information on our website regarding a birth father’s rights.

You may be interested in a birth mum support group This consists of a qualified counsellor who is also a birth mum and several birth mums who are in their twenties who have adopted out their children. 

You may also like to chat to a trained pregnancy counsellor

You will also need to arrange to see a midwife


Wanting to contest an adoption

Q. Hi, I have just heard my ex-girlfriend has placed our child for adoption. I want to parent this child, what can I do?

A. This is a legal situation. If the adoption has gone through, you will need to get legal advice. The first thing to do is to contact the Adoptions Services Unit of Child, Youth and Family and ask to speak to an adoption social worker.  

To contact CYF by calling 0508 326 459

If you wish to contest the adoption, you may need to hire a lawyer to act on your behalf.


Adopting from overseas

Q. My husband and I would like to adopt a Chinese orphan. We have got married for almost 13 years but no kids at all. We were born in Hong Kong and are the NZ citizens as well. We are not quite sure if any abandoned Hong Kong or Chinese infants or kids are in NZ. We would like to adopt a healthy baby boy.

A. Please contact Child, Youth and Family to discuss the possibility of a baby fitting this profile becoming available. CYFS website is: or call 0508 326 459 . You may also like to contact ICANZ who handle overseas adoption see


Step-parent adoption

Q. Hi, my partner would like to adopt my daughter. Her biological father refuses to have anything to do with her, does not pay child support etc. and is not named on her birth certificate. Can you please tell me how we would go about doing this?

A. All legal adoptions in New Zealand are done through Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) Adoptions Unit. Their national number is 0508 326 459, and ask to be put through to the Adoptions Unit near your home. CYFS website is:

Call CYFS and ask about adoption by step parents.  CYFS will probably want to talk to the birth father also. I suggest you ring around some family lawyers and get quotes for the legal paperwork for adoption by step parents. 


More …

Q. I do not live in New Zealand - can I adopt from New Zealand?

A. No you have to live in New Zealand to adopt in New Zealand.

Q. Can I adopt a family member, for example, my brother’s daughter?

A. Family member can formally adopt a child. They must make an application to Child, Youth and Family and the adoption process is the same as a person adopting a non- family member, in that they will be required to have a police check, a medical check and be required to supply references.

Q. Can my boyfriend adopt my children?

A. Step parents can formally adopt a child by making an application to CYF and following the same process as any other person who wishes to adopt a child. CYF would need to know about the birth father and whether he will need to sign consent for the child to be adopted by the step parent.

Q. How much will it cost to adopt a family member? 

A. Legal papers need to be prepared. These are not particularly complicated and your own lawyer should be able to draw them up, although you may like to choose a lawyer who has handled an adoption before. These will be somewhere in the range of $500 to $3,000. It pays to ring around and get quotes as there can be a large variance in fees charged by lawyers who are offering the same service.

Q. What age are most adopted children in New Zealand? 

A. In New Zealand adoptions can take place from twelve days after the birth, once the consent form has been signed by the birth parents. Most adoptions are of babies, although some older children are adopted. Children up to the age of eighteen can be adopted. One question on the application form to adopt is ‘Age of child to be adopted’ – and prospective parents can stipulate if they would prefer to adopt a baby or an older child.

Q. Can a single women adopt a child?

A. Single people are welcome to apply to adopt in New Zealand. With birth parent(s) selecting who will adopt their baby, the difficulty might be in regards to birth parents preferring to select a couple. However, this may not always be the case, and a birth parent has the right to select a single person. For information on whether single people can adopt internationally, visit Inter-Country Adoption New Zealand (ICANZ),

Q. How long will a couple wait before a baby comes up for adoption? 

A.There is no waiting list at all. Birth mums pick the people to adopt their babies; therefore you can be on the list of approved couples for a few hours or be on it forever and never get picked.

Q. Will it count against me if I want to adopt but already have children?

A. It is the birth mum’s choice as to the family she chooses for her child. She may or may not want a couple who already have children. CYF do have a policy that there has to be a one year age gap between children before people can be considered to adopt again.

Q. Can I choose a closed adoption?

A. Closed adoption is where no identifying information shared at the time of the adoption. When the adopted child turns 18 they may request from CYF information about their adoption. Most adoptions in New Zealand are now open to some degree. It is up to the birth parent/s and also the adoptive couple about whether they want an open or closed adoption. When birth parents talk to Social Workers they will decide whether they would like an open or closed adoption. If there are valid reasons for choosing a closed adoption, CYF Social Workers will select profiles from couples in the adoption pool who have stated that they would be happy with a closed adoption.

Remember if choosing a closed adoption there may be hereditary health issues for the adopted child.  If no family history of medical conditions has been passed on this may prove to be a problem for the child.

Q. Do people adopt babies with Down Syndrome?

A. If you are considering adoption because you have had an amniocentesis test to confirm your baby has Down syndrome or your baby has been born with Down syndrome you may want to view the New Zealand Down Syndrome Association website at and watch Greer’s story of adopting a child with Down syndrome

Q. How do I get a permanent permit for a child adopted from overseas? 

A.Please check out the information at the following websites: