Adoption law reform engagement opens

Published: June 21, 2022

The public are being asked to have their say on options for reform of Aotearoa New Zealand’s adoption laws.

The Government’s second round of public engagement on reforming Aotearoa New Zealand’s adoption laws started on 20 June 2022. This follows a previous round of public engagement undertaken by the Ministry of Justice last year, which sought the public’s views on issues with the current law and ideas for change.

The Government has released a discussion document that outlines the options for creating a new adoption system the Government is considering, and seeks feedback on those options. You can find the Discussion Document on the Ministry of Justice website.

The options aim to put children at the centre of the new adoption system. The law would consider children more and support them to participate in a process that has significant impact on their lives. It would also recognise that culture, whakapapa and family connection are a key part of people’s identity.

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 within New Zealand or between countries, 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.

Making a submission

Public engagement runs until 7 August 2022 alongside targeted engagement with groups such as Māori, Pacific peoples, youth and those whose lives have been affected by adoption.

The discussion document will be translated, and a summary document will be produced in accessible formats that will be available on the Ministry of Justice website along with information on how to make a submission.

The Ministry of Justice will use the feedback received during this round of engagement to inform the development of final policy proposals for adoption law reform. This may include refining, changing or adding to the options set out in the discussion document.