Adoption is a process of transferring parental rights and responsibilities of a child or children from the biological parents to foster parents through a legal procedure. New Zealand records a gradual increase of adopted children every year. Statistics shows that infants are more adopted that grown children as they are easy to catch up with the new family.
Adoption process in this country is not an easy process. It is a strict procedure that takes a minimum duration of one year, through the help of a family lawyer. As a country, it has requirements and conditions that the foster parent should meet. The requirements are that the parents must be at least twenty years older than the child they are adopting and at least 25 years old of age. They must be financially stable to cater the needs of the adopted child. Adoption is allowed for both married couples and single parents. Mistreating of an adopted child or children is an offence.
STEPS OF ADOPTING A CHILD IN NEW ZEALAND.
1: Meeting and making an agreement with the biological parents.
The first procedure of an adoption process is meeting the biological parents as well as the child him or herself. Biological parents have their conditions and agreements, mostly on terms of whether the relationship with their child will continue. After agreement with the biological parents, the foster parents now proceed to the application process.
2: Filling of the application form.
After agreement with the biological parents, the foster parents fills an adoption application form at the New Zealand Ministry for Children, through the help of their family lawyer.
3: Undergoing adoption course and training.
After filling the form, the foster parents, either as a couple or a single individual, goes through training that makes them ready and aware of what is needed of them as foster parents. After training, they undergo several interviews with the social workers. This interviews proves it to the ministry that the parents are fully ready for adoption.
4: Sign of consent.
After submission of the application form and training from the Ministry for Children, the adoptive parents are required to fill a petition in court. In the petition, the foster parents are required to fill their age, health and financial status, indicating reasons why they are adopting. During the hearing of the petition, the biological parents are required to make a sign of consent. The consent is witnessed by a lawyer, the regional district court judge and the registrar of the high court.
5: Interim order.
When the hearing is successful, the judge gives an interim order. This is a temporal permit given to the adopting parents that gives them the parental right to the child for a duration of up to one year. Through this duration, the couple or parents are always under observation.
6: Final adoption order.
After the interim duration, the foster parents apply for the final adoption order. At this stage, the parents are given the birth certificate of the child, making them the legal parents.
Unlike other countries, New Zealand has adopting agreements with outside countries like China, India and Chile among others. However, each country has a set of its own adopting rules, requirements and procedure.