Overview-Where Do I Start?

If you're new to international adoption, you'll have lots of questions - What's the process? Who/What is ICANZ? NZCA? MfVC? AFS? What services do each provide? What countries can I adopt from? Where do I start? We're here to help and have provided a lot of answers on this website.

Adoption Process-Summary- this page gives a general outline of the steps you'll need to take to adopt a child internationally and which organisations provide the services along the way.

Requirements - this page sums up the key differences in requirements for each country ICANZ works with. This is a good place to check which countries you're eligible for. For more detail, go directly to the individual country programmes.

Country Programmes  - These pages give more information on each individual country's requirements, the characteristics of children who are in need of a family and the process.

So where do I start?

First, read the summary of the process so you know what we mean by Assessment or Home Study agency, Placement agency and the general process.

Then, check you meet the specific country requirements on our website for one or more country programme.

Thirdly, contact one of the two Assessment (Home Study) agencies, either AFS, or  the Ministry for Vulnerable Children (formerly CYF) to start the education/preparation, assessment, approval and home study report process. Tell your assessment Agency  that you intend to use ICANZ as your placement agency after you are approved as an adoptive parent. The the Ministry for Vulnerable Children (formerly CYF) preparation process includes a focus on fostering of New Zealand children. If you are considering this, then this route may be a better option for you. AFS focuses solely on preparing you for intercountry adoption, so may suit you if you know this is the path you wish to take, especially if timeframes are of a concern for you.

At the same time This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as we can give you more detailed information on the country programmes you are interested in. As each family is unique, we encourage you to telephone and speak to one of us about your personal situation and which countries may be options for you. Call or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to chat with a team member who can give you accurate and up to date information relevant to you. If you feel ready to commit to one country, you may wish to pre-register, so that you can access our member-only pages and ask our staff for answers to your questions while you are being assessed and approved by AFS or MfVC.