Children who need families   

New Zealanders can adopt children who don't have a family to care for them, are living in an authorised orphanage, and are approved for international adoption by the Indian authorities.  Most children have been relinquished by unwed mothers, by relatives when parents have died, or by families too poor to care for them. For cultural reasons, most are girls.  Poverty, difficult social circumstances and lack of opportunity conspire against some families, resulting in great need for some children. 

We can help both Indian and non-Indian couples or single women to adopt. It's also possible to adopt sibling groups aged between 2 and 14 years consisting of  2, 3, 4 or 5 children from one family. Usually the oldest child is aged 8-11 years.    

Who can adopt? Requirements -
  • Approved by the New Zealand Central Authority (NZCA) after assessment by AFS or Oranga Tamariki;  with a Home Study Report that meets CARA's specific requirements.
  • Couples who are married with at least 2 years stable marriage relationship;
  • Singles who are not in a relationship (including those never married, those who are widowed, or divorced). India will not allow the adoption of a child by a gay or lesbian person;                
  • Physically, mentally and emotionally stable; and no life threatening medical condition; Read this link to CARA's Psychology Report Requirements.     
  • Financially capable;     
  • Priority applicants - those of Indian heritage with Indian passports (NRIs) or OCI cards have priority. These are the first to be offered infants (0-2) toddlers (2-3) or preschoolers (3-5 years).Non-Indian applicants are encouraged to apply to parent older children (over 8 years) or children of any age with moderate medical needs or sibling groups where one child is over 8 years. Note "Indian" means holders of Indian passports or OCI cards.
  • Family size - Those who already have 2 children may apply for waiting children (ie usually over 8 or with medical needs).
  • Age requirements - see table below

Age of the child

Maximum composite age of prospective adoptive parents (but also note OCI/NRI status)

Maximum age of single prospective adoptive parent (but also note OCI/NRI status)

 Up to 2 years

85 years

40 years

2-4 years

90 years

45 years

 Above 4 up to 8 years

100 years

50  years

 Above 8 up to18 years

110 years

55 years;

 Who's involved in the process?

The local organisations that are authorised to care for abandoned children and work in adoption are called SAAs - Specialised Adoption Agencies.

Foreign agencies such as ICANZ that are authorised to to represent those who want to adopt in India are known as an Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency (AFAA). The role of AFAAs such as ICANZ is described on the Indian Central Authority website. 

Adoptions between New Zealand and India are conducted according to the Hague Convention.  The Indian Government Central Authority responsible for adoption is CARA (Central Adoption Resource Agency). CARA must approve each adoption.  At the New Zealand end, our Central Authority for Adoption (NZCA) also first approves you as an adoptive parent after AFS or Oranga Tamariki have assessed you.  The NZCA also approves the Child Study Report ICANZ sends to them for the child matched to you. 

How long will it take?     

Timing is highly variable. Some ICANZ applicants applying for waiting children have been matched at 3 -12+ months after applying. This partly depends on how open you are to different ages, medical needs etc

Indian adoption processes have changed significantly over the past 12 years and still change. ICANZ staff have travelled to India to be able to provide you with the current accurate "on the ground" information.  

What costs are involved?  

You'll need to pay for all costs associated with ICANZ work for you in NZ, the SAA charges in India, travel accommodation and personal costs. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details. Also see FAQs on why there are costs involved in adoption.