Children who need families
We can help with adoptions of individual children or siblings from around 18 months to 10 or more years old. There are more boys than girls placed for adoption. First time parents for the youngest children (under 3) cannot specify gender. There are also children with medical needs that need a loving home.
Many of the children were relinquished by single birth parents at, or shortly after, birth, but each child's story is individual. As in most developing countries, some families in Thailand struggle with providing basic needs for their children. Poverty, difficult social circumstances and lack of opportunity conspire against families, often resulting in great need for some children.
Before a child is referred for international adoption, the authorities have confirmed that it is not possible to reunite the child with the birth family, an appropriate extended family member or a local Thai adoptive family.
Who can adopt?
- those approved to be adoptive parents by the NZ Central Authority (NZCA) and then approved by the Thai Adoption Board
- couples must be married at least 1 year at the time of adoption, with no more than one divorce per parent (note - you can start the application process before you've been married for 1 year but cannot receive a child)
- single women applying for older children (eg over 7) or medically needy children only. Discuss this with ICANZ
- both aged over 25 and under 50. The average age difference between adopting parents and child should not be more than about 40-41 years older than the age of child they wish to adopt at the time of adoption - older couples with average parental age around 45 should apply for 4-6 year olds, those approaching 50 can be considered for children 8-10. The mother's age is especially considered in relation to age.
- healthy (no physical or mental health issues that might in any way impact on the child or parenting) BMI under 38.
- able and willing to have an at-home parent for at least one year. Children must not be placed in regular out-of-home day care during that first year
- committed to residing in NZ for at least 2 years after bringing the child home, until the child has NZ citizenship
- those unable to have children by birth, or to have a second child by birth, and who meet the age criteria, may adopt a chlld under 3. Those who already have two children may apply for older children (over 6) or children with medical needs.
Currently there is no waiting for prospective adoptive parents - we can accept new applicants immediately.
Who's involved in the process?
Adoptions between New Zealand and Thailand are conducted according to the Hague Convention. ICANZ carries out all the steps for the adoption, with the Child Adoption Board of Thailand, which is the Central Authority for Adoption in Thailand, approving each adoption. At the New Zealand end, our own New Zealand Central Authority (NZCA) also approves each adoption.
For some adoptions ICANZ works with an accredited organisation called Friends For All Children Foundation, established in 1977. Thai law prevents adoptive parents approaching FFAC directly to adopt. Adoptive parents must work through their partner accredited organisation in NZ, ie ICANZ. FFAC runs small child care centres in both Bangkok and in the north of Thailand, which provide a variety of services to local families. Aside from care and adoption planning for some children, FFAC also provides educational support, food and material aid and entertainment programs for local children. Children may also be cared for in smaller group homes or in foster homes.
Other children reside in a variety of larger government run children's homes throughout Thailand.
How long does it take?
Timeframes for adoption from Thailand vary significantly. Each child's case is unique. Although some adoptions are much quicker, in general, the time from application to ICANZ to bringing your child home is about 2 years. Please do not apply for adoption in Thailand unless you're willing and able to cope with variable timeframes and can be patient!
What costs are involved?
You'll need to pay for all costs associated with ICANZ work for you, travel accommodation, personal costs and post placement reporting costs. Contact ICANZ for details. Also see our FAQ page on why there are costs involved in adoption.