Children who need families

New Zealanders can adopt children who don't have a family to care for them, are living in the care of "Child Caring Agencies" and approved for adoption by the Philippines National Authority for Child Care (NACC). As in most developing countries, some families in the Philippines 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.

Currently we can accept applications for children over 6 years as NACC is not accepting applications for children under 6 years unless they are for children with moderate to severe medical needs. This may change in the future. Older children long for a mum and dad too.  ICANZ is especially keen to hear from families with a heart for "waiting children", children who are ready and waiting to be adopted right now. These waiting children may simply be older (8+ years) and have experienced sad circumstances in their life history, or are part of a family group of 3, 4 or 5 children who need to stay together. Others may be young children but have moderate or severe medical needs. Contact ICANZ for more details.

Who can adopt? those who  meet these requirements -
  • Approved by the New Zealand Central Authority (NZCA) with a home study report from either AFS or Oranga Tamariki.
  • Married for 3 years, with no more than two divorces per couple. A de facto relationship of 3 years can be accepted if you have been married for at least one year. Same sex couples not eligible.
  • Single women accepted, for children aged 9 + years.
  • No more than 45 years older than the oldest child you wish to adopt at time of adoption. You must be at least 20 years older than your child.
  • Healthy, (no significant physical or mental health issues) preferably non-smokers, and within healthy weight ranges. These are strict requirements - read these links to ICAB's Health Requirements and ICAB's Psychology Report Requirements.
  • Open to adopting a child of either gender unless applying for a waiting child
  • The Philippines Adoption Law (Republic Act 8043) requires you both to provide a character reference from a church/minister(s) who can write through knowing you over the last 5 years. ICANZ can advise you on this criteria. ICAB requires that your home study report shows that you both actively practice your religious beliefs through your lifestyle and values.
  • Have an income of at least $US40,000. Check the current exchange rate on
  • Have at least a High School Diploma. As NZ does not give "diplomas", you'll need evidence of whatever qualifications you have, from school or tertiary education
  • Have no more than 3 children at home. This criteria may be waived on a case by case basis if you are applying for older children (6+) or medically needy children. Some exceptions are made to this for second adoptions.
  • Have not been convicted of a crime involving "moral turpitude" (ie "conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty or good morals").
  • Can provide the proper care and support and give the necessary moral values and example to the child and, if applicable, to all your other children;

Contact ICANZ to discuss your situation as each case is considered individually and the above generalised requirements can vary, especially if you are applying for older children, or family groups, the "waiting children". 

Who is involved in the process?

Children are cared for by an authorised Child Caring Agency (CCA). Some Child Caring Agencies are authorised church based organisations. Other children are cared for in facilities run by the Government.

All adoptions are approved by the National Authority for Child Care, the Central Authority for Adoption in the Philippines.  At the New Zealand end, ICANZ represents you and carries out the adoption work, and all adoptions are approved by our Central Authority for Adoption (NZCA). ICANZ works with our Liaison Partner agency, Samaritan's Place, to assist with the applications of adoptive parents.

How long will it take?

Timing is very variable, from 12-36+ months to referral, depending on the age, number of children, characteristics of child(ren) you are applying for. For those wishing to adopt older children or large family groups the wait may be less. Contact us to chat about this.

What costs are involved?

You will need to pay for costs associated with ICANZ and Samaritans' Place work for you, the ICAB fees in the Philippines, the NACC approved contribution fee to the Child Caring Agency, travel, accommodation and personal costs. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Also see our article on why there are costs involved in adoption.