Feedback on adoption law reform released

Work to reform Aotearoa New Zealand’s adoption laws is moving to the next stage after completion of a second round of public engagement.

The Ministry will now refine a set of policy proposals for creating a new adoption system, guided by public feedback on the options set out in the June 2022 discussion document, A new adoption system for Aotearoa New Zealand [PDF, 1.8 MB].

A summary of the submissions is now publicly available.

A previous round of engagement in 2021 fed into the latest discussion document which attracted over 140 written submissions including from adopted people, academics, professionals, organisations and advocacy groups.

The Ministry also partnered with National Iwi Chairs Forum Pou Tikanga, other government agencies and third-party providers to meet 200 people impacted by adoption, especially young adopted people, Māori, and Pacific communities.

The Government is creating a new system because our main adoption law, the Adoption Act 1955, no longer meets the needs of society or reflects modern adoption best-practice.

It is aiming for a system that has tamariki at its heart by protecting children’s rights, best interests and welfare, and upholds both our Tiriti o Waitangi obligations and international human rights obligations.

In general, the feedback indicated support for the overall approach and options in the discussion document, and most people agreed the system should centre around the child’s best interests.

The Ministry intends to provide advice on a final package of proposals to the Minister of Justice in the first half of 2023.

Read more about the feedback to the latest discussion paper here

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