- This is not current policy -
The policy in this manual ceases to be effective from 29 November 2010.
To see the current Immigration New Zealand Operational Manual go to
R3.5 Implications of adoptive relationships
- People who have been legally adopted, or who have been adopted by custom are regarded as members of the family into which they have been adopted, if an immigration or visa officer is satisfied that a legal or customary adoption has taken place.
- If an immigration or visa officer is satisfied that a legal or customary adoption has taken place, the person who has been adopted will not be regarded as a member of their biological family under Government residence policy for the purposes of:
- inclusion in an application for residence by their biological family; and
- sponsorship of members of their biological family for residence in New Zealand; and
- sponsorship by members of their biological family for residence in New Zealand; and
- determining eligibility for residence under Family category policy.
R3.5.1 Evidence of adoption
- Evidence of a legal adoption is original or certified copies of adoption papers.
- Evidence of a customary adoption is a written declaration by the adoptive parents stating:
- that the person has been adopted by them, and
- the date of the adoption, and
- the country in which the adoption took place.
- The NZIS may seek confirmation of a customary adoption from the person's biological parent(s), or adoptive parent(s) as applicable.
- Immigration and visa officers should consult applications by any other family members to confirm whether a customary adoption has been declared. Immigration and visa officers should take such declarations into account when determining whether an adoption by custom has taken place. However, if there are discrepancies between declarations on application forms, immigration and visa officers should not automatically assume that the adoption has not taken place but should refer to R5.15 ('Explaining discrepancies in family details').
- Under dependent child policy of the Family Category (see F5), if a person has been legally adopted by a person who is a New Zealand citizen or resident, evidence that an overseas adoption has the same effect as a New Zealand adoption under section 17 of the Adoption Act 1955 must also be provided (see F5.10.25).