Support, Education and Awareness

This is a place for adopted people, parents, partners, friends and families living with adoption in New Zealand in the 21st century.

The intention of Adoption NZ and this site is:

  • to provide resources for people affected by adoption
  • to educate and raise awareness of the practice, policy, challenges, triumphs and impacts of adoption
  • to take an open, honest look at current and historical adoption practices
  • to provide access to relevant research, articles, books and links on issues relating to New Zealand’s adoption legislation


Individual experiences are a valuable way of raising awareness of the personal journey of adoption.  The experience of others is often the best support for those whose lives involve a journey with adoption.

Education and Awareness

In New Zealand today there are many people living with an adoption that occurred under ‘closed’ adoption practice, and others who experienced ‘open’ adoption that began to be practiced from around the 1980s.  There are also many adoptions that occur within a family, or as a result of a surrogacy arrangement.  Each year there are a number of intercountry adoptions, where a child or children, either known or not known to the adopting parent or parents, comes to New Zealand for the purpose of adoption.

While the reasons and circumstances behind every adoption are many and varied, there are many common threads that weave their way through the adoption tapestry.

There are many families in New Zealand affected by adoption – between 1940 and 1990, more than 103,000 New Zealand babies were placed for adoption domestically.  In a country with a population as small as ours, where each adoption initially involves at least five people:  the adopted person, their mother and father, their adoptive mother and father – then added in are siblings, grandparents, partners and children, more than two million New Zealanders have a direct link to adoption.


Despite the relatively small size of New Zealand we have had and still have some very dedicated advocates supporting people living with adoption.  We acknowledge these people’s efforts and thank them for helping to bring about changes in practice, policy, thinking and providing real support on the ground for people living with adoption.

In light of that we dedicate this site to our hero, Keith Griffith.  Please note that all of his work is copyright.  If you would like to use any of his research you find on this site, please acknowledge it appropriately.

We also wish to give special acknowledgement to the Christchurch based Adoption, Education and Awareness New Zealand for their support and encouragement.