An adoption story: Ukraine to Russia to NZ

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Alexei was born in Ukraine, placed into an orphanage at 3 years of age in Pskov, Russia to then being adopted into New Zealand at 8 years of age.

Doctors here suggested that Alexei would most likely be unable to reach the age of 17 as it was too late by then to fix his holes in the heart. They are quite amazed that his heart has been fighting for this long!  He spends a lot of time in hospital and is on so many medications, he jokes that he rattles when he moves! 

Alexei has over time donated to the Heart Foundation, Starship and The Cancer Society to support others in need. He is down to earth and goes out of his way to help others. 

He is in touch online with birth family in Ukraine, who now have escaped the war to Poland.


ICANZ began in the late 1980s in response to the needs of children in overseas orphanages and to help parents navigate the complexities of international adoptions. In 1989-91 ICANZ helped concerned New Zealanders adopt over 150 Romanian children. ICANZ helped nearly 700 children from Russian orphanages find families in New Zealand. Since 2003 we've been helping New Zealanders parent children from orphanages in other countries - Thailand, Lithuania, the Philippines and India. We have over 30 years of experience. We work to provide a professional, ethical and sustainable service.

The ICANZ Team at work with people from the Philippines, India, Thailand, Russia and at the Hague Meeting.

We're a registered charity, a not-for-profit organisation, overseen by a Board of Trustees that includes people with professional qualifications in law, accounting, social work, psychology, IT, teaching, public relations and management, as well as personal experience with adoption. We charge fees calculated on a cost-recovery basis, but also designed to ensure we are here for your adult children in the future, as well as just processing your adoption now.

We are accredited as a child placement service, by the New Zealand "Central Authority for Adoptions", which is Oranga Tamariki, Ministry for Children, under the Hague Convention on International Adoption, an international agreement between many countries.