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.

 

We may not be the cheapest route to an international adoption. However, this is probably the most important decision a family will ever make and therefore we believe it is vital not to cut corners.

Experience - ICANZ has facilitated more than 1,000 intercountry adoptions, since 1989

Inter country adoptions involve many legal, ethical, emotional and practical challenges. We have honed the skills, experience and expertise needed to navigate the complexities in the best possible time-frames. In recognition of this long history of outstanding work, our Director, Wendy Hawke, was awarded an ONZM medal in the New Year's Honours list.

Privacy - We run a secure, professional office and respect the privacy of you and your children

We respect your privacy and confidentiality. Your private documents are dealt with securely and professionally. We do not contract work to other social workers outside our organisation. This ensures quality control and privacy. 

Professional, qualified, trained 

We employ qualified, trained professionals whose sole job is to assist you. They are not volunteers. Our staff and Board have a wealth of professional qualifications and skills. We ensure our staff are up-to-date and well informed through regular training courses, overseas conferences and courses. We regularly visit the countries we work with, to ensure we have “on the ground” information and good relationships. Whilst professionally qualified, our Board and staff also have personal experience of adoption. They understand the emotional turmoil and can personally relate to ICANZ families. 

We provide a full service

We create a streamlined, efficient service as we carry out all the steps of the placement and post-placement ourselves. This includes preparing your dossier, sending it overseas ourselves, communicating directly with the overseas authorities, receiving the referral for you, liaising with overseas bodies regarding the court hearing or other process, advising you of travel, helping with entry to NZ, and carrying out the post placement reports ourselves. We do not pass your personal file back and forth to outside agencies or contractors.  

Ethical standards

ICANZ is accredited under the Hague Convention on inter country adoption. Our Director and a Board member have been privileged to be invited to various Hague Convention Special Commission meetings.

As a charitable, not-for-profit organisation, we cover all costs through transparent  fees calculated on a basis of cost-recovery and to ensure sustainability - we want to be there in 20 years time when your children want our help. The Hague Convention does not support donations from adoptive parents for financing the costs of your adoption process - they are not regarded as transparent or ethical. 

We believe people in the 3rd world countries deserve a fair rate of pay for the professional services they provide. Our costs are all approved by both the overseas Central Authorities and the New Zealand Central Authority. You pay in stages, related to what work has been done.

We are audited annually by the Ministry of Social Development.

We provide ongoing support for you and your child

Our job is not complete once you are home with your child. We aim to "be there” as your children grow through the various ages and stages and even when they become adults. ICANZ has a national network of parent support groups. Since 1991, we have published the ICANZ Magazine twice a year to keep parents up-to-date on issues relevant to inter-country adopted children.We run a Facebook page and our parents provide online chat groups.

We provide a sustainable service

We believe in working in a range of countries, to not only offer choice but also aim for a secure platform as we are very aware that countries change over time. We've travelled regularly to meet with government officials, and our partner organisations that will help you overseas.

We invite your questions as you embark on the wonderful, exciting journey of international adoption.