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.
ICANZ has facilitated more than 1,000 intercountry adoptions over the last 30 years
- 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.
- We are proud to provide a high quality professional service, alongside highly personalised support - during the adoption process and for many years afterwards.
- 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.
We run a secure, professional office and respect the privacy of you and your children
- Your private documents are dealt with securely and professionally. We don't just operate out of a home.
- We do not contract work to other social workers outside our organisation. This ensures quality control and privacy.
- We do not publish videos or photos of children waiting for adoption or of your own children after adoption on our public website- overseas authorities regard this as unsafe and unethical.
Our staff are experienced and well trained
- We employ qualified, trained professionals whose sole job is to assist you. They are not volunteers trying to squeeze this work in between other jobs. We have 3 office staff (1 full-time, 2 part-time) plus two social workers in other cities who do post placement reporting, and 1 part-time person to produce the ICANZ magazine and manage our Facebook page.
- Our staff and Board have a wealth of skills. They have qualifications in law, social work, teaching, accounting, IT, communications, travel and languages. They work different hours to fit in with overseas timeframes.
- We ensure our staff are up-to-date and well informed through regular training courses. This sometimes includes overseas conferences and courses as there is very little relevant adoption-specific training in New Zealand.
- We regularly visit the countries we work with. This ensures we have “on the ground” information for our families, constantly increase our knowledge and create good relationships.
- Our Board and staff have personal experience of some aspect of adoption and most have adopted themselves from overseas. They understand the processes and the emotional turmoil. They can provide valuable advice and personally relate to ICANZ families.
We provide a full service
- We carry out all the steps of the placement and post-placement. This includes preparing your dossier, sending it overseas ourselves, communicating 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 are ethical
- 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.
- 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. Although the ICANZ team and the associated personnel in the child's country of origin view their work as a mission, like anyone, they must earn a living to provide for their families. As a charitable, not-for-profit organisation, we cover these 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.
- We believe people in the 3rd world countries deserve a fair rate of pay for the professional services they provide. To treat staff in in those countries unfairly in order to keep costs down does not sit well with us. Often it may not be required by law, but ethically we believe a “worker is worthy of his or her hire”, i.e. we should pay them, not use them. Often there is no other source of funding, so if we do not pay for work they have done for us, who will?
- 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 both financial auditors and 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. Right now, a lot of our work is with adult adoptees from Romania and Russia (e.g. linking them with one another through social and support groups and giving advice about birth family searches, passports, and travelling to their home countries)
- ICANZ has a national network of parent support groups. Our families also take part in cultural camps and social gatherings – a fabulous way to connect and make new friendships.
- We invest in ongoing education: We facilitate, or help to facilitate, conferences and workshops on post adoption issues.
- 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 create a secure platform as we are very aware that countries change over time.
- To set our adoption programmes, we had to travel to the overseas country 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.