In New Zealand most couples who apply to adopt are approved. There will be cases where people convicted of crimes against children or who have certain health issues may not be approved. You can discuss your individual case with the social workers at Child Youth and Family (CYF). With a couple, if they are not married, only one member of the couple is allowed to adopt and has his or her name on the new birth certificate.
Family members can formally adopt a child without going through the pre-adoption training days. They will be required to make an application to CYF and the process is the same as any other person who wishes to adopt a child. That is they will have to have a police check, a medical check and supply references.
Single people are welcome to apply. With birth parent(s) selecting who they would like to adopt their baby, the difficulty might be in regards to birth parents being more likely to prefer to select a couple. However this may not always be the case and a birth parent has the right to - and may select a single person.
New Zealand has an agreement with a number of countries as regards adoption. CYF will assess anybody who wishes to adopt. However the 'sending country' (i.e. of the child) has its own rules as regards who they would allow to adopt. Therefore CYF are guided by these rules. Currently there is no country which CYF has an agreement with, which would permit a baby to be adopted by a single applicant. Hong Kong allows a single applicant to apply to adopt an older child or a child with a disability. By 'older child' the age would be around 6 years of age. By disability this could mean a moderate to severe learning and/or physical disability. There is often an assumption that a single applicant would be female. This would need further clarification if the single applicant was male. These guidelines do change so please check with CYF.
Gay/lesbian couples can adopt in New Zealand.
There is no age limit to adopt in New Zealand. It is the birth mum's choice as to who she wishes to adopt her baby.
You have to be a resident of New Zealand to adopt in New Zealand - both domestic and international.