Birth Certificates and Adoption
If you are adopted, you may wish to apply for a copy of your original, pre-adoptive birth certificate, showing the details of your birth before you were adopted.
Under New Zealand law, you can do this once you turn 20, by writing to Central Registry, PO Box 10-526, Wellington, New Zealand. You will need to supply:
If you live in New Zealand and details of one or both of your birth parents appear on the original birth certificate, you will be sent a list of counsellors. New Zealand law requires that you choose a counsellor from that list and tell the Registrar-General who you have chosen. (You may name a counsellor in your application letter; this will reduce the processing time.) The Registrar-General will then send your birth certificate to that counsellor. The counsellor will contact you and arrange for you to receive the birth certificate.
The role of the counsellor is to give you information, assistance and support. The counsellor cannot withhold information you are legally entitled to, but may be able to give you helpful advice about how to search for and contact your birth parent(s).
If you live outside New Zealand, your certificate will be sent to you with a note giving the address of the Director-General of Social Welfare, to contact if you have any questions.
Access to information on pre-adoptive birth registrations can be restricted by a veto in certain circumstances:
For more information on vetoes, please contact:
The Department of Child, Youth and Family Services
Private Bag 6901
Phone: (04) 917-1100
Fax: (04) 917-1101
Last updated: 29/10/2003