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Finding information about your adoption

If you were born in New Zealand and you're adopted, once you turn 20 you can request your pre-adoptive birth certificate and information about your adoption records held by Oranga Tamariki.

Getting your pre-adoptive birth certificate

Your pre-adoptive birth certificate may include the details of both your birth mother and birth father.

Complete a form and send it to the address listed in the form:

Request for pre-adoptive New Zealand birth certificate form BDM451 (PDF 850KB)

Request for pre-adoptive New Zealand birth certificate form BDM451 accessible alternative (TXT 12KB)

Adopted before 1 March 1986

Living in New Zealand

Your pre-adoptive birth certificate will not be sent directly to you. When you apply, you must nominate someone who can release it to you. This can be an independent person or an adoption social worker from Oranga Tamariki—Ministry for Children. You can choose from the list of approved people on the application form.

When your nominated person receives your birth certificate, they will contact you to talk about what you’d like to do next. They can give you advice about how to find out more about your adoption, or how to search for your biological family. They cannot withhold any information you're entitled to.

You can find out additional information about your adoption by contacting Oranga Tamariki. Adoption social workers at Oranga Tamariki are experienced at supporting adults who have been adopted, and they can offer you support or information at all stages of the process.

Contact Oranga Tamariki

Living overseas

If you live outside New Zealand you do not need to choose a nominated person to receive your pre-adoptive birth certificate. Your certificate will be sent directly to you.

Adopted on or after 1 March 1986

You'll be offered counselling, but you can ask for your birth certificate to be sent directly to you.


It costs $15.30 to order a copy of your pre-adoptive birth certificate. This is paid to Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM).

Standard delivery within New Zealand is free. Courier and overseas delivery fees are charged in New Zealand dollars and range from NZD$5 to NZD$30.

Records at Oranga Tamariki

You can ask Oranga Tamariki for information about your adoption.

To do this, contact an adoption social worker and give them a copy of your pre-adoptive birth certificate. They’ll find your adoption information and give you details recorded at the time of your placement.

Freephone: 0508 326 459


More information

Visit the Oranga Tamariki website for information about finding your birth parents:

Finding your birth family

If you were born using donor sperm or a donor egg, the identity of your donor may be recorded in the Human Assisted Reproductive Technology (HART) Register.

Find a sperm or egg donor or a donor-conceived child

Who to contact for more help

If you need more help or have questions about the information or services on this page, contact one of the following agencies.

Utility links and page information

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