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Finding your birth parents

If you were born in NZ and you're adopted, once you turn 20 you can request your original birth certificate, and any information about your adoption records held by Oranga Tamariki—Ministry for Children.

Getting your original birth certificate

Your original 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 NZ

Your birth certificate will not be sent directly to you. Instead you need to nominate an adoption counsellor who will receive it for you, and discuss the options available. You can choose either an independent counsellor or someone from the Oranga Tamariki—Ministry for Children. A list of approved counsellors is included with the form.

When your counsellor receives your birth certificate they will contact you to talk about what you’d like to do next. Their role is to give you information, assistance and support. They cannot withhold any information you’re entitled to, and can often give you helpful advice about how to find and contact your biological parents.

Living overseas

If you live outside New Zealand you do not need to choose a counsellor. Your birth 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 original birth certificate.

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—Ministry for Children

You can ask Oranga Tamariki—Ministry for Children for any information they have about your adoption.

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

Freephone: 0508 326 459


More information

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

Finding your birth family if you're adopted

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.

Finding a child or parent on the sperm and egg donor register

Utility links and page information

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