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Services › Births Deaths and Marriages › Birth Certificates and Adoption
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If you are born in New Zealand and adopted in New Zealand, 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 years old.
The fee to apply for your original, pre-adoptive birth certificate is NZ$15.30 (includes postage anywhere in the world).
To apply, each and every time you make an application for your pre-adoptive birth certificate, fully complete a Request for Pre-Adoptive New Zealand Birth Certificate (BDM451) form including a General Identity Declaration (BDM 130) form.
If you are living in New Zealand you are also required to nominate a counsellor approved under the Adult Adoption Information Act 1985. The list of approved counsellors is included in the Request for Pre-Adoptive New Zealand Birth Certificate (BDM451) form or you may contact Births, Deaths and Marriages to have the list sent to you.
If you live in New Zealand and the details of one or both of your birth parents appear on the original birth certificate, New Zealand law requires that you choose a counsellor that has been approved by the Minister of Social Development and tell the Registrar-General who you have chosen. 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, and 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 pre-adoptive birth certificate will be sent to you with a note giving the address of the Child, Youth and Family Service, to contact if you have any questions.
VetoesAccess to information on pre-adoptive birth registrations can be restricted by a veto in certain circumstances:
For adoptions before 1 March 1986:
- If you are adopted and you do not wish to have your birth parents contact you, once you are 19 years old, you can send a signed letter to the Registrar-General at Births, Deaths and Marriages stating that you do not want information which would identify you to be released. You must also indicate to the Registrar-General whether or not you desire counselling.
- If you are a birth parent of a child you may send a signed letter to the Registrar-General at Births, Deaths and Marriages to prevent the release of information about yourself contained in the child's original birth registration. You must also indicate to the Registrar-General whether or not you desire counselling.
- Birth parents of an adopted child may not place a veto on information.
For more information on vetoes, please contact Births, Deaths and Marriages.