7 Consents to adoptions

(1)

Before the court makes any interim order, or makes any adoption order without first making an interim order, consents to the adoption by all persons (if any) whose consents are required in accordance with this section shall be filed in the court.

(2)

The persons whose consents to any such order in respect of any child are required as aforesaid, unless they are dispensed with by the court under section 8, shall be—

(a)

the parents and guardians of the child as provided in subsections (3) to (5); and

(b)

the spouse of the applicant in any case where the application is made by either spouse alone.

(3)

The parents and guardians whose consents to any such order in respect of any child are required as aforesaid, unless they are dispensed with by the court under section 8, shall be,—

(a)

if the parents of the child were married to each other either at the time of the child’s birth or at or after the time of his conception or if the father as well as the mother is or was a guardian of the child and there is no adoption order in force in respect of the child, the surviving parents or parent and (if the guardianship concerned has not been terminated, for example, by the child turning 18 years of age) the surviving guardians or guardian appointed by a deceased parent:

(b)

in any other case where there is no adoption order in force in respect of the child, the mother or (if she is dead, and the guardianship concerned has not been terminated, for example, by the child turning 18 years of age) the surviving guardians or guardian appointed by her:

provided that the court may in any such case require the consent of the father if in the opinion of the court it is expedient to do so:

(c)

if there is an adoption order in force in respect of the child, the surviving adoptive parents or parent and (if the guardianship concerned has not been terminated, for example, by the child turning 18 years of age) the surviving guardians or guardian appointed by any deceased adoptive parent.

(4)

Subject to the prior consent of the chief executive, any parent who desires to have his or her child adopted may in writing appoint the chief executive as the guardian of the child until such time as the child is legally adopted, and may impose conditions with respect to the religious denomination and practice of the applicants or any applicant to adopt the child or as to the religious denomination in which the applicants or applicant intend to bring up the child; and the chief executive, when so appointed, may give such consent to the adoption of the child as is required from the person who appointed him as guardian of the child:

provided that any such appointment by the mother of a child shall be void unless the child is at least 10 days old at the date of the appointment:

provided also that nothing in this subsection shall relieve the parent from any liability for the maintenance of the child until the child is adopted.

(5)

In the case of a refugee child within the meaning of Part 1 of the Child Welfare Amendment Act 1948, a consent by the chief executive, or by any other person who has been granted the guardianship of the child under that Act, shall take the place of every other consent by a parent or guardian of the child.

(6)

The consent by any parent or guardian of a child to an adoption may be given (either unconditionally or subject to conditions with respect to the religious denomination and practice of the applicants or any applicant or as to the religious denomination in which the applicants or applicant intend to bring up the child) without the parent or guardian knowing the identity of the applicant for the order.

(7)

A document signifying consent by a mother of a child to an adoption shall not be admissible unless the child is at least 10 days old at the date of the execution of the document.

(8)

Except where it is given by the chief executive, a document signifying consent to an adoption shall not be admissible unless,—

(a)

if given in New Zealand, it is witnessed by a District Court Judge, a Registrar of the High Court or of the District Court, or a solicitor, or a Judge or Commissioner or Registrar of the Maori Land Court:

(aa)

if given in the Cook Islands or Niue, it is witnessed by—

(i)

the New Zealand Representative; or

(ii)

a Judge, Registrar, or Deputy Registrar, of the High Court of the Cook Islands or the High Court of Niue (as the case requires); or

(iii)

a solicitor of the High Court of the Cook Islands or the High Court of Niue (as the case requires) or the High Court of New Zealand:

(b)

if given in any other country, it is witnessed by and sealed with the seal of office of a notary public or Commonwealth representative who exercises his office or functions in that country.

(9)

Except where it is given by the chief executive, the form of the document signifying consent to an adoption shall contain an explanation of the effect of an adoption order, and shall have endorsed thereon a certificate by the witness that he has personally explained the effect of an adoption order to the person who is giving the consent.

(10)

Every person who is an applicant for an adoption order shall be deemed to consent to the adoption, and it shall not be necessary for him or her to file a formal consent under this section.

Compare: 1908 No 86 s 18; 1947 No 60 s 26; 1948 No 48 s 10; Adoption Act 1950 s 3(3) (UK)

Section 7(2)(b): amended, on 19 August 2013, by section 9 of the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 20).

Section 7(3)(a): replaced, on 1 January 1970, by section 12(2) of the Status of Children Act 1969 (1969 No 18).

Section 7(3)(a): amended, on 1 July 2005, by section 151 of the Care of Children Act 2004 (2004 No 90).

Section 7(3)(b): replaced, on 1 January 1970, by section 12(2) of the Status of Children Act 1969 (1969 No 18).

Section 7(3)(b): amended, on 1 July 2005, by section 151 of the Care of Children Act 2004 (2004 No 90).

Section 7(3)(c): amended, on 1 July 2005, by section 151 of the Care of Children Act 2004 (2004 No 90).

Section 7(4): amended, on 1 October 1999, by section 13 of the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services Act 1999 (1999 No 82).

Section 7(5): amended, on 1 October 1999, by section 13 of the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services Act 1999 (1999 No 82).

Section 7(8): amended, on 1 October 1999, by section 13 of the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services Act 1999 (1999 No 82).

Section 7(8)(a): amended, on 1 March 2017, by section 261 of the District Court Act 2016 (2016 No 49).

Section 7(8)(a): amended, on 1 April 1980, pursuant to section 18(2) of the District Courts Amendment Act 1979 (1979 No 125).

Section 7(8)(a): amended, on 1 April 1980, pursuant to section 12 of the Judicature Amendment Act 1979 (1979 No 124).

Section 7(8)(aa): replaced, on 25 March 1987, by section 2(1) of the Adoption Amendment Act 1987 (1987 No 19).

Section 7(9): amended, on 1 October 1999, by section 13 of the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services Act 1999 (1999 No 82).