Adoption is being used by migrants as a way to "sneak" their
relatives into the country, immigration advisers say.
Asian and Pacific migrants were adopting their nephews and
nieces with the intention of bringing in their siblings in
the future, they said.
One adviser said they were doing so out of "desperation"
after the sibling and adult child category was closed in
The Green Party and the New Zealand Association for Migration
and Investment (NZAMI) want the Government to review the
A 48-year-old Tongan mother, who adopted her 11-year-old
niece, said she was hoping it would be "a first step" to get
her only sister to New Zealand after their mother died.
"We are hoping that when the girl becomes an adult, she will
be able to sponsor my sister -- who is her biological birth
mother -- here," said the woman, who spoke to the Herald on
the condition of anonymity.
NZAMI president June Ranson said: "As the adult sibling
policy no longer exists, we are finding families are being
divided. The policy was changed more than two years ago and
there is a backlog ..."
Green Party immigration spokeswoman Jan Logie said the
decision to close the category was a "rushed policy decision"
and the Government did not fully assess its implications.
Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said yesterday there
were no plans to reintroduce the category. "Adults make a
choice to move to this country ... [They] should not have an
expectation that their adult siblings or adult children can
join them if they do not already qualify under existing visa
Tuariki Delamere, an immigration adviser and former
immigration minister, described the practice as a scam.
"They adopt their nephews and nieces to give them a better
life, and free education comes with it."
Parents who applied for residency for their children under
the dependent child category need not indicate if the child
was adopted, so Immigration could not say how widespread the
Labour Party immigration spokesman Dr Rajen Prasad said
adoption should not be used as a means to get free schooling
in New Zealand.
But Trinidad Ubido, 46, who adopted her brother's daughter
from the Philippines in 2009, said it was wrong to "paint
everyone with the same brush".
Miss Ubido, a single mother, has been embroiled with
Immigration for the past five years to get her adoption of
her niece recognised. In May 2012, the High Court declined to
grant a declaration that Ms Ubido's Philippines adoption had
the same effect as a New Zealand adoption order.
The agency is commencing deportation proceedings against the
girl, who is now 12. Acting compliance operations manager
Natalie Gardiner said Miss Ubido had exhausted all appeal
How it can work
A migrant wishes to bring a brother or sister into New
The migrant adopts a nephew or niece and brings them into the
When the nephew or niece becomes an adult, they sponsor their
mother or father, allowing that person to enter the country.
- Lincoln Tan of the New Zealand Herald