Re Yokat [2020] NZFC 5859

Published 14 December 2020

Adoption application — half-siblings — adult child — sole male applicant — final adoption order— Adoption Act 1955, ss 3, 4 & 11 — Adoption (Intercountry) Act 1997 — Hague Convention — Re Tagioalisi [2015] NZFC 2319 — Re BH [2007] NZFLR 399. This was an application for an adoption order for an 18-year-old girl. The applicant and girl were half-siblings, having the same mother who had died when the girl was very young. The girl had been born in Thailand but had no relationship with her birth father. She had been living with the applicant and his partner (both New Zealand citizens) since she came to New Zealand in 2017 on a visa, and was attending a secondary school in New Zealand. The applicant was not a citizen or resident of New Zealand so this was an intercountry adoption; however, as the girl was over the age of 18, the provisions of the Adoption (Intercountry) Act and the Hague Convention did not apply. The Adoption Act applies to persons up until the age of 20. If the application was granted, the girl would obtain residency rights and citizenship, and the Judge noted this was one of but not the main reason for the application. The parties had a close relationship and the applicant had been financially supporting the girl since she was very young. The Judge was satisfied that all elements of the Act were met, including special circumstances justifying the adoption of a female child by a sole male applicant and for a final adoption order. The order was simply making what had already happened a legal reality. A final adoption order was made in favour of the applicant. Judgment Date: 17 July 2020.