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Whāngai adoption

Adoption Act 1955, s 19

Whāngai adoption (informal adoption under tikanga Māori) is not generally recognised under New Zealand law. An exception to this is in the Māori Land Court, where whāngai relationships can be recognised for the purposes of inheritance to Māori land (see “Succession” in the chapter “Māori land”).

Whāngai adoption often recognises a continuing relationship with the birth family and, if full adoption isn’t appropriate, it may be worth considering whether guardianship is an option.

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