Auckland Council Libraries: Locating birth parents

Locating birth parents

Tips and resources to help you find information about your birth parents.

Apply for an original or pre-adoptive birth certificate

Providing there is no veto placed, you can apply for your pre-adoptive birth certificate once you turn 20 years old.

This certificate shows details of your birth registration prior to your adoption, including:

  • Your birth name (if registered)
  • Your date and place of birth
  • Your birth mother's name, age and birthplace (the birth father's details are generally not registered).

Request a copy of your birth certificate

For application forms and more information, visit the Ministry of Internal Affairs website .

You will need to supply:
  • Your full name (post-adoptive)
  • Your place of birth
  • Your date of birth
  • The full name(s) of your adoptive parent(s)
  • Your address and phone number
  • Your signature
  • Payment for the certificate of NZ$15.30 (includes postage to anywhere in the world)
  • A nominated counsellor (the Registrar-General can provide a list of approved counsellors for you to choose from).
Nominating a counsellor does not apply to applicants living outside of New Zealand and is not required for people who were adopted after 28 February 1986.

Post the forms to:
The Registrar-General
Central Registry
PO Box 10526
New Zealand

Finding your birth mother

Once you've received your original or pre-adoptive birth certificate, it will usually show your birth mother's full name, age, her maiden name (if married), and her place of birth.

There are different ways to find more information about your birth mother.

Get your birth mother's birth certificate

Request a copy of your birth mother's birth certificate from the Central Registry. This will provide details of her birth parent(s) and if she has any older siblings.

Check electoral rolls

Look at electoral rolls from the date of your birth for your birth mother and for other family members (parents and siblings). Auckland Libraries holds every New Zealand electoral roll from 1853 to present day.


It may be easier to trace your birth mother through her parents and siblings, especially if she was very young at the time of your birth.

Look for parents' death certificates

Search for death certificates for either parent. They will not only show the date of death but also how many surviving children (if any), their sex and ages. Their death notice in the local newspaper will give names of family members and possibly the married name of the birth mother and where she resided at the time of the death.


This can sometimes be the easiest way to trace your birth mother, as searching for indexes for her marriage or death can be time- consuming and may not provide successful results, especially if birth parents are living and married or have died overseas.

Adoption records research sources

Auckland Council Libraries:Locating birth parents Get information and resources that will help you in locating one's birth parents and other family history research.