About Adoption First Steps

Adoption First Steps is a Government accredited not-for-profit charitable trust established by parents who adopted children from other countries. We wanted to use our knowledge to help other people wanting to create, or add to, their families by adopting children in orphanages or other State care overseas.

Our Director, Sue Peacock, is one of the founding members. Sue works with a team of Social Workers who specialise in inter-country adoption.

Our operations are overseen by the AFS Board of Trustees which is made up of founding members with on-the ground-experience as well as professionals with related skills. AFS services are accredited by the New Zealand Government’s Ministry of Social Development. We are audited by the Ministry of Social Development and professional accountants annually.

While AFS is based in Auckland, we offer services throughout New Zealand. Read about our story here.

Our Executive and Board

Sue Peacock – Executive Director

I have worked in a range of roles in the Health sector for many years and bring this, as well as an understanding of quality processes, to my role as Director. I have experienced the frustrations and joys of my own adoption journey. My husband and I are the parents of 2 children (now young adults) adopted from Russia.

Jane Bollard- Chairperson

I took up the role of AFS Board Chair in June 2022 and look forward to working with the Board and the Director to lead the organisation into the future. I have operated as a consultant for over 15 years in the charity sector and also bring extensive experience in chief executive, general management and board roles across a range of health and community organisations. My passion is for developing sustainable organisations who are best able to meet their purpose.

Carol Marshall – Treasurer

I have a Certificate in Business Studies and over twenty years experience in accounts to bring to the board of Adoption First Steps. My husband and I have a son adopted from St Petersburg, Russia and a daughter adopted from Pskov, Russia. I feel that the best place for children to grow and mature is in a loving and supportive family.

Marian Hudson – Trustee

My background is in Senior Management, Corporate Affairs and Journalism in the public and private sector in Australia and New Zealand. I bring to Adoption First Steps broad business skills developed from challenging business roles typically for green-field projects or for organisations undergoing radical change. My experience spans negotiating legal and stakeholder agreements for multi-million dollar green-field projects and commercialisation of government operations through to improving the public profile of one of Australia’s largest energy companies as the market deregulated. I have also resurrected struggling businesses and advised CEO’s and Boards on complex business issues.

In New Zealand, I worked for New Zealand Post managing aspects of massive change across its retail and franchise stores as the organisation evolved its business delivery model. I am a Director of several companies and author. While not an adoptive parent, my personal experience in becoming a mother means I have great empathy with the role, goals and approach of Adoption First Steps.

Robyn Miller – Trustee

I have an ongoing interest and passion in International adoption and have been actively involved in the International adoption community, providing support as well as being a speaker at pre-adoption seminars.

I have worked in various roles from being a qualified Veterinary nurse, running my own business for many years to working alongside mainstream medical practitioners and Natural fertility clinics in managerial roles.

After spending years in IVF treatments, including surrogacy my husband and I are parents to a beautiful girl adopted from Thailand in 2013. I am passionate about families having the opportunity to adopt and best practice in the adoption process. I strongly believe quality adoption education plays a key role in building happy and successful adoptive families.

Karyn Stansfield – Trustee

I am a degree qualified registered teacher working with children from Early childhood up to year 8 and have been in the teaching profession for nearly 30 years. This has given me some great experience working and understanding children of all ages. My interest in intercountry adoption comes from having a wonderful niece who has come into our family through adoption and the joy she has brought to us is immense. I believe in supporting charitable trusts and currently work in another charity through the field of education and look forward to the support I can give Adoption First Steps in my capacity as a board member.

Leonne Pfeiffer –Trustee

My professional career is in sustainability education and community engagement included program development, delivery and review, event management, coordinating staff and contractors, budgeting and reporting as well as grant and award applications.

My husband and I have a teenage son and a preschool daughter (through adoption from Thailand). Our family has been actively involved in the adoption community for four years. Several extended family members lives have also been touched by adoption. These relationships and experiences give me an understanding of the needs and challenges faced by children and families. I am passionate about best practice in the adoption process and look forward to contributing to the continual improvement of AFS.