Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has welcomed an arrangement allowing New Zealand families to adopt Russian children.

Inter Country Adoption New Zealand (ICANZ) received an adoption permit from Russia in July, and since then government officials from both countries have met to clarify how the adoption process will work.

Ms Bennett said the arrangement would be welcome news to many New Zealand families waiting to adopt a child.

"I know there are Kiwi families who're more than capable of providing a loving and caring home for those children who need it," she said.

The Russian children were likely to be school aged and may have health needs or disabilities.

Ms Bennett said Russian adoptions were suspended in 2006 due to uncertainties with the process.

While Russia was not party to the Hague Convention on inter-country adoptions, the arrangement was consistent with its standards and procedures, she said.

- NZPA