Watch: The moment a Kiwi meets his Russian birth father

A New Zealand man has captured the heart-warming moment he met his birth father for the very first time.

Alex Gilbert grew up in Whangarei after being adopted from a Russian orphanage when he was two. As an adult he tracked down both of his birth parents through social media, who he had always wanted to connect with.

Mr Gilbert formed a particularly close relationship with his birth father, who didn't even know of his son's existence. He has embraced his long-lost son and now has a close bond with him and his adoptive parents.

In November 2017 Mr Gilbert published a video dedicated to his relationship with his father, including footage of the two meeting for the first time. He has also documented other aspects of his travels in his birth country in videos on his YouTube channel, some of which have more than 100,000 views. 

Mr Gilbert set up the website I'm Adopted in 2015, and it has since been registered as a charitable trust. It was designed as an online support network where fellow adoptees can tell their stories and get help in finding their own birth families.

More than 600 children were adopted from Russia and brought to New Zealand in the 1990s, many living with families in Whangarei. 

More information about I'm Adopted can be found on Mr Gilbert's Facebook page and the trust's website.