2 Jun 2003

Samoa's adoption laws to be investigated by commission

6:53 am on 2 June 2003

A special commission has been set up in Samoa to investigate the adoption of children to couples overseas.

A member of the commission, Attorney General Brenda Heather Latu, says she's concerned about the large number of adoptions made in a short time span.

The Le Samoa newspaper says the adoptions are not new but in the past, the children were adopted by relatives overseas.

The recent trend, however, has seen a large number of new born babies being adopted by couples from the United States.

Ms Latu says the commission will explore whether there is a need to change Samoa's adoption laws and whether other financial transactions were involved, apart from the usual legal fees.

Earlier this year, the Immigration department said it had received calls from several adopted children asking for passports so that they can return to Samoa.

Many are reported to be no longer living with the families to which they were sent.