Adopting from Samoa
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New Zealand occupied the German protectorate of Western Samoa at the outbreak of World War I in 1914. It continued to administer the islands as a mandate and then as a trust territory until 1962, when the islands became the first Polynesian nation to reestablish independence in the 20th century. The country dropped the "Western" from its name in 1997.
Hague Convention Information
Samoa is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore, when the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008, intercountry adoption processing for Samoa did not change.
Who Can Adopt
To bring an adopted child to United States from Samoa, you must be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). To learn more please read Who Can Adopt from Samoa.
Who Can Be Adopted
Samoa has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption. You cannot adopt a child in Samoa unless he or she meets multiple requirements. To learn more please read about Who Can Be Adopted from Samoa.
How to Adopt
Samoan Adoption Authority
The government offices responsible for adoptions in Samoa are the Ministry of Justice & Courts Administration, and the Office of the Attorney General.
The process for adopting a child from Samoa generally includes the following steps:
- Choose an Adoption Service Provider
- Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
- Be Matched with a Child
- Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Samoa
- Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
- Bring Your Child Home
To learn more about this process please read about How to Adopt from Samoa.
Applying for Your U.S. Passport
A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Samoa. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports. Getting or renewing a passport is easy. To learn more please read about Traveling Abroad in Samoa.
What resources are available to assist families after the adoption?
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it's another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.
Here are some good places to start your support group search:
U.S. Embassy in Samoa
5th Floor, ACB Building, Matafele Street Apia, SAMOA Tel: (685) 21436 Fax: (685) 22030 Email: AmEmbApia@state.gov
Samoan Adoption Authority
Ministry of Justice & Courts Administration APIA Tel: (685) 22-671 Fax: (685) 21-050
Office of the Attorney General
P.O. Box 27, APIA Tel: (685) 20-295 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office of Children's Issues
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC)1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)