Adopting from Samoa

The official flag.



View of Upolu.

A Samoan family.

Apia LDS Temple.



The official coat of arms.

A Samoan fire dancer.

Notice: As of July 14, 2014, all individuals and agencies facilitating international adoptions must be in compliance with the Intercountry Universal Accreditation Act.

The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.

About Samoa

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.

Samoan law places restrictions on the "overseas adoption" of Samoan children by any person who is not a citizen of Samoa. See the "Eligibility Requirements" section below for further details.

The American Embassy Apia, Samoa, does not process immigrant visas. This process must be completed through the American Consulate General in Auckland, New Zealand.

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

Adoption Authority

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

The process for adopting a child from Samoa generally includes the following steps:

  1. Choose an Adoption Service Provider
  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
  3. Be Matched with a Child
  4. Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Samoa
  5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
  6. Bring Your Child Home

To learn more about this process please read about How to Adopt from Samoa.

Traveling Abroad

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.

After Adoption

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:

Child Welfare Information Gateway

North American Council on Adoptable Children

Adoption Services Support Group for Adopting Persons

Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Samoa

5th Floor, ACB Building, Matafele Street Apia, SAMOA Tel: (685) 21436 Fax: (685) 22030 Email:

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:

Embassy of Samoa: Samoa does not have an embassy in Washington, DC. The only Samoan representation in the United States is:

Permanent Mission of Samoa to the United Nations 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400J New York, New York 10017 Tel: 212 599 6196 Fax: 212 599 0797 Email:

Office of Children's Issues

U.S. Department of State CA/OCS/CI SA-17, 9th Floor Washington, DC 20522-1709 Tel: 1-888-407-4747 E-mail: Internet: U.S. Department of State

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)


Intercountry Adoption, Bureau of Consular Affairs. U.S. Department of State Country Information