28 Jun 2005

Tighter adoption rules in place in Samoa by week's end

7:21 pm on 28 June 2005

Tighter adoption rules in Samoa are expected to be in place by the end of the week.

The Infants Adoption Amendment Act will restrict overseas adoptions and endeavour to stop inducements being paid.

The changes follow concerns about the activities of overseas adoption agencies in Samoa.

Samoa's Attorney General Brenda Heather-Latu says the overwhelming support from Cabinet for the change was hugely significant.

"It was a decision made by cabinet that the events which have been occurring for about 18 months needed to stop, in order for a more detailed review to be provided by a committee to the cabinet which would make recommendations on the whole adoption law in Samoa."

Brenda Heather-Latu says applications for adoptions will still be made through the District Court.

But she says certification will be required from her office when the applicants live abroad or are non-Samoans.

Non-compliance will result in heavy fines and or jail terms of up to 2 years.