20 Jul 2009

Workers at discredited adoption agency given funds to set up trust for Samoan children

9:21 am on 20 July 2009

Workers from a dis-established adoption agency in America have been punished by a federal judge for misleading Samoan parents in to giving up their children for adoption.

Prosecutors alleged friends and relatives in Samoa would push the adoptions as a programme that would educate children in the United States and return them at age 18.

At the same time US parents were falsely told the children were orphans or abandoned, and that contacting birth families was forbidden.

Five people from a now dis-established Focus on Children adoption agency have been ordered to pay 100-thousand US dollars over five years to a Samoan children adoption trust fund.

The trust will be used for Samoan children adopted by parents in America to keep in contact with their birth parents.

The U.S District Judge David Sam said the payments will serve both as punishment and a form of "restorative justice."