Infants (Adoption) Amendment Act

Link to law: http://www.palemene.ws/new/wp-content/uploads/01.Acts/Acts%202005/Infants_Adoption_Amendment_Act_2005_-_Eng.pdf
Published: 2005

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Arrangement of Provisions
1. Short title and
commencement
2. Interpretation 3. Overseas adoption
4. Regulation of adoption agencies
5. Transitional arrangements

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2005, No.18

AN ACT to amend the Infants Ordinance 1961 to provide
improved arrangements for the adoption of infants and
for related purposes. [28th
June 2005]

BE IT ENACTED by the Legislative Assembly of Samoa in
Parliament assembled as follows:

1. Short title and commencement-(1) This Act may be
cited as the Infants (Adoption) Amendment Act 2005 and shall
be read with and form part of the Infants Ordinance 1961 (the
Principal Act).
(2) This Act shall commence on the date of assent by the
Head of State.
(3) Notice of commencement of this Act shall be published
in Samoan and English in the Savali and one other newspaper
circulating in Samoa.


2005, No.18 Infants (Adoption) Amendment 2005 7

2. Interpretation- Section 2 of the Principal Act is
amended by inserting the following definitions in alphabetical
order:

“adoption agency” means any person or body corporate or
agency and other body (whether incorporated or
otherwise) which acts as or calls themselves an adoption
agency or:
(a) engages in; or
(b) makes arrangements for; or
(c) assists with; or
(d) facilitates; or
(e) holds themselves out as acting as an adoption
agency or engaging in or making arrangements
for or assisting with or facilitating,
the adoption of children in Samoa or elsewhere, whether for
reward or any other reason;
“citizen” means a citizen of Samoa under the Citizenship
Act 2004;
“overseas adoption” means any application for adoption of
an infant by any person who is not a citizen;

3. Overseas adoption- The Principal Act is amended by
inserting the following after section 7:

“7A Overseas adoption – (1) Except as provided by
subsection (2), a Court shall not make an
adoption order involving an overseas adoption.
(2) An adoption order involving an overseas adoption shall
not be made by any Court unless the Court has received a
certificate from the Attorney General certifying that:
(a) The infant subject to the overseas adoption does not
have any family or suitable family or other
suitable person in Samoa who is or are willing
and able to provide for the care, support and
welfare of the infant in Samoa; and
(b) That there are no other suitable arrangements
available in Samoa for the care, support and
welfare of the infant.
8 Infants (Adoption) Amendment 2005 2005, No.18

(3) Despite any other law, all persons involved with the
infant and the overseas adoption, including but not limited to
any parent, guardian, relative, carer or teacher of the infant, any
adopting parent applicant, and any solicitor, medical
practitioner, nurse social worker or other health care
professional involved with the infant and/or the overseas
adoption, shall provide such information and assistance as the
Attorney General may require from time to time to enable the
Attorney General to discharge the Attorney General’s duties
and responsibilities under subsection (2).
(4) Any person who fails to provide the information or
assistance required under subsection (3) commits an offence
punishable by a fine not exceeding 10 penalty units.”

4. Regulation of adoption agencies-The Principal Act is
amended by inserting the following after section 9:

“9A Regulation of adoption agencies-(1) No person in
Samoa or elsewhere shall act as or call themselves or hold
themselves out as an adoption agency unless the person has the
prior written authorization to do so from the Attorney General.
(2) The Attorney General may provide an authorization
under subsection (1) where the Attorney General is satisfied that
the person:
(a) is suitable qualified and experienced; and
(b) is a fit and proper person; and
(c) has complied, or will comply, as the case may
require, with the Code of Conduct established
under subsection (4).
(3) The Attorney General may revoke an authorization
under subsection (1) if the Attorney General is of the opinion, in
the Attorney General’s absolute discretion, that the person so
authorized has failed, or is likely to fail, to meet any of the
requirements under subsection (2)(a), (b) or (c).
(4) The Head of State, acting on the advice of Cabinet, may
from time to time by Notice establish or amend an Adoption
Agency Code of Conduct (the Code of Conduct) for the purpose
of regulating the actions and conduct of adoption agencies. In
advising the Head of State under this subsection, Cabinet shall
2005, No.18 Infants (Adoption) Amendment 2005 9

consult with and take into account any advice from the Court
and the Attorney General.
(5) Any adoption agency and any person who is a director,
partner, manager, officer, employee or agent (howsoever such
person is called or titled) of an adoption agency shall:
(a) In the case of an adoption agency, comply with any
Code of Conduct established or amended under
subsection (4); and
(b) In the case of any person who is a director, partner,
manager, officer, employee or agent (howsoever
such person is called or titled) of an adoption
agency, shall comply with and ensure that such
adoption agency complies with any Code of
Conduct established or amended under
subsection (4).
(6) Any adoption agency and any other person, having an
obligation to comply with any requirement under this section,
who fails to do so commits an offence punishable by a fine not
exceeding 1000 penalty units or imprisonment not exceeding 2
years, or both.”

5. Transitional arrangements-The provisions of section 3
of this Act apply to any application for adoption before a Court
as at the date of commencement of this Act.



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The Infants (Adoption) Amendment 2005 is administered in the
Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration




Printed by the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly,
by authority of the Legislative Assembly