Consent to Adoption - American Samoa

Date: October 2021

Who Must Consent to an Adoption

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 45.0412(a); 45.0414(a)

Written consent must be executed by the following:

  • The parent(s)
  • A guardian appointed by the court of a child whose parents are deceased or whose parents' parental rights have been terminated
  • The parent in a stepparent adoption when the other parent is deceased or his or her rights have been terminated
  • The noncustodial parent when custody has been awarded to the other parent in a dissolution of marriage proceeding and the spouse of the custodial parent wishes to adopt the child
  • The Department of Health or a child-placing agency

Consent of Child Being Adopted

Citation: Ann. Code § 45.0412(b)

Written consent to any proposed adoption shall be obtained from the child if he or she is age 12 or older.

When Parental Consent is not Needed

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 45.0401; 45.0412

Consent of the parent is not required when a court has terminated the parents' rights upon determination that the child has been neglected.

In a stepparent adoption, consent of the noncustodial parent is not required when that parent has abandoned the child for a period of 1 year or more or has failed without cause to provide reasonable support for the child for a period of 1 year or more.

When Consent Can Be Executed

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

How Consent Must Be Executed

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 45.0402; 45.0412(a); 45.0414(a)

Any parent who desires to relinquish his or her child must petition the court on forms supplied by the court, giving the following information:

  • The names of both natural parents, if known
  • The name of the child, if named
  • The ages of all parties concerned
  • The race and religion of both natural parents, if known
  • Why relinquishment is desired

The court will not issue an order of relinquishment until it is satisfied that the relinquishing parent has been counselled and fully advised of the consequences of his or her act. If the court believes after a hearing that the relinquishing parent or parents have been counselled and that the relinquishment would best serve the interests of all parties concerned, it will enter an order of relinquishment.

A child may be available for adoption only upon the following:

  • An order of the court terminating all parental rights in the child in a proceeding brought under § 45.0115(a)(3)
  • An order of the court decreeing the voluntary relinquishment of all parental rights in the child under § 45.0403

Unless the placement is made by the court or in accordance with the law of another State or territory, written consent of the Department of Health, agency, or individual to the proposed adoption shall be filed with the petition to adopt.

Revocation of Consent

Citation: Ann. Code § 45.0431

The final decree of adoption may not be attacked by reason of any jurisdictional or procedural defect after 2 years following the entry of the final decree.

Related Resources