Who May Adopt, Be Adopted, or Place a Child for Adoption - American Samoa

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Who May Adopt

Citation: Ann. Code § 45.0411

The following persons may adopt:

  • Any person age 21 or older
  • A minor who petitions the court and receives approval to adopt

Who May Be Adopted

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 45.0410; 45.0412

The following persons may be adopted:

  • Any child under age 18 years of age, legally available and present in the territory
  • A person older than 18 but under 21 whose adoption is approved by the court

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

  • An order of the court terminating all parental rights
  • An order of the court decreeing the voluntary relinquishment of all parental rights
  • Written and verified consent of the court-appointed guardian of a child whose parents are deceased or whose parental rights have been terminated
  • Written and verified consent of the parent in a stepparent adoption when the following apply:
    • The other parent is deceased or his or her rights have been terminated.
    • The other 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.
  • Written and verified consent of the parent having only residual rights when custody has been awarded to the other parent in a dissolution of marriage proceeding, and the spouse of the parent having custody wishes to adopt the child
  • Written and verified consent of the parent or parents in a stepparent adoption when the child is conceived and born out of wedlock

Who May Place a Child for Adoption

Citation: Ann. Code § 45.0413

A child may be placed by only one of the following:

  • An individual who is the guardian of the child
  • The court
  • The Department of Health
  • A child-placing agency or institution