June 8, 2011
MLJ Adoptions, Inc. recently announced it was accepting five pilot families for our new program in Samoa. Samoa is a tiny island nation located in the South Pacific off the coasts of New Zealand, and Australia and not far from Fiji. The Samoan people are of Polynesian decent. The people of Samoa are mild mannered, quite, friendly, gracious and polite. The Samoan culture is very laid back with no indication of the rush or fast living typical of western cultures. Establishing their independence from New Zealand in 1962, some Samoans speak English but also speak Samoan. The island is one of the most beautiful places to which I have ever traveled. It is a tropical paradise and host of last year’s popular show “Survivor”.
The success of any international program is highly dependent upon those in charge of the process in country being on board and cooperative with our goal of placing children in need in loving homes. Samoa’s past international adoption history proved to be disastrous with international adoptions being virtually at a standstill for several years. During my two visits, Samoa’s history with international adoptions was discussed and how to avoid the obvious mistakes that had been made previously as well as the needs of orphans. Meetings went very well, protocol on the process established and everyone is excited to be moving forward with this program.
As a pilot program, the Samoan process will be tested to gage if the program will process adoptions as anticipated. As a pilot program, families must be aware that the anticipated process could change. For instance, while we anticipate that families will have the option of traveling or using an escort, this is ultimately at the discretion of the U.S. Embassy officer handling the orphan visa processing.
Most children in need of families come to shelters as a result of poverty and unplanned pregnancies. Infants to fifteen year olds will be available for adoption. As stated earlier, this program has opened to five families initially. We are hoping to open the program to everyone within a few months.
For additional information about this program please visit our website and fill out an interest form or contact Sonja Brown at Sonja@mljadoptions.com.