(a) The Legislature declares that the purposes of this title are to:
(1) secure for each child subject to these provisions such care and guidance, preferably with his own family, as will best serve his welfare and the interests of Samoan society;
(2) preserve and strengthen aiga ties whenever possible;
(3) remove a child from the custody of his parents only when his welfare and safety or the protection of the public would otherwise be endangered; and
(4) secure for any child removed from the custody of his parents the necessary care, guidance and discipline to assist him in becoming a responsible and productive member of society.
(b) To carry out these purposes, the provisions of this title shall be liberally construed.History: 1980, PL 16-71 § 1.
Research Guide: CRS 19-1-102.
In a petition to relinquish parental rights to a child, a court is required to first consider the best interest and welfare of the child, as well as the best interest of all concerned. A.S.C.A. §§ 45.0102, 45.0402. In re Two Minor Children, 19 A.S.R.2d 32 (1991).
A petition to relinquish parental rights to a child is not ordinarily favored unless the evidence is clear and convincing that the prospective adopting parents are in a better position to secure the best interest and welfare of the minor. A.S.C.A. §§ 45.0102, 45.0402. In re Two Minor Children, 19 A.S.R.2d 32 (1991).
Petitions of healthy, young, natural parents to relinquish their parental rights and obligations in favor of elderly relatives have been consistently rejected by the High Court. A.S.C.A. §§ 45.0102, 45.0402. In re A Minor Child, 19 A.S.R.2d 97 (1991).