MLJ Celebrates Five Years Working in Samoa!


MLJ Adoptions opened the Samoa international adoption program in 2011, and we are happily celebrating our five year anniversary! While Samoa is a relatively small program, it has seen many successes.  Since opening the program, we have welcomed 28 children home to their forever families!  MLJ recently expanded the program to include families from Canada wanting to pursue an international adoption, and a Canadian family was one of the happy group that brought home a child this year. Additionally, another Canadian family has been matched with a child and is working on bringing this child home, and we’ve recently received interest from more Canadian families who have decided to begin their adoption journey in Samoa.

adopting from SamoaSince 2013, MLJ is happy to report that we have assisted in bringing home 28 children, and the breakdown over these past five years shows a yearly consistency:

  • Children home in 2013: 7
  • Children Home in 2014: 8
  • Children Home in 2015: 8
  • Children Home in 2016: 5 (So far!)

One of the most frequently asked questions by prospective adoptive parents is how long they will wait to be matched with a child. In Samoa, we estimate that families will wait 18-36 months for a referral, with an additional 12-14 months to complete their legal process and bring their child home (for Canadian families, this timeline may be longer due to visa processing).

What determines how long you will wait to be matched with a child? Many things factor into this equation, including the age, gender and special needs range of the child you are open to adopting. Other factors will involve the number of families already waiting to be matched with a child, and whether you are open to accepting a sibling group.  In general, the less restrictive you are on the requirements of the child you are willing to adopt, the less time you will generally wait to be matched with a child. This is true not only in Samoa, but in all countries. We have placed both special needs children as well as healthy infants in our Samoa program, both are equally deserving of forever families, and both are considered success stories for these families.

Children placed for adoption in the Samoa program are matched through the assistance of the Samoa Victim Support Group, better known as SVSG. The organization provides assistance to those victimized by domestic violence, abuse and neglect, and provides a safe haven not only for children, but for adult victims as well. SVSG has partnered with MLJ and provides interim care for the children matched with families.

So far in 2016, MLJ has been able to match five children in need with waiting families in our Samoa program! We continue to work side by side with SVSG to place more children in need with the loving families they so deserve, and we look forward to continuing successes on behalf of the children we serve in Samoa.

If you are a Canadian family interested in adopting from Samoa, please contact Emma Johnston at Choices Adoption and Counselling Services at For US families interested in adopting from Samoa, please contact Caitlin Snyder, our Outreach Coordinator, at

adopting from Samoa

Sonja Brown works as the International Program Director for MLJ Adoptions’ programs in Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti and Samoa. Sonja is also proud to work directly with our Individualized Country Program families who are adopting from countries where no adoption service providers currently operate.