exposing the dark side of adoption
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Samoa - Focus on Children - Scott & Karen Banks case

2002 Feb 1
Scott and Karen Banks                  Heta Nua's Parents
Prosecutors say recruiters exploited the faith of the Samoan parents -- many of whom are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- and sold adoption as a program that would send youngsters to live with an American Mormon family and get a good education before returning home at 18. The Samoan parents claim they also were promised money, regular letters and photos from the U.S. families. Some were told adoption was like a 'mission' trip.

Adoptive parents were not told of the promises, and were falsely told that the youngsters were orphans or abandoned.  See also individual cases:
Elleia Nyberg (Sei So) case
Fa'anunu Faiupu's children case
J.T. case
Michael Ulisese McKrola (Posi Iva) case
Heta Nua's death
and this abuse case which mayt be an FOC placement
Boy adopted by Scott and Catherine Kanani Nelson


Title Publication date
Brett Tolman resigning as U.S. attorney 2009 Oct 15
Family reunited following adoption scam 2009 Aug 2
Defendants in Samoan adoption case must pay $100,000 to trust fund 2009 Jul 16
A Dad's Adoption Nightmare 2009 Jun 22
Prosecutors seeking at least $108,000 in Samoan adoption case 2009 Jun 15
Letter to the Editor: A “very disappointed” Tracy Wilson 2009 Mar 29
Father hears daughter after five years 2009 Mar 23
Adopted girl coming home 2009 Mar 21
Meet the Parents: The Dark Side of Overseas Adoption 2009 Mar 9
Adoption fraud sentence ‘just’ 2009 Mar 8
Following up on adoption scam, 'Good Morning America' will chronicle FdL family's trip to Western Somoa 2009 Mar 5
Police complete probe into adoption scam 2009 Mar 2
Adoption scam hits home 2009 Mar 2
Ruling attacked 2009 Feb 28
Owners of agency at centre of Samoan adoption scam avoid jail 2009 Feb 27
Federal judge says Samoan adoption defendants don't need prison 2009 Feb 27
Patti Sawyer’s family is in jeopardy. 2009 Feb 26
Four Sentenced in Scheme to 'Adopt' Samoan Kids 2009 Feb 26
Adoptive parents feel betrayed 2009 Feb 25
Judge has mercy on Samoan adoption scam defendants; no prison time 2009 Feb 25
Judge has mercy on Samoan adoption scam defendants; no prison time 2009 Feb 25
U.S. v Focus on Children, et al Sentencing Press Release 2009 Feb 25
Moms make most of chance to reconnect 2009 Feb 24
Sentencing delayed for defendant in Samoan adoption case 2009 Feb 18
Samoan adoption scandal fuels call for reform 2009 Feb 16
Adoption scandal has prompted only minor changes 2009 Feb 14
Samoans shocked by lenient adoption scam penalties 2009 Feb
Samoan Adoptions: Nua Family 2009 Jan 7
Adoption-scam defendants cut no-jail-time deal: Samoan kids ? Adoptive parents disappointed with probation sentence. 2009 Jan 7
Supporters speak: 'They gave me the most amazing gift' 2009 Jan 7
Adoption scam defendants cut no-jail-time plea deal 2009 Jan 6
Defendants in Samoan adoption scandal to plead guilty Tuesday 2009 Jan 5
Focus on Children Federal Document 2009
USDOJ Sentencing Memo 2009 Jan 1
No winners in Samoan adoption scandal 2008 Nov 18
Wellsville couple retain custody of toddler 2008 May 1
Little girl stays here - for now 2008 Feb 1
Utah couple embroiled in adoption scandal say Samoan attorneys can exonerate them 2007 Dec 28
Another adoption agency in hot water 2007 Nov 16
Tangled adoption suit heads to trial 2007 Oct 30
Conspiracy alleged in adopting Samoan kids 2007 Sep 5
Teen ranch evades law [FOC operated 2.5 yrs in Utah without a license] 2007 Jul 16
Watching for red flags 2007 Jun 18
Daughter's history a lie 2007 Jun 17
Trusting dad gives kids away; Son promises to return 2007 Jun 17
Dreams of parents in two worlds shattered by scandal 2007 Jun 17
Tot dies after stay at nanny house 2007 Jun 17
Out of Samoa: How adoption laws work 2007 Jun 14
False promises: How parents and prosecutors contend families in two countries were duped 2007 Jun 14
Utah adoption probe widens 2007 Jun 11
Defense presses for gag order 2007 Apr 11
Samoan lawyer defends adoptions 2007 Mar 17
Samoan leader discusses adoption 2007 Mar 14
Families share adoption woes 2007 Mar 13
Embassy grilled on adoption scandal 2007 Mar 11
Samoan attorney terms adoption charges 'rubbish' 2007 Mar 7
Adoptive parents anxious 2007 Mar 6
Baby Selling Scheme video 2007 Mar 5
Claims about 'orphans' key in shady adoptions 2007 Mar 3
A community in shock 2007 Mar 3
Utah adoption agency hit by fraud allegations 2007 Mar 2
Feds uncover adoption scheme that targeted Samoan children 2007 Feb 3
Letter from Terry Bourke regarding Samoan Adoptions and the Death of Heta 2005 Oct 11
INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; A South Pacific Perspective 2005 Sep 1
[duplicate to delete] A Brief Outline of Customary Child Adoption Practices in Samoa [duplicate to delete] 2005 Sep 1
Samoa bans overseas adoption agencies 2005 Jun 27
Death prompts Samoan adoption change 2005 Jun 25
Scott Banks emails regarding birthparent affidavits 2005 Apr 15
Samoan adoptions raise eyebrows 2004 Aug 14
Letter from Dr. Robert Skillman to Dan Wakefield 2004
Adoptive parent application
Steps for Processing Adoption
Do You Understand Checklist
Private Notes - Agency possibilities for abused Nelson children - keep private
Points of Emphasis to be used when talking to birth parents
Adoptive Parent checklist
Birth parent relinquishment form