Pre-arranged adoption of newly born babies at the Maternity Ward has brought warnings against the practice as illegal.
The President of the Nurses Association, Solialofi Papali’i Bismarck, warned of instances with pregnant women who are asked by relatives to adopt the child as soon as the mother gives birth.
The expecting mothers are told to write in the names of the adopted parents on the hospital form as part of the official process for the registration of the new baby.
Doing so would make it easier for the process of adoption to go through for the mother and the new parents of her child.
The illegal adoption is normally brought to the attention of the nurses, when a row ensued between the adopted parents and the mother, when she has a change of mind after the baby is born.
“ It is at the time the mother and the baby are bonded and the mother no longer wanted to give her baby up for adoption,” Solialofi disclosed.
“This would lead in some cases to quarrels between the real mother and the couple who are on hand ready to take the baby.”
Solialofi said the nurses would try to intervene and that is how they learn about the cause of the misunderstanding.
“So we ask the real mother of the baby to fill in the form in her name and ask the people wanting to adopt to go through the appropriate legal process of adoption.”
Solialofi said the nurses are often told it was none of their business and not to interfere.
“But we would tell them it was our business because it’s our job to see that the right thing is done which is to go through the legal process in adopting the baby.
“ There are people who claim they are extended family members and ignore any advice given.”
She added that the nurses are standing up for their responsibilities because of the many criticisms leveled against the hospital services and the nurses.
She explained records are important and they must be accurate.
“Recording the name of the biological mother is important so that her medical history can be checked in case health complications arise with the baby.”
The Ministry of Justice Courts and Administration warned that the adoption process is illegal and for the people involved to follow the proper legal process.