HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.C.R. NO.

81

TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2002

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 
   


HOUSE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

REQUESTING THE CREATION OF A HANAI TASK FORCE TO RECOMMEND A CONSISTENT POLICY ON HANAI RELATIONSHIPS.

 

 

WHEREAS, the ancient Hawaiians used a system of open adoption called "hanai", in which parents would give their babies to another, usually a relative, to rear and cherish; and

WHEREAS, traditionally, the permanent quality of the hanai relationship made it a close equivalent of the Western concept of adoption; and

WHEREAS, the traditional hanai relationship was recognized by the early Hawaiian courts as not including some rights usually associated with an adoptive relationship, such as the right to inherit property; and

WHEREAS, in 1841, the Kingdom of Hawaii enacted its first written laws of adoption, and subsequently, Hawaii courts refused to give legal recognition to hanai relationships unless the statutory adoption procedures had been followed; and

WHEREAS, despite this historical usage, it is not uncommon for families today to enter into a hanai relationship without a clear understanding of its legal ramifications, and questions then arise as to legal custody and guardianship of the child, which causes problems for state agencies, the courts, and the families and children involved; and

WHEREAS, the State is mandated to protect and preserve the customs and traditions of Hawaiians pursuant to Article XII, section 7 of the State Constitution; and

WHEREAS, the hanai relationship is one of these cultural traditions that needs to be fully explored and understood to aid the families of this State; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2002, the Senate concurring, that the Department of Human Services is requested to convene a temporary advisory task force to study the legal ramifications of integrating the practice of hanai relationships into statutory law; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Human Services is requested to include in the task force members representing the Hawaiian community, the neighbor islands, the legal community, the general public, the Department of the Attorney General, and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force is requested to submit an interim report to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the 2003 Regular Session, and a final report, including findings, recommendations, and proposed legislation, twenty days prior to the convening of the 2004 Regular Session; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to Director of Human Services, the Attorney General, and the Chairperson of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

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Report Title:

Adoption; Hanai Task Force