Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2002

RE: S.B. No. 2043

S.D. 1



Honorable Robert Bunda

President of the Senate

Twenty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2002

State of Hawaii


Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred S.B. No. 2043 entitled:


begs leave to report as follows:

The purpose of this measure is to establish a temporary advisory task force to study legal issues relating to hanai adoption. The task force is directed to:

(1) Review case law, statutory law, and Hawaiian customary and traditional practices related to hanai adoption practices;

(2) Submit an interim report to the Legislature not later than twenty days prior to the Regular Session of 2003; and

(3) Submit a final report of findings and recommendations, including proposed legislation, to the Legislature not later than twenty days prior to the Regular Session of 2004.

Your Committee finds that hanai adoption has long been practiced by Hawaiian families, and hanai relationships continue today. Hanai adoption generally refers to a permanent relationship, frequently with family members, that provides for a child's well being, with adults other than the child's biological parents raising and caring for the child. Although it closely resembles today's legal adoptions, early courts in Hawaii failed to grant the same rights to hanai adoptions as those given to legal adoptions that fulfill statutory requirements. Modern courts follow that precedent.

The Hawaii constitution requires that customs and traditions of native Hawaiians be protected and preserved. Your Committee believes that hanai adoption is a customary and traditional Hawaiian practice that continues today, and as such, the State must fulfill its constitutional mandate. The task force established by this bill would clarify the status of hanai relationships, helping those involved to understand their legal rights and obligations.

Your Committee has amended this bill by changing the amount appropriated from $1 to a blank amount and by making technical nonsubstantive changes for the purposes of clarity and style.

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Ways and Means that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2043, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2043, S.D. 1.

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,