Adoption Offer For Sumani Orphans

The son and daughter of Ama Sumani, the Ghanaian woman who died of cancer after being removed from the UK, have been offered adoption by a Welsh family.

The offer, from an unnamed couple in north Wales, has been discussed with Ms Sumani’s family in Ghana, and a lawyer is looking into how it might work.

Friend Janet Symmons said she hoped the children, aged 16 and seven, would start school in Wales in September.

She said a Cardiff benefit concert for the youngsters had been a success.

The children were orphaned when their widowed mother died last week in Accra, the Ghanaian capital, after being removed from Cardiff’s University Hospital of Wales in January.

Ms Sumani, 39, who was suffering from malignant myeloma, had been receiving dialysis treatment at the hospital but was flown back to her home country by immigration officers because she was working, in breach of her visa regulations.

More than £70,000 was raised from public donations to help her have treatment in Ghana but the drug she needed to prolong her life – thalidomide – is not available in the country.

The money raised is going to help her children, Mary, 16 and seven-year-old Samede.

Mrs Symmons, who led the campaigning on behalf of her late friend, returned from Ghana on Sunday.

She said the youngsters, particularly Mary, had taken the news of their mother’s death “very badly”.

Mary, who attends a boarding school and was sitting her exams, did not learn of her mother’s death until Good Friday.

Mrs Symmons said: “She came home for the Easter break and to see her mother and that’s when they told her.”

She added that she had used her visit to discuss with Ms Sumani’s brother the offer she had received from a couple in north Wales to adopt the brother and sister and bring them to the UK.

She said: “I have got it in writing that a couple are willing to adopt to the children.

“We’ve even been to see a solicitor and we’ve checked to see if they will be accepted here if it’s done by law in Ghana.

“I’m delighted. If it goes through, they [Mary and Samede] would move to north Wales.

“The woman has spoken to the daughter and explained to her that she is not trying to take her mother’s place, that she’s trying to protect and provide for them.”


She added: “They would have preferred to have their own mother. At the moment they are vulnerable, especially the girl.”

Mrs Symmons, who runs the Xquisite Africa shop on City Road in Cardiff, added a post mortem examination on Ms Sumani was due on Friday and her friend’s funeral was planned for 25 April.

She said: “I was going to go back this week to bring her back. It’s very sad, just when everything was coming together.”

She said a fundraising concert at Cardiff’s Clwb Ifor Bach on Sunday had been a sell out, raising around £500 for the children’s benefit.