US government may put separated immigrant children up for adoption
11 October 2018
An Associated Press investigation revealed Tuesday that the US government has been secretly allowing US couples to adopt immigrant children separated from their parents.
The AP investigation uncovered cases—many recent but some dating back to the 1980s—in which judges granted adoption requests even though the children’s actual parents were never informed. AP warns that roughly 200 immigrant children who remain separated from their parents as a result of the Trump administration’s “Zero Tolerance” policy are at heightened risk of being adopted.
The report featured the story of one child, Alexa, who was separated from her Salvadoran mother, Araceli Ramos. When Alexa and Araceli were captured crossing the US-Mexico border trying to flee Araceli’s abusive ex-partner, Alexa was torn from her mother’s arms, and agents told her she “would never see her again.”
“Alexa’s case began in November 2015 under the Obama administration,” AP writes, “years before Trump’s family-separation policy rolled out. Her 15-month separation from her mother exposes the fragile legal standing of children under the care of the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement and a flawed, piecemeal system that can change the course of a child’s life.
“It took 28 minutes for a judge in a rural courthouse near Lake Michigan to grant Alexa’s foster parents, Sherri and Kory Barr, temporary guardianship. Alexa’s mother and the little girl’s immigration attorney were not even notified about the proceedings.”
Such horror stories have been playing out for years, the AP reports, under Democratic and Republican administrations. In another case in Missouri, AP writes, “An American…