* Bumped Up From 2011, More Relevant Than Ever *
[UPDATE–This was an issue last year and, because of a recent surge of comments on this particular post, I decided to bump it up and let you have a shot at it in 2012. Let’s see how far back in Romney’s past the Obama team wants to go. I think the issue of Obama’s stepfather, Lolo, is relevant only to the extent that it is a part of his life he has worked hard to cover up.]
While Donald Trump pursues the dead end that Barack Obama was born in Kenya (HE WAS NOT), the actual elephant in the room that most of the media and pundits studiously ignore is the fact that Barack Obama was adopted by Lolo Soetoro and, for most of his life as a child and teenager, Barack was commonly known as Barry Soetoro. The adoption was processed in Indonesia after Barry and his mother moved to Indonesia. The adoption was carried out in Indonesia and not the United States.
Barry Obama’s mom married an Indonesian student named Lolo Soetoro in 1966. The new family moved to Indonesia in 1967 and the six year old Barry was enrolled in school. Barack Obama has not released his adoption records, but the adoption took place in the 1966-67. How do we know?
Look at the enrollment card:
Actually, this document also provides strong circumstantial evidence to buttress the claim that Barry Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii. How?
Obama was enrolled by his parents in a public school, Fransiskus Assisi School, a public school, in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The school registration clearly states Obama’s name as “Barry Soetoro,” and lists his citizenship as Indonesian. Obama’s father is listed as Lolo Soetoro. PLEASE NOTE ITEM NUMBER TWO–Obama’s place of birth is Honolulu (Hawaii) and date of birth is 4-8-1961 (the Indonesians put the date, ie “4,” and then the month, ie “8.” He is identified as a Citizen of Indonesia.
So does this mean Barack Obama is ineligible to be President? No. He did not renounce his American citizenship. By virtue of being born in Hawaii to a U.S. citizen, his mother, he is a U.S. citizen.
Now, look at the Hawaiian law governing adoptions. Here are the relevant portions:
Access to Original Birth Certificate
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 578-14; 578-15; 338-20
If a new birth certificate is issued, the original birth certificate shall be sealed. The sealed document may be opened by the department only by an order of a court or when requested in accordance with § 578-15.
The birth parent may be provided a copy of the original birth certificate upon request.
Barry Obama’s birth father did not have to consent to the adoption because he had been out of the picture for more than two years. According to Hawaiian law (I have put the relevant paragraphs in bold):
When Parental Consent is not Needed
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 578-2
Consent is not required from the following:
A parent who has deserted a child for a period of 90 days without affording means of identification
A parent who has voluntarily surrendered the care and custody of the child to another for a period of 2 years
A parent, whose child is in the custody of another, who has failed for a period of at least 1year to communicate with the child or provide for the care and support of the child when able to do so
A natural father who was not married to the child’s mother at the time of the child’s conception or birth and has not established paternity
A parent whose parental rights have been judicially terminated
A parent judicially declared mentally ill, mentally retarded, or incapacitated from giving consent
Any legal guardian or custodian who is found by the court to be withholding consent unreasonably
A parent of a child who has been in the custody of a petitioner for at least 1 year and who entered the United States as a consequence of extraordinary circumstances in the child’s country of origin, by reason of which the existence, identity, or whereabouts of the child’s parents is not reasonably ascertainable or there is no reasonable means of obtaining suitable evidence of the child’s identity or availability for adoption
Any parent of the adoptee if the adoptee is an adult eligible for adoption under this section
A parent whose parental and custodial duties and rights have been divested by an award of permanent custody pursuant to § 587-73
Barry Obama was adopted in Indonesia, not the United States. The relevant Hawaiian statute states:
State Recognition of Intercountry Adoptions Finalized Abroad
To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (414 KB) of this publication.
Effect and Recognition of a Foreign Adoption Decree
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 578-8(c)
In cases in which a child is adopted from a foreign country and is brought into the State, the court, in its discretion, may dispense with a hearing upon receipt of a sworn affidavit, ex parte, from the adoptive parents requesting that the hearing be dispensed with, and upon a finding that the issues it would have reviewed have received full consideration by the country from which the child was adopted and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
One other piece of circumstantial evidence that Barack Obama was, at one point in his life, legally known as Barry Soetoro comes from the 1980 divorce of Obama’s birth mother and his adopted father, Lolo Soetoro.
You do not stipulate in a divorce decree that a “child” older than 18 but “still dependent on the parties for education” is part of the settlement unless there is a legal tie to the step-father.
This is why the original birth certificate remains such a mystery. The Obama campaign team decided early on that the American people would not understand how a guy could at one time be a citizen of Indonesia and is still eligible to run for President in the United States. I think they underestimated the ability of Americans to understand this point, but such is the nature of politics.
I know this won’t settle anything, but we can at least admit that back in 1967, years before anyone thought Barry Soetoro would run for President, a school enrollment form in Indonesia makes the very simple claim that Barry Soetoro aka Barack Obama was born in Honolulu in 1961. Barack’s mom and his step-dad had no reason to lie about that.
If there are any lawyers out there who care to shed more light on this, please weigh in.
Ok ladies and gents, fire away.