President Obama almost adopted by the Salvation Army?

Posted on July 7, 2011


A previously redacted immigration document obtained via a FOIA by author Sally Jacobs states that the President’s parents were planning on having their unborn child adopted by the Salvation Army:

A few months before Mr Obama was born, Barack Obama Snr, the future president’s father, was under scrutiny from immigration officials who suspected him of bigamy. When they interviewed him in Hawaii in the spring of 1961, the then 24-year-old insisted he had divorced his first wife in Kenya and informed them that his new wife Ann Dunham was five months’ pregnant.

“Subject got his USC [United States citizen] wife ‘Hapai’ [Hawaiian for pregnant] and although they were married they do not live together and Miss Dunham is making arrangements with the Salvation Army to give the baby away,’’ wrote Lyle H. Dahling, an administrator in the Honolulu immigration office, on April 12, 1961.

The memo was obtained under a freedom of information request by Sally Jacobs, whose book about Mr Obama Snr – The Other Barack: The Bold and Reckless Life of President Obama’s Father – is due to be published next week.

Most of the memo had been previously published but apparently the passage regarding adoption had been redacted.

The claim has been challenged by former Press Secretary Robert Gibbs who theorized that the alleged plans for adoption were just a ruse by Obama’s father. Mr. Gibbs purported that Obama Senior was trying to convince immigration officials that he would not have the additional responsibilities of being a father in hopes that this would cast a favorable light on his being allowed to remain in the U.S.  

I’m struggling a bit with this explanation.  If a man who was married to a U.S. citizen had fathered a child back then, wouldn’t that increase his chances of being allowed to stay in the country in order to support that child instead of hastening his departure? 

Regardless of Gibbs’ theory, both the President’s mother’s family and President Obama himself have rebuked any such adoption plans.

Posted in: President Obama