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'60s Report Claims Obama Was Nearly Adopted

Illustration for article titled 60s Report Claims Obama Was Nearly Adopted

While researching her book on Barack Obama's father, Boston Globe reporter Sally Jacobs uncovered a 1961 memo that says his parents were planning to put him up for adoption. However, it seems likely that this was just a story concocted by the senior Barack H. Obama, who was being investigated by immigration officials who believed he was married to both a Kenyan woman and Ann Dunham. From the Globe:

"Subject got his USC 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,'' according to a memo describing the conversation with Obama written by Lyle H. Dahling, an administrator in the Honolulu office of what was then called the US Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Obama, the Subject, and his USC, or United States citizen, wife, obviously, did not put their baby up for adoption. Whether the young couple actually considered such a step, or the elder Obama made the story up in order to appease immigration officials who at the time were considering his request for an extension of his stay in the United States, is unclear. Family members on both sides of the marriage now say they never heard any mention of adoption.


Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs says President Obama was unaware of the memo, and remains "absolutely convinced" that his mother didn't make plans to put him up for adoption. [Via N.Y. Magazine.]

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I'm of two minds on this. Leave the man's childhood alone and let him get on with his presidentin' already. On the other hand, hooray for seeing how a kid born in unconventional circumstances with a less than textbook upbringing can grow up to be the FUCKING PRESIDENT. I'm more inclined to the latter, just because, you know, suck it "family values" nitwits who rattle on about the primacy of the nuclear family, blah blah blah. And also suck it to the other nitwits who try and engineer perfect children with competitive pre-schools and all that.