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Indonesian school registration for “Barry Soetoro” (AP photo)
Evidence continues to mount that President Obama was adopted by his Indonesian stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, raising concerns over his presidential eligibility.
Obama’s American mother, Ann Dunham, separated from her first husband, Barack Obama Sr., in 1963 when the president was 2 years old. Dunham and Obama Sr. are reported to have later divorced.
In Hawaii, Dunham married Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian, in 1965 and moved to Indonesia in October 1967.
Divorce documents filed in Hawaii on Aug. 20, 1980, refer to Obama as the “child” of both Soetoro and Dunham, indicating a possible adoption in the U.S.
The divorce records state: “The parties have 1 child(ren) below age 18 and 1 child(ren) above 18 but still dependent on the parties for education.”
The records further identify the “oldest child” as “in university.”
“Mother resides with youngest child in 4-bedroom house provided by mother’s employer,” continues the divorce documents.
The documents identify the minor as Obama’s stepsister, Maya Soetoro.
The older child, not identified by name, is clearly Obama, who at the time was studying at Occidental University.
The divorce records do not state whether Obama was adopted in Hawaii by his stepfather.
WND did not find any adoption records for Obama in Hawaii.
The legal term “child” in divorce documents could refer to a stepchild.
According to the Immigration and Naturalization Act, the term “child” means an unmarried person under 21 years of age who meets certain criteria, including an adopted child or “a stepchild, whether or not born out of wedlock, provided the child had not reached the age of eighteen years at the time the marriage creating the status of stepchild occurred.”
Still, in Indonesia, strong evidence indicates Soetoro adopted Obama there, which may have made him an Indonesian citizen for a time.
Just last week, WND reported on an exchange on Facebook in which Maya Soetoro appeared to acknowledge Obama was adopted by her Indonesian father.
In a reply, she said: “You were suggesting that because my father, his stepfather, had adopted him, that my brother was no longer American.”
The question of a possible Indonesian adoption circulated on the blogosphere during the 2008 presidential campaign when an Associated Press photograph emerged of Obama’s school registration papers as a child in Indonesia – the world’s most populous Muslim nation – showing the future presidential candidate’s religion listed as “Islam” with “Indonesian” citizenship.
The 2007 Associated Press photograph taken by Tatan Syuflana, an Indonesian AP reporter and photographer, surfaced on the Daylife.com photographic website showing an image of Obama’s registration card at Indonesia’s Fransiskus Assisi school, a Catholic institution.
In the document, Obama is registered under the name Barry Soetoro by his stepfather, Lolo Soetoro. The school card lists Barry Soetoro as a Muslim, Indonesian citizen born Aug. 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Jack Stokes, manager of media relations for the AP, confirmed to WND the picture is indeed an AP photo.
After attending the Assisi Primary School, Obama later was enrolled at SDN Menteng 1, an Indonesian public school.
In Indonesia, which was under strict rule in 1967, Obama clearly took on the last name of his stepfather in school registration documents. All Indonesian students were required to carry government identity cards, or Karty Tanda Pendudaks, which needed to bear the student’s legal name, which should be matched in public school registration filings.
According to Indonesian legal experts, it was difficult to enroll non-Indonesian citizens in public schooling.
Obama arrived in Indonesia at age 6. Still, Lolo Soetoro might have adopted Obama in Indonesia earlier in his marriage to Dunham.
The exact timeline is crucial because if Soetoro adopted Obama at age 5 or younger, then Obama would automatically have become an Indonesian citizen according to the country’s laws in the 1960s. Indonesian law at the time stipulated any child aged 5 or younger adopted by an Indonesian father is immediately granted Indonesian citizenship upon completion of the adoption process.
Lolo Soetoro could have adopted Obama in Hawaii, although such an adoption would not have necessarily been recognized by Indonesia, and no records of such an adoption have emerged.
Indonesian law at the time also did not recognize dual citizenship, meaning if Obama became Indonesian, then as far as that country was concerned, his U.S. citizenship was no longer recognized by Indonesia. But U.S. law would still recognize Obama as an American citizen.
If Obama had Indonesian citizenship for a period, it may not necessarily have changed his U.S. citizenship status, but it could raise loyalty concerns.
If an adoption occurred, it could affect the birth certificate. In the United States, when an adoption takes place, a birth certificate generated at birth is replaced by a birth certificate that references the adoptive parents as the actual parents.
The location of birth is not changed, nor the weight of the baby, or other details. But the mother and father can be changed on an original long-form birth certificate during the adoption process.
With research by Brenda J. Elliott