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A report in the Hawaii Medical Journal by a health-agency manager published six years before Barack Obama’s birth indicated that an adoption in the Aloha state required a change in the child’s birth record.
When a new certificate was made, the original birth certificate was sealed in an envelope that could be opened only by court order, according to Charles G. Bennett in the 1955 report.
Bennett was identified as an official with the Bureau of Health Statistics of the Territorial Health Department before the islands were granted statehood. He continued in his role as an authority, later serving as an assistant executive officer of the Research and Planning Section, Research, Planning and Statistics Office in the Hawaii State Department of Health after statehood.
The existence of the policy could undermine the authenticity of the birth record released by the White House to support the claim Barack Obama is constitutionally eligible as a “natural born Citizen.” State officials have declined to respond to WND requests to confirm that the document released by the White House is an accurate representation of the state’s records.
No adoption records have surfaced, but there is evidence Obama was adopted by his stepfather in Indonesia, where he was known as Barry Soetoro.
WND recently reported on an exchange on Facebook in which Maya Soetoro, Obama’s half-sister, 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. The document showed the future president’s religion as “Islam” and his citizenship “Indonesian.”
Indonesian school registration for “Barry Soetoro” (AP photo)
The 2007 AP photograph showed 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, all students were required to carry government identity cards with the student’s legal name, which were to match 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 age 5 or younger adopted by an Indonesian father was 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.
Indonesian law at the time also did not recognize dual citizenship, meaning if Obama became Indonesian, the country would no longer recognize his U.S. citizenship. 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 have affected the birth certificate. In the U.S., when an adoption takes place, a birth certificate generated at birth is replaced by a birth certificate that references the adoptive parents as the parents.
Bennett’s article explained the Hawaii policy in 1955 in an article titled “Vital Records in Hawaii.” On Page 128, under the sub-heading “Confidential Nature,” was the explanation:
“Despite the very wide use of vital records, a high degree of confidentiality is maintained with regard to them. The files are not open to public inspection; applicants for certified copies must show a legitimate right to them; and statistics produced from the records never identify individuals. In the case of legitimations and adoptions, where new certifications are made out, the old ones are sealed in envelopes that can be opened only upon court order.”
Obama’s American mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, left the islands for the Seattle only weeks after Barack Obama was born and divorced Obama Sr. several years later.
Returning to Hawaii after Obama Sr. had left the islands, Dunham married Soetoro in 1965, and after failing to obtain government permission for him to live in the U.S., moved with her son to Indonesia in October 1967.
The questions focus on whether there was a legal adoption in Indonesia and if so, whether it reported to Hawaii, to which the young Barry returned only a few years later.
If the adoption was legal in Hawaii, did the state seal his original birth certificate and issue a new one?