An Evanston couple fighting to adopt a South Korean baby whom they've raised since shortly after her birth was dealt a setback Monday when a federal judge returned authority over the child to U.S. officials, a step toward the child's possible deportation.
U.S. District Judge Milton Shadur made it clear that he trusted that officials would make decisions in the baby's best interest, scolding federal immigration lawyers for "a level of insensitivity and sometimes even callousness" in the past.
Shadur said it is up to the Office of Refugee Resettlement to decide whether 7-month-old Sehwa Kim should remain with Jinshil and Christopher Duquet, of Evanston, while immigration officials decide whether she should be deported, and if so, when....
South Korea has been fighting for the child's return, accusing the Duquets of circumventing their adoption procedures.
The Duquets, who say they were misled by a South Korean lawyer and thought they were participating in a legal private adoption, declined comment.
Customs officials at O'Hare International Airport flagged the child's entry into the United States in June when Jinshil Duquet brought her from South Korea. The officials said Sehwa lacked the proper visa for a prospective adoption.
"The child has a right to her Korean heritage," said Donald Schiller, a Chicago attorney who represents South Korea. "(Sehwa) will overcome it. She'll have a wonderful, loving family."...
It's a very sad, a very tragic day for the Duquets, for justice and for concepts of fairness," said Jonathan Minkus, a lawyer representing the family.
The child's birth mother lives in a shelter for unwed mothers and does not want the baby back.
The Duquets maintain that the baby is being used as a political pawn in South Korea, which has tightened laws regarding international adoptions while encouraging its own citizens to adopt. Despite policy changes, there remains a cultural stigma against adoption, leaving many children in orphanages, experts say. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/evanston/chi-evanston-south-korean-adoption-20130114,0,7254703.story
This should be a no brainer. The kid needs to stay in the U.S. and Evanston. The child was allowed to leave South Korea, the mom doesn't the child and there is no guarantee that a Korean family will adopt the little girl and provide the child with a loving home.
The U.S. adopting family had to go through a lot just to get the chance to bring the baby girl home, even if the paperwork was faulty. The family apparently didn't do anything wrong, at least not on purpose.
This sounds like a case of egos/David and Goliath- the south Korean government and the U.S. government vs the family.
The U.S. State Department/Hillary Clinton should do the right thing and allow the baby girl to stay in the U.S. but then the Clinton administration allowed Elian Gonzalez to be deported back to Cuba, even though he deserved to stay in the U.S.. For more information: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2011/12/07/elian-gonzalez-turns-18-in-cuba/
And picture shows what the Clintons did to the boy. Somehow, I think the Obama administration will want to top this picture. (the little boy is Elian)