Undocumented migrant children have no home. When they enter the U.S. without documentation, whether they entered with a parent or not, the U.S. takes them, puts them in detention, and then their case is sort of floating into the unknown. Since the Trump’s administration implemented the zero-tolerance policy (which technically has ended), more investigations have been done regarding what happens to the children. According to the Associated Press, many of these kids may be illegally adopted by American parents.
As we know the separation of families isn’t new under Trump, it also occurred under the Obama administration though the tactics were very different. The AP found a case of a young child who was separated from her mother when they illegally crossed the border and she was then placed in detention. Somehow the child got into the hands of an adoption agency and was adopted by a family in Michigan. According to The Hill, the permanent adoption of undocumented children is illegal.
The main job of the Office of Refugee Resettlement is to protect the child, have a foster home for them with a sponsor and try to reunite them with their family in their home country or with a relative in the U.S. If they cannot locate the family, these children, until 18, remain an orphan.
In the case with the little girl that was adopted by the family, she was able to be reunited with her birth mother in her native country of El Salvador. While it’s not the best option for the daughter to return to a violent country where her life is at danger, she is however back with her mother.
Through this investigation, the AP reports that if this one child was somehow able to be permanently adopted how many more children are now in permanent homes with their parents even knowing where they are or what happened to them?