Barack Obama's 'playboy' father planned to have future president ADOPTED
7th July 2011
President Barack Obama's father made plans to have the future president adopted, astonishing new documents have revealed.
When his 18-year-old wife, Ann Dunham, was five months pregnant, the elder Mr Obama told immigration officials they planned to give the baby away to the Salvation Army.
Then a student at the University of Hawaii, immigration officials were investigating him because they believed he had more than one wife - and had already been warned about his 'playboy ways'.
The revelation comes just months after the president finally put to rest claims he was not a U.S. citizen by releasing his full birth certificate.
In an interview to renew his visa in 1961, Mr Obama's father, then 24, insisted he had divorced his wife at home in Kenya before marrying Miss Dunham, who was pregnant with his child.
In a memo recording the conversation, he told immigration officials the couple had already decided they would give their unborn baby up for adoption.
It reads: 'Subject got his USC [U.S. citizen] 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.'
As history attests, the couple kept the baby, but the revelation gives a fascinating glimpse into Mr Obama's relationship with his father, who he barely saw when he was growing up.
As an 18-year-old student married to a black man in 1960s America, Miss Dunham may have come under pressure to give her child away.
Although mixed-race marriage was legal in Hawaii, it was banned in 22 states, and in many of those it was a felony.
In his memoir, Dreams From My Father, the president himself wrote that his mother might have thought about putting him up for adoption.
Even in big cities, he said, 'the hostile stares, the whispers, might have driven a woman in my mother’s predicament into a back-alley abortion - or at the very least to a distant convent that could arrange for adoption.'
It could have been an attractive option for his father. Despite claiming he was divorced, he was still married to his first wife - with whom he had two children - and he was struggling financially to support them.
The memo was written in April 1961 by Lyle H. Dahling, an administrator in the Honolulu office of the then-U.S. Immigration and Naturalisation Service, his father.
It has only now been released after a Freedom of Information request from a biographer writing about Mr Obama's father.
It is not clear whether the young couple made definite plans to put a young Barack up for adoption, or whether his father made the story up to placate immigration officials and help him secure a visa.
When students applied to extend their stay in the U.S., officials would take into account their academic and behavioural record.
Being a bigamist with a young baby would hardly impress the authorities - although he claimed to have divorced his first wife, in fact they were still married, and he was supporting two children at home in Kenya.
The documents revealed immigration officials even considered charging with bigamy so they could deport him.
In the end, Mr Dahling settled on monitoring his behaviour rather than bringing charges.
The memo reads: 'Mrs McCabe [the university's foreign student adviser] further states that [Obama] has been running around with several girls since he first arrived here and last summer she cautioned him about his playboy ways.
'[Obama] replied that he would "try" to stay away from the girls.'
Family members on both sides have said had never heard any discussion of adoption.
According to former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, the president had never been told his mother had thought about giving him away.
He added that the White House had not tried to discover whether Miss Dunham had ever made arrangements with the Salvation Army, because Mr Obama 'is absolutely convinced that she did not'.
Of Mr Obama's claim to immigration, he told the Boston Globe: 'He was trying to convince immigration to let him stay.
'So, part of his effort was to convince immigration that some of the responsibilities that he had he would not continue to have.’
But while Mr Obama's father seems to have considered adoption, relatives of his mother say they never heard her speak about it.
Charles Payne, Miss Dunham's maternal uncle, said: 'I never heard any talk of adoption whatsoever.
'Ann decided she had done this and this was her child and she was going to take care of him.
'From day one, as far as I could tell, she and Madelyn [Dunham] and Stanley [Dunham] were all completely committed to Barack.'
Just two years after his son was born, Mr Obama left his family in Hawaii and moved to Harvard, where he married for a third time.