In May of this year, the Trump administration instituted a zero-tolerance policy that prosecuted anyone who crossed the US border illegally. The policy has resulted in children being removed from the custody of their parents while those parents were referred for prosecution. Many of these families were and are actually seeking asylum in the US due to violence and instability across many countries in Central America. Unfortunately, asylum seekers are being treated as illegal border crossings. Since then nearly 3,000 children have been separated from their parents and placed in an assortment of detention centers, group homes, and foster care all over the US. Parents have not been able to contact their children and reunification has been limited.
The politics around this issue are nasty, and the optics and the reality have been horrible. In mid-June Trump signed an Executive Order designed to prevent further family separations, but the EO did not address families who were already dispersed. In late June, a federal judge granted the injunction to prevent further separations, and directions to return all children to their parents within 21 days, less for young children. One major issue cited in the ruling is the fact that the kids’ connections to their biological parents have not been documented well, so it remains to be seen whether all of the children will really be reunited with their families.
This crisis is especially triggering across the adoption community. In this episode guest, adoption attorney, Michelle Hughes joins us to talk about the myriad of issues this moment raises.
AdoptiveBlackMom is joined on the show by Cristi, a foster mom, who shares a bit about her journey fostering and planning a future domestic adoption.