A few months before Obama was born, Barack Obama Senior, the future president’s father, was under scrutiny from immigration officials who suspected him of bigamy. When they interviewed him in Hawaii in the spring of 1961, the then 24-year-old insisted he had divorced his first wife in Kenya and informed them that his new wife Ann Dunham was five months’ pregnant, reports The Telegraph.
“Subject got his USC [United States 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,’’ wrote Lyle H. Dahling, an administrator in the Honolulu immigration office, on April 12, 1961.
The memo was obtained under a freedom of information request by Sally Jacobs, whose book about Obama Sr., The Other Barack: The Bold and Reckless Life of President Obama’s Father, is due to be published next week.
Most of the memo had been previously published but apparently the passage regarding adoption had been redacted.
Robert Gibbs, the former White House press secretary, told Jacobs that Obama had never been told his mother had planned to put him up for adoption and that the president was “absolutely convinced that she did not.”
Gibbs suggested Obama’s father was lying in order to preserve his immigration status. “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.’’
Jacobs interviewed Obama and Dunham family members who insisted that his mother always intended to keep him.