In the United States, about 85% of all internationally adopted children are of a different race or ethnicity from their adoptive parents. Transracial adoptions can cause all sorts of personal and emotional challenges for both parents and children. In this segment, Neena Pathak brings us the story of Costa Rican-born Tom Molina Duarte, who was raised by white parents in the U.S. under the name Tom Kiely. As Tom grew up, he struggled with his identity until he realized he could decide his identity for himself.
In 2007, Guatemalan immigrant Encarnacion Bail Romero was detained at an immigration raid where she worked. By the time she was released, her six-month-old U.S.-born son was handed to another family for adoption, and his name was changed from Carlos to Jameson against her will. For more on Romero’s fight for her child’s custody, we speak to Michelle Brané, the Director of Detention and Asylum at the Women’s Refugee Commission.
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Michelle Brané is one of the nation’s foremost experts on U.S. immigration detention and reform. She is the Director of the Detention and Asylum program at the Women’s Refugee Commission, and she advocates for the critical protection needs of immigrant women, children and other vulnerable migrant populations in the United States. She authored the 2007 Women’s Refugee Commission landmark report on family detention, Locking Up Family Values and the 2009 report on unaccompanied migrant children, Halfway Home, and is the senior editor of all the Detention and Asylum Program’s reports. Ms. Brané is an attorney with more than 25 years of experience working on immigration and human rights issues.