but they’re blonde

A few days ago, I mentioned here that reporters were beginning to sniff around the adorable little children of Supreme Court nominee John Roberts and his wife… You see, the children are blonde, and that didn’t quite jive with the official story, which held that they’d been adopted from Latin America. (Apparently this was something that not even the American press, in it’s shell-shocked, demoralized and dilapidated state could let slip by.) Well, it seems as though the mystery has now been solved.

According to a new article in Time, both children are, in fact, Irish by birth. Here’s a clip:

Jack McCay, law partner of Roberts’ wife Jane and a friend, speaks of the couple’s adoption of John (Jack) and Josephine, born in Ireland 4 1/2 months apart. “As frequently happens when you go through the adoption process, some of the efforts weren’t successful, and it continued for a time … But when the opportunity came along to have not just one but two kids, they took both babies without blinking.”

So, it would appear that although born in Ireland, the kids were adopted in Latin America because Irish law doesn’t allow foreign adoption. I know that sounds bad, like they must have twisted and broken laws in order to get their hands on these kids, but apparently, at least according to what I’m readying, it’s an accepted practice. Here, to explain it, is a comment that was left on the Is That Legal site:

There is nothing illegal or underhanded about this. Irish law makes it extremely difficult, if not to say impossible, for non-Irish citizens to adopt Irish children. These were “private adoptions” — the children being adopted directly to a couple, rather than through an orphanage (which is very common in the U.S. these days). What likely happened is that the mothers and children traveled to a Latin country where such adoptions were legal and easy, and to which they could travel without a visa or where getting one would not pose a problem. The children could not have come to the U.S. for the private adoption, because under U.S. law they would have been seen as “intending immigrants” and thus have been refused visas/entry. Once the children were adopted, the Roberts would have gone to the local U.S. embassy to obtain the proper immigrant visa for the children. (U.S. consular officers, as part of the process, are required to investigate the circumstances of all foreign adoptions, to assure that everything is on the up and up.) The process was obivously bit convoluted, because the children were Irish. If the Roberts’ had decided to adopt in Lithuania or Norway or China, where foreign adoptions are legal, the process would have been simpler — the whole business, including getting the immigrant visas would have taken place in the local country. But fundamentally the adoption process would be no different.

So, it would seem to me that there’s probably no story here. Sure, given the fact that they’re well off financially and politically well-connected, they were able to sidestep the process that many American couples have to slog through, but it doesn’t seem, at least to me, as though it indicates anything one way or another about the man, his ethics, or anything else. For those things, I think we need to dig deeper into his writings over the past few decades and the work he’s done on behalf of the past few Republican administrations.

By now, I’ve pretty much resigned myself to the idea that Roberts would get the appointment, anyway. I know it would probably be a bad thing for privacy rights and all, but the thought that keeps me sane is that there’s a chance that he’ll jump the extremist ship once he accepts his lifetime appointment to the bench. I know it might sound crazy, but I keep thinking that there’s a chance that he’s secretly gay and that he’s been working his whole life just to get to the point where he could undergo a very visible metamorphosis in front of the American people, becoming our first flamingly gay Supreme Court justice… Yes, I predict that within two years of taking his seat, he’ll be redesigning the robes and presiding over the court like Paul Lynde in the center square. (Thanks to Jim for the links.)

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  1. chris
    Posted August 10, 2005 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    If he was running for office this wouldn’t bother me. But Supreme Court Justice? I mean, wouldn’t it have been cheaper to buy babies here? Oh yeah, in Ireland abortion is illegal, supply and demand. There goes your answer on his pro-choice stance. I can’t tell about this guy. He seems a little nasty though. A little too snarky to be reasonable.

  2. Tony Buttons
    Posted August 10, 2005 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Big deal, they bought kids. What are you, some kind of Christ-hating anti-capitalist?

  3. srah
    Posted August 10, 2005 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    I wonder why they went through all the trouble rather than going through a country that allows foreign adoption. Did they really want these specific kids? Did they know the mother? Had they heard that Ireland is awash with extra children? Are they going to eat them, à la Jonathan Swift, when they’re done with them?

  4. Posted August 10, 2005 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    That exact explanation that you quoted — down to the words — was posted at several liberal blogs, including dKos and atrios. I’d wager somebody is making it his or her business to try to shoot down this nascent inquiry. I have no idea what the deal is with their adoptions, but that explanation-in-triplicate is fishy to me.

  5. mark
    Posted August 10, 2005 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    I suppose that’s possible, Dale. It certainly makes sense that the Republicans would try to quash the story – and how better to do that than to have it coming from inside the progressive community. With that said, however, it (the comment left on all the blogs) does seem reasonable enough to me… Regardless, I’m sure that there are people out there who will keep digging, and, if there’s something there, they’ll find it. (Did Judge Roberts perhaps hire the parents individually, based on their desirable attributes, and then have them fuck until he got what he wanted? Maybe. But it

  6. Posted August 12, 2005 at 3:00 am | Permalink

    I certainly agree, but nothing makes me more suspicious than someone repeating “Nothing to see here. Nothing at all.”

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