REPORT: Secret records: Government says Marine’s adoption of Afghan orphan must be undone

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TeamDML offers insights, opinions, podcasts, videos and other forms of content intended to educate and better explain trending news that is made available to the public by third parties. In this particular case, we refer to an excerpt from APNEWS.COM:

The U.S. government has warned a Virginia judge that allowing an American Marine to keep an Afghan war orphan risks violating international law and could be viewed around the world as “endorsing an act of international child abduction,” according to secret court records reviewed by The Associated Press.

It is rare for the federal government to step into a local custody case, but concern about the child’s fate has stretched across the Trump and Biden administrations. The Justice Department argued in the court documents that the dispute has ramifications that extend far beyond the rural courthouse where the girl’s future is being decided.

Failing to return the child, now 4, to Afghan relatives in the U.S. could jeopardize American efforts to resettle Afghan refugees, threaten international security pacts and might be used as propaganda by Islamic extremists — potentially endangering U.S soldiers overseas, Justice Department attorneys and other U.S. officials warned in court filings seeking to intervene in the case.

The report explains that the little girl has been in the custody of Marine Maj. Joshua Mast and his wife since 2021, and a Virginia judge had signed off on the adoption.

The child was reportedly pulled from the rubble of a military raid in 2019, when she was just a baby.  The child’s father, mother and five other children were all killed in the raid.

While on a short assignment to Afghanistan as an attorney, Mast met the baby in a U.S. military hospital and became determined to bring her back to the U.S., although a young Afghan couple were were related to the child reportedly raised her for the first 18 months before she was sent to live with the Masts.

But a bitter custody battle has erupted as the child’s Afghan relatives then sued to get her back.

The Justice Department accused Mast of  “intentional misrepresentations” and wrote, “The grave harm that the Masts have inflicted upon the Child, her family, and the United States is ongoing. Most troublingly, the child remains with the Masts to this day.”

To get more information about this article, please visit APNEWS.COM.

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