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US Marine’s Adoption of Afghan War Orphan Voided


Kabul: A state court judge in Virginia has voided a United States Marine’s adoption of an Afghan war orphan more than a year after he took the three-year-old girl away from the Afghan couple raising her.

The girl, who will turn four this summer, was an infant when she was found injured in the rubble after a US-Afghan military raid in a rural part of the country in September 2019.

She spent more than five months in a US military hospital before the Afghan government and the International Committee of the Red Cross determined she had living relatives and united her with them.

Unbeknown to them, Mast learned about the baby while she was hospitalised and decided that he and his wife should be her parents.

Despite the uncertainty, the ruling was a welcome move for the Afghan couple, who had been identified by the Afghan government as the child’s relatives in February 2020 and raised her for 18 months.

The Masts claim in court filings that they legally adopted the child, and that the Afghan couple’s accusations that they kidnapped her are “outrageous” and “unmerited”.

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