Some people on Twitter are criticizing President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett for adopting two kids from Haiti. The attacks have outraged top Republicans who are Barrett’s supporters.
Barrett and her husband Jesse, a former federal prosecutor who is in private practice, have seven children, including the two kids born in Haiti. They also have a special needs child with Down Syndrome. In fall 2020, the kids were as follows: Emma (19), Vivian (16), Tess (16), John Peter (13), Liam (11), Juliet (9), and Benjamin (8). Vivian and John Peter are the two children who were adopted from Haiti.
Barrett would be the “first mother of school age children ever to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Trump at the press conference announcing Barrett was the pick. During her nomination hearing as a federal judge, she called Vivian “our miracle,” indicating that she was ill when the family adopted her but became a “track star” and defied doctors’ predictions that she wouldn’t be able to walk or talk.
John Peter “joined our family in 2010 when he was 3 years old after the devastating earthquake in Haiti,” she added at that hearing.
Here’s what you need to know:
Some People on Twitter Criticized Barrett for Adopting Kids From Haiti
Dana Houle is described by The New York Post as “a Democratic activist and former Capitol Hill staffer.” Houle wrote a now deleted tweet that read,
I would love to know which adoption agency Amy Coney Barrett & her husband used to adopt the two children they brought here from Haiti. So, here’s a Q: does the press even investigate details of Barrett’s adoptions from Haiti? Some adoptions from Haiti were legit. Many were sketchy as hell. And if the press learned they were unethical & maybe illegal adoptions, would they report it? Or not bc it involves her children. Would it matter if her kids were scooped up by ultra-religious Americans, or Americans weren’t scrupulous intermediaries & the kids were taken when there was family in Haiti? I dunno. I think it does, but maybe it doesn’t, or shouldn’t.
Ibram X. Kendi was named one of Time Magazine’s most influential people. He wrote a book called, Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.
Kendi tweeted, “Some White colonizers ‘adopted’ Black children. They ‘civilized’ these ‘savage’ children in the ‘superior’ ways of White people, while using them as props in their lifelong pictures of denial, while cutting the biological parents of these children out of the picture of humanity. And whether this is Barrett or not is not the point. It is a belief too many White people have: if they have or adopt a child of color, then they can’t be racist.”
He also wrote, “I’m challenging the idea that White parents of kids of color are inherently ‘not racist’ and the bots completely change what I’m saying to ‘White parents of kids of color are inherently racist.’ These live and fake bots are good at their propaganda. Let’s not argue with them.”
John Lee Brougher is from the NextGen America PAC. He tweeted, “As an adoptee, I need to know more about the circumstances of how Amy Coney Barrett came to adopt her children, and the treatment of them since. Transracial adoption is fraught with trauma and potential for harm.”
Joanna Caplan, tweeting at @CaplanJoanna1, wrote, “I wonder if the President knows that two of Amy Coney Barrett’s children are immigrants from Haiti. How fortunate we are to have them in our country.”
Republicans Expressed Outrage
Among those expressing outrage was U.S. Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas. “Disgusting. The left now smearing Amy Coney Barrett for adopting children,” he wrote on Twitter.
Missouri Republican Josh Hawley also responded to the Houle tweet, writing, “Read this from Democrat activist & Hill staffer. Questioning whether #AmyConeyBarrett *illegally* adopted her children from Haiti, maybe snatching them from birth parents! This is the Dem gameplan. Nothing but raw bigotry and hate. I promise you, this will not stand.”
Barrett Spoke About Her Children at Her Nomination Hearing to be a Federal Judge
A letter supporting Amy Barrett’s nomination as a federal judge from former students and graduates of Notre Dame Law School said, “Professor Barrett and her husband, Jesse, are raising seven children—a remarkable feat in itself. Professor Barrett’s dedication as a spouse and mother alongside her stellar teaching and scholarship represents the epitome of Notre Dame Law School’s challenge for its graduates to be ‘a different kind of lawyer.’”
Amy Barrett has said she and her husband discussed whether one of them should stay home with the kids for years, but an aunt has helped out with them, according to Fox News.
According to Fox News, Barrett and Jesse debated “for years” whether one of them should stay home to raise all of their kids, with her describing “soul-searching and anxiety about balancing kids and work.”
Jesse Barrett is a partner at law firm SouthBank Legal in South Bend, Indiana.
Amy Barrett gave the public a glimpse of her family life when she became a federal judge.
During her confirmation hearing to the federal bench, Amy Barrett spoke at length about her family. She added, “I hit the jackpot when I married Jesse. We have been married 18 years with each year better than the last. Jesse and I have seven children.”
She said she was accompanied to the hearing by their three oldest daughters of seven children.
“Emma is 16. The first apple of our eye,” Barrett told the Judiciary Committee. “Vivian, directly next to Emma, is 13. Vivian is our miracle. Vivian joined our family… She was born in Haiti. She came home when she was 14-months-old, and she weighed 11 pounds and she was so weak we were told she might never walk normally or speak. Today Vivian is a track star, and I assure you she has no trouble talking. Tess, sitting next to Vivian, is also 13-years-old. Both in 8th grade. She’s one of the most compassionate and determined people that I know.”
She further said:
“Our four children at home are with friends and fearless babysitters. John Peter is 10. He was born in Haiti. He joined our family in 2010 when he was three years old after the devastating earthquake,” she said.
“Liam is 8. Typically curious 8-year-old. And Juliet is our spunky 6-year-old. Benjamin, our youngest, is five. He has special needs. That presents unique challenges for all of us. But I think all you need to know about Benjamin’s place in the family is summed up by the fact the other children unreservedly identify him as their favorite sibling.”