Adoption Attorney Charged in Illegal Adoption Scheme Involving Marshall Island Babies

Here and here.

A public official in Arizona has been arrested in connection with charges that he ran a multimillion-dollar scheme in which he smuggled pregnant women from the Marshall Islands to profit from their newborn babies. Authorities say Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen’s fraudulent adoption enterprise left a trail of forged documents and violated U.S. and international laws.

Petersen operates an adoption law firm. For years, he has connected American families seeking to adopt with women from the Marshall Islands — but state and federal prosecutors say Petersen falsified documents and lied about the mothers’ residency so he could enrich himself.

Federal indictment here.

Utah Charging Documents

We posted previous coverage of the Marshallese adoption schemes from the Hololulu Civil Beat. Here is coverage of Peterson in 2017