What Are The Rights Of The Mothers Involved In Suspected Adoption Fraud Scheme?

Published: Friday, October 11, 2019 - 8:37am
Audio icon Download mp3 (7.47 MB)
Maricopa County Sheriff's Office
Paul Petersen

Maricopa County Assessor Paul Peterson faces 62 felony charges in Arizona, Utah and Arkansas as the alleged mastermind behind a human smuggling adoption scheme. 

Peterson is accused of paying to fly 70 expecting mothers from the U.S. Marshall Islands to the three states in order to give birth and place the babies with adoptive families. He is also accused of illegally having Medicaid pay for many of the births.

Prosecutors say the women were paid $10,000 in exchange for giving up their babies. It’s a practice that the Marshall Islands expressly outlawed almost 20 years ago. 

Evelyn Cruz, an ASU professor and director of the Immigration Clinic at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, joined The Show to talk about the legalities involved in the case.

More Stories From KJZZ

If you like this story, Donate Now!