situation: I have two linked scenarios, so I'll detail them both here.
1) A US native witnesses a shooting at the diner she works at in the mid-1990's. It's drug-related, and she's the only one who can put the child of a drug lord in prison. Said drug lord objects to this, but the LAPD don't have the resources to protect her, and the feds don't see it as a high prority case.
The point being, that the witness runs for her life, moving to Central America. She's not wanted on any legal charges, besides being listed as a person of interest/witness in the above shooting. She gives birth in Central America, and when her son is about ten they move back to the US.
(If it matters, the father of her child is an Army officer, sent OCONUS and KIA overseas. But his former CO has a letter that the witness writes to tell him he's going to be a father, and the CO later writes to the witness to tell her about the officers' death.)
Q1 - she has a US driver's license (expired, but it's still unmistakeably hers. She could find someone to pay the fees to keep it up to date if necessary), and a birth certificate (Mexico or Peru, maybe?) proving the boy is her son. Would there be any hassles getting him into the US, and them both staying there? Would they have to slip in illegally?
Q2 - assuming they could get in legally, how long would it take for her son to get his own US citizenship?
Q3 - which department/office would handle this procedure? Do they have an office in LA?
2) A special forces soldier (late 20's) gets tapped for a secret and highly sensitive assignment in Thailand, involving several organized crime branches AND several intelligence organisations, including the CIA, MI5, and possibly the Mossad. While on the mission, he is 'persuaded' to adopt a 12 year old girl by the hitwoman she's apprenticed to, and take her back to the US once the mission is over.
I realise that this adoption would be very unlikely normally, considering that the man is single, and the girl is 12.
Q4) I'm wondering if this could be changed by several factors;
a) The girl is a former street child, and has no papers - no birth certificate, no citizenship ID, nothing. There's no way to trace her origins, either (her appearance is of Eurasian breeding). No overseas government is the slightest bit interested in worrying about her.
b) the girl's history means that she'd be a major disaster in any conventional foster home or orphanage. (she's actually been treated as his dependent for several weeks already, while he undergoes extensive debriefing.)
c) since his honorable dischage and pension is already in the works (and he can prove it), he can both support and stay home with the girl for as long as she needs to get acclimated to the US. He's also willing to undergo the psychiatric evaluation and other testing that would be required normally (he'd probably be denied a conventional adoption on grounds of past combat trauma, but in this case the girl's more damaged than he is. But there's already a strong bond of trust evident between them).
d) the soldier has picked up an absolute goldmine of potentially useful information about the crime syndicates, AND potentially damaging information about certain US intelligence operations (including an undercover CIA operative directly supplying guns to the Russian Mob and the Chinese Triads). He's made it clear that he's not afraid to use the info, and will if he doesn't get what he wants toot-sweet. All he wants is a honorable discharge from the Army with an appropriate pension, and full immediate custody of the girl, with her legal adoption following. Several high-level government officers who perfom under the table deals as a matter of course, and possibly a senator or two, are willing to pull strings to make this happen, as it's by far the easiest and least risky solution.
Q5) how long would it take for the adoption to go through, if strings were being pulled to make it happen as soon as practically possible without raising any flags?
Q6) what department would handle this, and do they have an LA office?