jails US 'adoption' couples
BBC News, Cairo, 17th September 2009
US couples have been jailed in Egypt for two years for trying to
illegally adopt children.
Botros and her husband Louis Andros had been offered orphaned twins by a
Coptic Christian church in Cairo.
they applied to take the children out of the country they were arrested
for child trafficking.
second couple, Suzan Hagoulf and her husband Medhat Metyas, were also
sentenced along with several officials from the orphanage.
case has laid bare the tangle of Egypt's complicated adoption system
based on Islamic law.
Egypt the adopting couple must be Egyptian, the name of the child must
not be changed and the children should not be removed from the country.
customs are less clear when it comes to the Coptic minority.
this case the court heard that a church orphanage in Cairo had supplied
forged documents that Iris Botros had given birth to twins.
couple had donated $4,500 (£2,700) to the orphanage.
they tried to get passports for the babies, whom they renamed Victoria
and Alexander, embassy officials became suspicious.
with a DNA test, Botros, of joint US and Egyptian nationality, admitted
she wasn't the biological mother.
Hagoulf, who also has joint nationality, and her Egyptian husband Medhat
Metyas had adopted children from the same orphanage more than a year
workers from the orphanage, including a nun, were all jailed for five
couples' relatives say they were not aware they were doing anything
wrong and that they had reportedly asked if the process was legal and
had been assured that it was.
the past, authorities have been known to turn a blind eye to this kind
of practice but this case is perhaps being used to show the government
is tough on child trafficking.
it has sparked a wider debate, with one MP calling for Egypt to
reconsider the laws pertaining to orphans and adoption.
from BBC NEWS:
2009/09/17 15:17:50 GMT
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