Thursday, September 17, 2009

Illegal Adoption Cases in Egypt

Egypt court jails U.S. couples over illegal adoptions
By Cynthia Johnston
Edited by Jon Hemming

"[One] couple had agreed with an orphanage worker 'to buy two newborn infants, a girl and a boy, in exchange for 26,000 pounds.' The family's lawyer said the couple wanted to adopt the children and did not knowingly break the law.

The second couple was accused of obtaining a forged birth certificate for a baby boy to take him to the United States but was not accused of buying the child, the indictment said.

The couple tried in absentia was accused of forgery and paying 10,000 pounds for a baby girl. All the children involved have been returned to Egyptian orphanages.

In addition to the couples, three other defendants including an orphanage worker and a doctor were sentenced to five years in jail while two other Egyptians received jail terms of two years.

Rights activists say trafficking in infants and young children takes place in the most populous Arab country, and infants in orphanages and babies of street girls are at highest risk of being trafficked, often to infertile couples. "
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