Iris Botros, her husband Luis Andros, Suzanne Hagelof and her husband Medhat dreamed of being parents and decided to adopt Egyptian orphans. One problem: adoption is illegal in Egypt and not allowed under Muslim law.An "adoption don't," huh? That's putting it mildly . . .
Hagelof was living with her husband in his native Egypt when they (apparently illegally) adopted a child from the Coptic Christian Church, but she says no money changed hands. Botros, originally Egyptian, flew with her husband to adopt twins from the same orphanage and gave the orphanage nearly $5,000 for expenses and as a donation.
When Hagelof went to the U.S. Embassy get her child a passport to visit the states and Botros went to get passports and entry visas, they both carried documentation claiming to be the birth mothers of the children, despite their ages and, in Botros' case, the fact that she hadn't been living there.
U.S. Embassy officials, concerned that something illegal was going on — which it apparently was — reported them to Egyptian authorities, who arrested both couples, the doctors that forged the birth certificates, the nun that arranged the adoptions and the lawyer that set Botros up with the nun on trafficking charges.
Still hoping for change
2 months ago