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Viewing cable 10CAIRO344, ILLEGAL ADOPTIONS IN EGYPT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10CAIRO344 2010-02-22 11:11 2011-02-16 21:09 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Cairo
VZCZCXRO9568
RR RUEHROV
DE RUEHEG #0344/01 0531146
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 221143Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0349
INFO ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 CAIRO 000344 
 
SIPDIS 
POSTS FOR FRAUD PREVENTION UNITS 
DEPT FOR CA/FPP, CA/EX, CA/OCS, DS/CR/OCI 
ALSO FOR G/TIP, INL, DRL, PRM, NEA/RA, NEA/ELA, NEA/PPD 
DS/IP/NEA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: CMGT CASC KOCI ASEC PHUM SMIG KFRD CVIS EG
SUBJECT: ILLEGAL ADOPTIONS IN EGYPT 
 
REF: CAIRO 0092 AND PREVIOUS 
 
1.  (SBU) Summary: For the past 16 months, the Fraud Prevention 
Unit (FPU) has been investigating cases of illegal adoptions in 
Egypt (see ref). Coptic priests, nuns and doctors remain key 
players in the illegal adoptions. Cases of illegal adoptions 
continue with the most recent announcement by Egyptian prosecutors 
on February 16 of the trial of an American couple and six Egyptians 
in Alexandria. In 2009, an Egyptian court in Cairo sentenced eleven 
individuals, including four Americans and a Coptic nun to two to 
five years in prison for baby trafficking. End Summary. 
 
 
 
"Rogue" Priests 
 
---------------- 
 
 
 
2. (SBU) The FPU has confirmed 31 cases where children have been 
illegally adopted in Egypt and either taken to the United States or 
raised in Egypt. The earliest confirmed case by the FPU is from 
1989, although one Coptic priest admitted the practice has been 
going on since 1976. This particular priest also provided other 
insights during an interview with the Fraud Prevention Manager 
(FPM) on February 11, 2010.  He stated that the majority of the 
priests involved in illegal adoptions are very charismatic, have 
numerous followers and are consumed with their position of power as 
leaders of the Coptic community. According to this priest, the 
"big" personalities of these individuals have prompted them to 
engage in activities not condoned by many others in the Coptic 
Church. He mentioned that the Church is more than capable of 
raising and educating unwanted Coptic children. He added that in 
Alexandria, literally hundreds of babies are given to childless 
families and only a few have been taken out of Egypt. 
 
 
 
Unscrupulous Doctors 
 
-------------------- 
 
 
 
3. (SBU) The cases of illegal adoptions generally involve doctors 
falsely attesting to the delivery of the newborn for the alleged 
biological parents.  The letter from the doctor is used to acquire 
a genuine Egyptian birth certificate and sometimes a passport. The 
FPU confirmed that in many instances the doctors receive payment in 
return for their false statements and/or procurement of newborns. 
The FPU linked one doctor to cases as far back as 1995 and as 
recent as 2008. The doctor's fees ranged from USD 100 for a newborn 
to USD 5000 for personal delivery of a newborn to the United States 
(see 09 Cairo 207 and previous). FPU cooperation with Egyptian 
State Security Investigative Services (SSIS) led to the arrest of 
this doctor in May 2009. 
 
 
 
Americans to Stand Trial Again 
 
------------------------------ 
 
 
 
4. (SBU) On February 16, Egyptian prosecutors charged two Americans 
and six Egyptians with forgery, illegal adoption and baby 
trafficking.  Another American in the United States was also 
identified and charged in absentia.  Egypt's Prosecutor General 
identified the Egyptians as two priests, two doctors, a civil 
servant and an engineer.  All, but two of these individuals are 
currently fugitives. In September of 2009, an Egyptian court 
sentenced four Americans and seven Egyptians to two to five years 
in prison for baby trafficking and forgery. 
 
 
 
Comment 
 
------- 
 
CAIRO 00000344  002 OF 002 
 
 
5. (SBU) Most of the illegal adoptions confirmed by the FPU have 
involved childless couples desperate for children.  However, in 
some cases the FPU is unable to trace the whereabouts of the child. 
Confirmed cases of unscrupulous doctors raises concern for the 
newborns involved in such illegal adoptions. Post is proposing 
stronger language for the Country Specific Information for Egypt 
warning against attempting to illegally adopt in Egypt. 
 
 
 
 
 
Scobey 
SCOBEY