A four-year-old child, Shenouda, was taken from his adoptive parents and placed in an orphanage. Additionally, the child, who was found in a church and raised Christian, will be forced to be raised Muslim under the new orphanage.
The Christian family found the child at a church’s door when he was only a few days old—the couple who found the child had been unable to conceive for 29 years.
They decided to adopt the child.
After 4 years of the family’s adoption, the husband’s niece filed a complaint with the Public Prosecution to challenge the child’s relationship with the adoptive family.
It was proven that the child was not related to the family, so the Public Prosecution decided to place him in an orphanage and change his name to Youssef.
Shenouda’s parents did not state that they found him in a church or that he was adopted, which violates the law. But due to their good intentions, they did not face any legal consequences.
However, the judge still approved the transfer of the child to an orphanage.
Orphan children in Egypt who are placed in care homes are regulated under the “Kafala system,” which allows fostering from families under certain conditions.
Children deprived of family care, especially those of unknown parentage, are placed with families chosen according to conditions and criteria that confirm the family’s validity and intentions to care for these children without exploitation or self-interest while prohibiting adoption in its broadest sense.
In 1996, Child Law No. 12 was issued, and several amendments were made to it, the most recent of which was an amendment to its executive regulations in 2010.
The most important condition is that the family’s religion is the same as that of the child.
The system is the alternative to adoption in Islam, and the child carries the state religion if no religion is inferred to him.
Amal, the fifty-one years old adoptive mother of Shenouda, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the main reason for the dispute with her relative was due to inheritance.
The husband’s niece told the police that the family kidnapped a Muslim child.
The family is appealing to President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to return the child to them.