National Council for Human Rights demands return of child 'Shenouda' to his foster family until adoption lawsuit's conclusion



Sun, 08 Jan 2023 - 03:44 GMT


Sun, 08 Jan 2023 - 03:44 GMT

FILE - Chairwoman of the National Council for Human Rights Ambassador Moshira Khattab

FILE - Chairwoman of the National Council for Human Rights Ambassador Moshira Khattab

CAIRO - 8 January 2023: The National Council for Human Rights demanded Saturday during its monthly meeting the return of child Shenouda, who was adopted by a Christian couple, to the family, as he had been taken from them and put in an orphanage because they did not take the legal measures pertinent to adoption.


The then childless couple found the boy, who was only a few days/weeks old, in 2018 in front of the gate of a church so they registered him in their name without informing authorities.


Upset for not being an heiress anymore, the foster father's niece reported the incident - as a kidnap - to the authorities that ran a DNA test that showed that the child is not the biological son of the couple.


As a consequence, Shenouda's name has been changed to Youssef, and his religion, which is indicated in the birth certificate and the national ID for adults in Egypt, is being changed into Muslim.


In response, the foster parents filed a lawsuit to maintain their adoption of the child, arguing that the presence of the boy in front of a church is a message from the biological parent(s) that he is Christian.  


The council's statement clarified that Article 3 of its charter allows the entity's legislative committee to intervene in lawsuits, and use them as base to suggest amendments to the law before the parliament.


The council affirmed that it would continue to communicate and coordinate with all parties concerned until the lawsuit is concluded, and in a way that prioritizes the best interest of Shenouda, which is the return to his family, given that the right place of a child is a home and not a facility.


The council addressed judicial authorities and the Ministry of Social Solidarity to preserve the best interest of the child by returning him to his foster family, according to the Child Law promulgated in 1996 and 2008.


Chairwoman of the National Council for Human Rights Ambassador Moshira Khattab pointed out that the act of removing the child from the family that raised him since he was a baby and putting him in an orphanage is a violation of Article 80 of the constitution on children rights, the philosophy and core of the Child Law, and UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). She also stressed that all parties must adhere to the value of mercy when dealing with the case.



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