Couple jailed for overseas adoption

May 14, 2009 8:49:09 AM PDT
A Durham couple that headed overseas to adopt is now behind bars.When the couple couldn't have children of their own, they turned to an Egyptian church for help adopting, but they didn't know adoption is illegal in Egypt.

Durham business owners Iris Botros and Louis Andros are jailed in Cairo -- accused of trying to buy twin babies illegaly. Louis Andros' family told Eyewitness News he is 70 and his wife, Iris, is 40.

When the couple tried to bring the children home to the states, the US Embassy reported the them to Egyptian authorities and charged them with trafficking children illegally and using fake birth certificates.

Some speculate the couple was tricked by the Egyptian church that worked out the trade.

"I think somebody took their money and just took advantage of them," family friend Eleanor Costabile said.

The Durham couple's home has sat empty for more than three months and now neighbors are learning why.

"I just hope they come home safe and if they want to adopt some children just come and do it here," Costabile said.

The couple pleaded not guilty to the charges on Saturday in an Egyptian court. Their next court date is May 16. If they're found guilty they could spend 15 years in an Egyptian prison.


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