US Family Detained in Ghana While Trying to Adopt Four Kids
A family from Irvine, California has been detained in Ghana under suspicion of child trafficking, as they finalize the adoption process for four African children.
Sol and Christine Moghadam have been sharing details of their adoption process on their blog. With the decision to adopt four siblings from Africa, instead of the original two kids, the couple had asked for online donations to help fund their adoption. They wrote:
2 years ago, we began our adoption process for 2 children from Ethiopia, Thanksgiving 2011, God redirected our journey and led us to these 4 siblings from Ghana. Our agency approved us and we have completed all of our necessary paperwork. We have a court date for June 14th. Now that we are adopting 4 instead of 2 children, our adoption funds have increased accordingly.
Gaining enough funds, their adoption papers were approved, and the couple, together with their two biological sons traveled to Ghana to welcome their four new adopted kids from the city of Kumasi.
Unfortunately, as they went to the Kotoka International Aiport, ready to return home with the entire brood, they were stopped by police under suspicion of child trafficking.
“They were taken into custody after the government received a phone call from an anonymous tipster who accused them of child trafficking,” explained a statement from AdoptTogether, the advocacy group that supported the couple’s adoption process. “Ghana was concerned that some of the documents they had weren’t filled out properly or were forged.”
“I can tell you that we are investigating a couple who arrived at the airport with six children – four blacks and two whites – which aroused the suspicion of security officers at the airport who stopped them from traveling,” Comfort Miah, a member of Anti-Human Trafficking Unit explained. “They say the children were adopted and we are investigating to find out if this has been properly granted by a court of proper jurisdiction.”
Kyle Tresch from the adoption agency, Dillon International explained that the couple’s adoption paperwork had been successful, allowing them to be legal guardians of the four children.
However, as a result of the mishap, Christine Moghadam spent a night in jail while her husband Sol was detained in a detention center. On top of that, their two kids were temporarily placed in an orphanage.
The couple describes their ordeal on their blog, “We are emotionally exhausted and traumatized from the entire incident,” they said. “Our case is not complete yet but our chief officer from the Ghana police department has apologized for their overreaction and stated that our detainment was a mistake on their part. Although we have many pending circumstances before uniting our family, we have complete trust in God that He will provide a way out and heal our family from this traumatic situation.”
The family is still in Ghana; recent attempts to contact them, as well as Ghanian officials have been unsuccessful.