This article appeared today in The Daily Star, Lebanon’s English-language daily newspaper. For once an article that speaks of the economic and the political, and not just the personal. What follows is an excerpt, use the above link for the full article. We are hopeful that finally we are starting to open up a dialogue about the subject in Lebanon.
In spite of the fact that Christians can legally adopt via the church, some Christian adoptive parents also opt to pretend that the child is biologically theirs, an act which Makhlouf says constitutes fraud.
The director of a Beirut-based Christian charity organization, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Daily Star he helped to facilitate the adoption of a baby girl by checking the pregnant mother into a small mountain hospital under the name of the adoptive mother. This meant her name appeared on the paperwork in place of the birth mother’s name.
“It was very easy,” he says.
A question about the child’s religious background is met with a long silence. “Look,” he eventually replies, “I didn’t wish to know.”
He says this arrangement was the easiest way to get the papers.
“The nuns are allowed to make the papers, but it will take one year to get the ID,” he says.
A doctor at the hospital gave them the required papers, he explains, and the couple – who are Lebanese expatriates – are now going through the process of registering the baby as their own, which they must do before leaving the country with the child.
“You cannot register a child as being your biological child,” Makhlouf says. “There are criminal texts against this … It is a legal issue but I think that people just close their eyes.
“Usually when you talk to people who do this, they will tell you ‘It’s in the best interests of the child – what are we doing wrong?’ They don’t see that this child is going to have psychological problems afterward.”