IRVINE (CBS) — An Irvine family is waiting to return to the United States after being detained in Ghana on suspicion of child trafficking.
Christine and Sol Moghadam were detained in the African nation Friday, reportedly while trying to leave the country with the children they had adopted – two boys and two girls. Christine Moghadam was put in jail overnight, while her husband was held in a detention facility.
The couple’s biological children, ages 7 and 3, were cared for at an orphanage.
“From all over the world, people are honing in on this story,” said Dr. Sheila Steinberg, a neighbor and friend who has been following the couple’s journey to adopt online on Christine’s blog, themoghadamsjourneytoafrica.blogspot.com. The blog has since been taken down.
Before the blog was taken down, Christine Moghadam posted that they were released the following day and reunited with their sons. She also wrote that a chief police officer admitted officials had overreacted.
A spokesperson from Dylan International Adoption Agency refuted the reports that the family was trying to leave the country Friday, and says the family was actually just going to lunch. The Moghadam’s adoption agency said the family had no intention of leaving the country Friday, CBS2/KCAL9’s Stacey Butler reports.
A note Sol Moghadam posted on his wife’s Facebook wall Sunday thanked their friends and family for their prayers and shed some light on the family’s ordeal.
“Ghanaian police did not tell us about our rights until the day after they detained us, they did not tell us about the offense at the time of the arrest, violence was involved and I even said I would like to have my lawyer present, which was ignored and we were detained,” he wrote. “US embassy was not contacted by the police. I think these are more than enough reason for the us embassy to be more involved.”
The couple was in Ghana for a June 14 court date to finalize the adoption.