British woman can adopt girl found in box in Egypt, judge rules

A British woman can adopt a girl who was abandoned in a cardboard box on a street in Egypt shortly after birth, a high court judge has decided.

Ms Justice Russell ruled that the woman, an NHS administrator, can bring up the six-year-old in the UK, despite objections from Egyptian authorities.

The judge revealed details in a written ruling on Tuesday after considering the case at a private hearing in the family division of the high court in London.

Russell said no individual involved could be identified, but added that Liverpool city council had welfare responsibilities for the child and indicated that the woman came from Merseyside.

The judge said the girl was found abandoned in late 2010 near Luxor and had been placed in the care of the woman, who was living in Egypt with her Egyptian husband at the time, by an orphanage run by a UK charity.

The woman brought the girl to the UK about three years ago, after separating from her husband, and made an adoption application.

The woman, who had been raised as Christian, argued that the girl was “flourishing” and should stay with her in Britain.

Her husband, a Muslim lawyer who lives in Egypt, wanted the child to return there. He said she should either come back with the woman or live with his relatives.

Officials at the Egyptian ministry of social solidarity also said the girl should return.

They said adoption was not recognised under Egyptian law and the child was a Muslim who might lose her heritage if she was brought up by a non-Muslim in the UK.

But the judge concluded that staying with the woman in Britain would be in the girl’s best interests. She said adoption would give the child a secure base.