Leaders of French Charity’s Chad Adoption Scheme Jailed

The founder of French nonprofit group Zoe’s Ark and his companion were sentenced in Paris to two years in jail for defrauding families who paid to adopt African children they believed were war orphans, Reuters and The Guardian report.

Eric Breteau and Emilie Lelouch were among six charity workers imprisoned in Chad in 2007 after attempting to leave the central African nation with more than 100 children ages one to 10, whom they claimed were Sudanese orphaned by the crisis in Darfur.

Investigators found that the children were Chadian and had living parents and that hundreds of prospective French parents paid Zoe’s Ark up to several thousand euros to adopt them. The suspects were pardoned in 2008 by Chad’s president but went on trial in a French court in December, with the other four receiving suspended sentences.

Return to Top