Two people shared this story with me (Thank you Zeina and Farida!) and immigration attorney Hiba Ghalib asked me if I did it (I wish Hiba!).

Apparently Brad and Angelina have adopted a Syrian child. Although I believe that 99% of what we read in tabloids IS TRUE, I don’t think this is. Here’s why:

1. Only a Muslim may adopt a Muslim. The child apparently is named Moussa. Isn’t Moussa a Muslim name? Turkey, like the vast majority of Muslim countries will only permit adoptions along religious lines. This means that Muslims can only adopt Muslims, Christians can only adopt Christians etc. I don’t think Turkey would allow a non-Muslim to adopt a Muslim from another country (Syria) for fear of causing an international melt-down. In the event that a Turkish judge somehow bent the rules for this pair; the US embassy would not have issued a visa to the child because the US law requires that the law of the child’s home country be adhered to.

Is there a way around this? Nope. If the Turkish laws allow only a Muslim to adopt a Muslim; then there is no way around it unless the child is a Christian or Brangelina converted. It’s my understanding that anyone who has said the Shahada can be considered a Muslim, right? True- however; a conversion for immigration purposes is the same as “a green card marriage.” It’s contrary to the laws of the United States, immoral and unethical. Can’t see public figures doing anything so ill advised. Although, now that I think about it, public figures do a lot of crazy things. Yes- Tiger Woods, John Edwards, Lance Armstrong…..I’m giving you side-eye here.

2. Brangelina did not fulfill the residency requirement. Let’s assume Brangelina converted and were eligible under the laws of Turkey to adopt a Muslim child. Would they be able to adopt in Turkey? Sure! However; Turkey requires adoptive parents to live with their child under the supervision of a Turkish social worker for a period of one year prior to the adoption. I don’t think Brangelina have been living in Turkey. My sources (Entertainment Tonight) inform me that they float between France, New Orleans and LA. Is there any way around the Turkish residency requirement? Sure- maybe their child will be eligible for a tourist visa to France (where the Jolie-Pitts live) and Brangelina can fly a Turkish social worker to France to review and monitor the child.

3. The child is Syrian not Turkish: This case presents lots of interesting legal questions. Would the laws of Syria apply or would the laws of Turkey apply? If Brangelina had a really smart immigration lawyer, here’s what they would have done. First, check to see how Turkey defines “residency.” Usually, a child is considered a resident of his country of citizenship. If the child is a Syrian resident, then would a Turkish court have jurisdiction over the child? Probably not! Brangelina would have to get a guardianship order from a Syrian court granting them permission to take the child overseas for the purpose of adoption. They would also be required to prove that the child falls under the definition of ‘orphan.” If the child is a Turkish resident and subject to the jurisdiction of a Turkish court (which I doubt); then Brangelina could obtain a Turkish adoption decree, follow a “Hague adoption process” and use it as the basis of an immigrant visa petition (assuming that either Brangelina converted or the child is Christian.)

4. Creative solutions: There are few immigration problems which do not have a solution. Are there other ways to get Moussa to the US? Of course. It seems he is already classified as a refugee, he could possibly come to the US as a refugee and then apply for asylum. Perhaps a humanitarian visa could be granted and once here, he could apply for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. Maybe French immigration laws are less strict, and the child can be emigrated to France first. If he is adopted in a French Court has a permanent residence overseas, he could obtain US citizenship through a special procedure for adopted children who reside permanently overseas. There are always alternative options!

Do I think Syrian adoptions are possible? Yes! Absolutely! I just don’t think Brangelina have done it….yet. Brangelina, please call me if you would like to adopt a Syrian orphan- (770) 303 8212; I know a good immigration lawyer.