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An Irvine couple visited Africa to adopt four orphans, but were detained after Ghanaian officials said they had questions as to the legality of the adoptions. The pair was out of jail Wednesday, June 27, and reunited with their biological children, but their adoption mission and attempt to leave the country continued. Vikki Vargas reports from Irvine for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on June 27, 2012.
An anonymous call to authorities led to the arrest of an Irvine couple as they attempted to return home after adopting two children, according to an adoption advocacy group.
The State Department confirmed Tuesday that the family was detained by Ghanaian officials looking into the legality of the adoption. The family has been reunited with their biological children, according to the department.
"There were questions on the Ghanaian side about that adoption," said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland during a Tuesday news briefing. "As of (Monday), we were still trying to work through the issues so the adoptions could go forward."
The children still need to obtain their visas before leaving the country, according to the advocacy group AdoptTogether. The agency said an anonymous tipster accused the couple of being child traffickers -- an allegation that led to their arrest.
Sol and Christine Moghadam chronicled their adoption experience on their blog.
"We are emotionally exhausted and traumatized from the entire incident," the couple wrote on the blog. "Our case in not complete yet, but our chief officer from the Ghana police department has apologized for their overreaction and stated that our detainment was a mistake on their part."
It was not immediately clear where the family was detained, but an adoption agency official said the Moghadams already obtained a court order that made them legal guardians of the Ghanaian children. They were waiting for the U.S. government to approve the visas when they were detained, the official told the Associated Press.
Late Wednesday afternoon, the couple's pastor at a church in Irvine summed up the congregation's feelings.
"The best thing that we can all do is to pray and ask God to bring them home safely," said Pastor Ed Salas.