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Parental Love Deemed Conspiracy
March 22, 2014 permalink
British child protectors seized five children from Carla and José Pedro. When the family complained to the European Parliament in Brussels, the British authorities knew how to react — they arrested the parents for conspiracy. Two news reports are enclosed. News services based in Portugal use real names for this family. The Pedro family has its own blog.
UPDATE: Portuguese immigrants caught up in UK adoption scandal
Portuguese immigrants were in Brussels this week fighting for children they claim were seized by UK authorities running a high-level adoption scandal.
And as the shocking news accelerated through international media, police were reported to have arrested the Portuguese parents of five children - accusing them of attempted kidnap.
The situation follows worrying reports of a scheme said to involve judges, lawyers and social workers effectively ‘kidnapping’ 4500 children every year to “feed the adoption industry”.
On Wednesday, Carla and José Pedro joined 30 other foreign immigrant couples to petition to European Parliament.
“You can hardly believe this story”, Victims Unite activist Sabine McNeill told the European parliament on Wednesday March 20.
“The cases related during a three-hour audience shocked euro MPs”, affirmed Correio da Manhã newspaper. “The denouncements point to the existence of a scheme in the UK involving lawyers, social workers and judges to take children from good parents - the majority immigrants - and put them up for adoption, with the objective of feeding the industry surrounding adoptions”.
“It’s all done for profit!” accused one grandfather in the delegation.
In its own report, SIC TV showed the parents and family members later going to the British Embassy where they attempted to deliver a dossier on the scandal.
According to the report “neither the British embassy nor the British consulate would receive them”.
Said Susana Frexes reporting for SIC, the Euro Parliament does not have the power to force the UK authorities to do anything, but the hope of families is that it can at least push for change.
Euro MP Angelika Werthmann explained it is “very much a Human Rights issue”: “The Human Rights of the child need to be heard”.
Carla and José Pedro, campaigning every way they can for the children that were forcibly taken from them over a year ago, have now reportedly been arrested in their hometown of Grantham, Lincolnshire - on suspicion of attempting to kidnap their own children.
The news reported by Público and picked up by other media instantly came via Sabine McNeill. It is developing rapidly, and we will bring updates throughout the day.
Carla and José, both 43, told SIC television that they wanted their case to be transferred to social services in Portugal, as they are confident that if it is, they will then win parental custody back. All their children are reported to have Portuguese nationality.
The couple’s nightmare began in April 2013 after their eldest son, a child with mental problems, complained at school that his father had beaten him.
It was an accusation that the boy later retracted many times, but it was enough for social workers to arrive on the Pedro’s doorstep in Grantham,Lincolnshire, and remove all five children - aged from 3 to 14 - on the same day.
José Pedro was also taken into police custody, but released hours later “due to lack of evidence”, writes Correio da Manhã.
Originally told their children would be removed for only 72 hours, the Pedros have been without them ever since.
They now see their children only once every two months for an hour in the company of social workers, writes Público newspaper.
“They cry. They are thin, and they want to come home”, Carla told SIC’s television team.
The two youngest have been put up for adoption against the parents’ wishes and their eldest daughter has since threatened to kill herself if she loses her little siblings, Público adds.
It is a tragedy considering both parents say they never beat their children - and the reason given by the UK courts for not returning them was “the risk of future emotional damage”.
As Euro MP Angelika Werthmann pointed out, the emotional damage of separation is plain for all to see.
It now remains to be seen what happens to these children, and those of all the other families (Russians, Lithuanians and Latvians) who petitioned Brussels on Wednesday March 20.
The Facebook site Stolen Children of the UK, which is quoted in CM as saying the forced adoption scheme affects 4500 children every year, warns families: “Love your family today, because tomorrow the Government might take them away”.
Now, there is the added spectacle of parents taken into custody as this high-profile case goes viral.
Source: Portugal Resident
Portuguese couple arrested in UK for conspiring to abduct own children from social care
A Portuguese couple living in the UK has been arrested along with two other people for conspiring to abduct “a number of identified children” – believed to be their own children who were placed in UK state care last year – after accusing the British authorities of unjustly taking them. Portugal’s State Secretary for Communities is considering taking action.
Carla and José Pedro, who have been living in Grantham, Lincolnshire, for the past 11 years, had their five children removed from them by local social services last April.
The move came after their eldest son, who suffers from learning disabilities and hyperactivity, told a social worker assigned to help him at school that his father had hit him.
Originally from Almeirim near Santarém, Central Portugal, the couple claims they were told on the day the authorities came to take the children that they were being placed into care for just 72 hours, but the youngsters were never brought home.
A long court battle ensued in which the couple had to face social services in the British legal system.
Eight months later, in December, a family court ruled that the two youngest children, aged three and five, should be put up for adoption, while the older three, aged 12 to 14, were to be placed in foster care until they turn 21.
This morning (Friday, 21 March) reports emerged that a couple believed to be Carla and José Pedro had been arrested by Lincolnshire police for “conspiring to abduct” the children.
They were arrested in a police sting named Operation Shamrock.
In an statement sent to The Portugal News, a spokesperson for the force confirmed: “At approximately 7am today four people were arrested at two separate addresses in Grantham on suspicion of conspiring to abduct a number of identified children who are currently in the care of the local authority.
“The four people arrested are a husband and wife aged 43 years and 36 years respectively from Grantham, a female aged 35 years from Grantham and a 43-year-old man from Grantham. The four are currently in custody at Grantham Police Station where they will be interviewed.”
DS Claire Hammond said: “The children concerned are related to a number of the people in custody; they are unharmed and remain in the care of the local authority who we are working closely with on this investigation.”
In comments to Portuguese newspaper Público, the State Secretary for Communities José Cesário said: “Even though British law is being carried out”, the case is becoming in need of “an attentive and meticulous legal analysis.”
Only then will Portugal decide if it should “take action with the British authorities.”
And, he added, “according to what we know of the case, the reasons that the Family Court invoked are not very solid.”
The five children were taken by social services from the family home on 23 April; the eldest boy and seven-year-old girl are living with separate families but in the same town, in Skegness. The eldest girl, who is 12, is living with a foster family in Stanford with the two youngest children who have been put up for adoption.
Their mother, Carla Pedro, says she is authorised to see them for an hour, once every two months.
Speaking to Portuguese newspaper Público, Carla Pedro says that when she does see her children “they cry and say they want to come home.”
Mrs. Pedro claims her children were taken from her and her husband due to “a future risk of emotional damage.”
“Smacking children is not allowed in the UK but we never smacked them. We punished them. Either way, my son later said that he had lied when he accused his father of hitting him” because days earlier the couple had grounded the teen after a phone call from the school headmaster because of his bad behaviour.
A blog page (www.pedrofamily.wordpress.com) set up to fight the Pedro’s corner by a representative for the family accuses Lincoln County Council of having “snatched” the five children without paperwork.
Mrs. Pedro also maintains the children were taken from their home without any formal paperwork.
The family is being represented by Sabine Kurjo McNeill, who claims to work for the voluntary public interest advocacy association McKenzie Friends, which assists a litigant in person in a common law court.
Ms. McNeill has posted extensively about the case on the Pedro Family blog. A post from earlier today seemed to confirm it was in fact Mrs. and Mr. Pedro who had been arrested.
“Phone call from Grantham Police Station at 8.51am: the Pedros are arrested for abducting their four children”, she wrote.
Ms. McNeill also offered to represent the Pedros following their arrest.
McKenzie Friends do not need to be legally qualified; litigants in person are entitled to have assistance, lay or professional, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
As a result of the case a petition was created – the ‘Abolish Adoptions without Parental Consent’ petition, which gathered 3,397 signatures – and was handed to European Parliament in Brussels earlier this week, on Wednesday 19 March, along with around a dozen similar complaints from families of various nationalities.
According to the Pedro Family blog page, the couple moved to the UK from Portugal with their then two children in 2003 after José lost his job as forklift driver due to the general economic downturn. In Grantham, he had a job as a driver but later became unemployed.
A spokesperson for child services at Lincolnshire County Council told The Portugal News that he was aware of the case but due to confidentiality restrictions he could not give details nor comment on individual cases.
Source: Portugal News