The Constitutional Affairs Committee of the National Assembly of the Republic of Portugal decided this morning to send a petition of public initiative to the plenary for a committee to investigate the fraudulent processes of adoption of Portuguese children by bishops of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God.
The denunciations about the irregularities were made by the series of reports The Secret of the Gods, of the TVI of Lisbon. In the series, the reporters Alexandra Borges and Judite França demonstrated that at least nine children were removed from a home that the UCKG maintained in Camarate, Lisbon, without authorisation of the mothers.
The suspicion is that the adoption processes were based on false documents to impair the mothers of these children. One of the mothers, who had her children taken away by the Social Services for not having anyone to leave them with when she went to work, was stigmatized as an HIV positive and a drug addict, when in fact she is completely healthy, to the point of being a regular blood donor.
The exhibition of the series of reports mobilised mothers throughout Portugal. Outraged, they created the Truth Movement to draft the petition and get the four thousand signatures needed to present it to the Portuguese parliament. As a result, the signature collected were twice the minimum required to file a petition – more than 8,000 signatures.
The Constitutional Matters Commission has set a deadline of 60 days for the plenary to discuss the petition and decide to set up a parliamentary committee to investigate the adoptions. Today’s deliberation represents, effectively, the first step towards the start of the parliamentary inquiry.
The motion’s rapporteur is the PSD (Social Democratic Party) member Teresa Morais. Now, the petition will rise to plenary after a conference of leaders. To open the commission of inquiry (Portuguese equivalent to the Brazilian CPIs) will require the support of one fifth of the deputies.