Samaritans step in to save Portuguese two-year-old from ‘forced adoption’

In what has to be one of the best Christmas stories so far, three non-related people have stepped in to save a two-year-old girl from a forced adoption that has left her Portuguese father in pieces.

Armando Sousa, 50, has been desperately fighting for custody of his daughter through Porto’s family courts. Last week, he heard that he had lost his battle because of his failure to secure a regular job and his lack of a suitable home.

Judges ruled that Sousa could not offer his child the “conditions” she needed – opting for “an immediate end” to the twice weekly parental visits the man had been enjoying since he discovered that the little girl was his daughter (click here).

But the story so shocked people who read it, that at least three ‘good Samaritans’ have come forwards to change what Sousa said would be his “final defeat”.

Jornal de Notícias reveals today that a University lecturer “who prefers to remain anonymous” has offered Sousa €500 a week for the next six months, while another JN reader is prepared to offer the free use of an apartment – thus establishing the secure ‘home’ judges deem to be lacking.

To make things even better, a city company has also come forwards to say it will offer Sousa a salaried job.

The ‘power of the press’ has once again won through in a tiny episode that may mean nothing to millions, but signifies the world for one isolated and weary father in Porto.

Sousa has told JN that this finally looks like it won’t be “the worst Christmas ever”, and that he has already bought his daughter a “little present” and hopes very soon to be allowed to give it to her.

As for the rest, the nation’s press will be watching Porto’s family court judges now like hawks.

The paper quotes a source connected to “cases of this kind” as saying time is of the essence.

“Adoption could be very fast” bearing in mind that the child is “only two years old, very pretty and in perfect physical and mental health” – attributes that see “no lack of candidates for parents”, the source warned.

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