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Child taken from womb by child services

Posted by on Dec. 2, 2013 at 3:07 PM
  • 19 Replies

Colin Freeman

8:58PM

30 Nov 2013

A pregnant woman has had her baby forcibly removed by caesarean section by social workers.

Essex social services obtained a High Court order against the woman that allowed her to be forcibly sedated and her child to be taken from her womb.

Child taken from womb by social services: 'It's not always wrong'

The council said it was acting in the best interests of the woman, an Italian who was in Britain on a work trip, because she had suffered a mental breakdown.

The baby girl, now 15 months old, is still in the care of social services, who are refusing to give her back to the mother, even though she claims to have made a full recovery.

 The case has developed into an international legal row, with lawyers for the woman describing it as “unprecedented”.

They claim that even if the council had been acting in the woman’s best interests, officials should have consulted her family beforehand and also involved Italian social services, who would be better-placed to look after the child.

Brendan Fleming, the woman’s British lawyer, told The Sunday Telegraph: “I have never heard of anything like this in all my 40 years in the job.

“I can understand if someone is very ill that they may not be able to consent to a medical procedure, but a forced caesarean is unprecedented.

“If there were concerns about the care of this child by an Italian mother, then the better plan would have been for the authorities here to have notified social services in Italy and for the child to have been taken back there.”

The case, reported by Christopher Booker in his column in The Sunday Telegraph, raises fresh questions about the extent of social workers’ powers.

It will be raised in Parliament this week by John Hemming, a Liberal Democrat MP. He chairs the Public Family Law Reform Coordinating Campaign, which wants reform and greater openness in court proceedings involving family matters. He said: “I have seen a number of cases of abuses of people’s rights in the family courts, but this has to be one of the more extreme.“It involves the Court of Protection authorising a caesarean section without the person concerned being made aware of what was proposed. I worry about the way these decisions about a person’s mental capacity are being taken without any apparent concern as to the effect on the individual being affected.”

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is an Italian national who come to Britain in July last year to attend a training course with an airline at Stansted Airport in Essex. She suffered a panic attack, which her relations believe was due to her failure to take regular medication for an existing bipolar condition. She called the police, who became concerned for her well-being and took her to a hospital, which she then realised was a psychiatric facility.

She has told her lawyers that when she said she wanted to return to her hotel, she was restrained and sectioned under the Mental Health Act. Meanwhile, Essex social services obtained a High Court order in August 2012 for the birth “to be enforced by way of caesarean section”, according to legal documents seen by this newspaper.

The woman, who says she was kept in the dark about the proceedings, says that after five weeks in the ward she was forcibly sedated. When she woke up she was told that the child had been delivered by C-section and taken into care.

In February, the mother, who had gone back to Italy, returned to Britain to request the return of her daughter at a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court.

Her lawyers say that she had since resumed taking her medication, and that the judge formed a favourable opinion of her. But he ruled that the child should be placed for adoption because of the risk that she might suffer a relapse.

The cause has also been raised before a judge in the High Court in Rome, which has questioned why British care proceedings had been applied to the child of an Italian citizen “habitually resident” in Italy. The Italian judge accepted, though, that the British courts had jurisdiction over the woman, who was deemed to have had no “capacity” to instruct lawyers.

Lawyers for the woman are demanding to know why Essex social services appear not have contacted next of kin in Italy to consult them on the case.

They are also upset that social workers insisted on placing the child in care in Britain, when there had been an offer from a family friend in America to look after her.

An expert on social care proceedings, who asked not to be named because she was not fully acquainted with the details of the case, described it as “highly unusual”.

She said the council would first have to find “that she was basically unfit to make any decision herself” and then shown there was an acute risk to the mother if a natural birth was attempted.

An Essex county council spokesman said the local authority would not comment on ongoing cases involving vulnerable people and children.

by on Dec. 2, 2013 at 3:07 PM
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Replies (1-10):
UpSheRises
by Silver Member on Dec. 2, 2013 at 4:16 PM

That is pretty scary and sounds very complicated.

There was a case in Michigan recently where a baby was removed because the father, who had MS, held a medical marijuana card. The state said having the card put the child in danger because there was an increased risk of break-in.

gludwig2000
by Gina on Dec. 2, 2013 at 4:36 PM
Wow! I can't believe that they had the authority to do that.
gludwig2000
by Gina on Dec. 2, 2013 at 4:39 PM
Seriously? So, rich people should have their children taken from them because they are rich and therefore more of a target? Or maybe children that belong to single moms should be removed because statistically, they are at a higher risk of living in bad neighborhoods? Or children with obese parents, etc, etc.
Quoting UpSheRises:

That is pretty scary and sounds very complicated.

There was a case in Michigan recently where a baby was removed because the father, who had MS, held a medical marijuana card. The state said having the card put the child in danger because there was an increased risk of break-in.

DSamuels
by Gold Member on Dec. 2, 2013 at 4:43 PM

It actually wouldn't surprise me one bit. 

Quoting gludwig2000: Seriously? So, rich people should have their children taken from them because they are rich and therefore more of a target? Or maybe children that belong to single moms should be removed because statistically, they are at a higher risk of living in bad neighborhoods? Or children with obese parents, etc, etc.
Quoting UpSheRises:

That is pretty scary and sounds very complicated.

There was a case in Michigan recently where a baby was removed because the father, who had MS, held a medical marijuana card. The state said having the card put the child in danger because there was an increased risk of break-in.


UpSheRises
by Silver Member on Dec. 2, 2013 at 4:44 PM

She has since been returned but here is a link the the story:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/10/25/medical-marijuana-using-parents-get-baby-back/3202373/

Quoting gludwig2000: Seriously? So, rich people should have their children taken from them because they are rich and therefore more of a target? Or maybe children that belong to single moms should be removed because statistically, they are at a higher risk of living in bad neighborhoods? Or children with obese parents, etc, etc.
Quoting UpSheRises:

That is pretty scary and sounds very complicated.

There was a case in Michigan recently where a baby was removed because the father, who had MS, held a medical marijuana card. The state said having the card put the child in danger because there was an increased risk of break-in.

 

Ednarooni160
by Eds on Dec. 2, 2013 at 4:54 PM
1 mom liked this

There was a girl here who was pregnant and her mom was "very" worried about her.. She went off her meds when she found out she was pregnant...and she was bipolar.  I don't know much about the disease and how it affects everyone individually..but with this girl  the difference between the two personalities was like night and day. Different people react differently I'm going to "assume"..  Perhaps they thought she was a danger to herself and the unborn child..don't know.  What I"m concerned about is how they were able to do a C-section and/or did not contact kin.. And now the judge wants to put the child up for adoption?  What is happening over in Britain..it's like a few over there are not functioning.

Her lawyers say that she had since resumed taking her medication, and that the judge formed a favourable opinion of her. But he ruled that the child should be placed for adoption because of the risk that she might suffer a relapse

gludwig2000
by Gina on Dec. 2, 2013 at 4:59 PM
1 mom liked this
Lol, if a child should be removed from the home because of "potential possibilities" then no child would be left with their parents, because after all, every day they are on this earth, there is a possiblity of them coming to harm. And first children? Oh dear God, its mind boggling, because I know for a fact that my first child taught me a lot as to what not to do while raising his younger brother and sisters,lol.
Quoting UpSheRises:

She has since been returned but here is a link the the story:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/10/25/medical-marijuana-using-parents-get-baby-back/3202373/

Quoting gludwig2000: Seriously? So, rich people should have their children taken from them because they are rich and therefore more of a target? Or maybe children that belong to single moms should be removed because statistically, they are at a higher risk of living in bad neighborhoods? Or children with obese parents, etc, etc.
Quoting UpSheRises:

That is pretty scary and sounds very complicated.

There was a case in Michigan recently where a baby was removed because the father, who had MS, held a medical marijuana card. The state said having the card put the child in danger because there was an increased risk of break-in.

 

gludwig2000
by Gina on Dec. 2, 2013 at 5:03 PM
2 moms liked this
Thats what worries me the most, that they performed a c section, didn't contact any of her family members and that they are taking it completely into their own hands as to what, where and with whom to place the child. The family should have been consulted, and so should her Country of origin and home. And the thought that the child should be removed because she "might" relapse is a scary thought, because there are too many "mights" out there and could lead to many children being removed from their homes because of what "might" happen.
Quoting Ednarooni160:

There was a girl here who was pregnant and her mom was "very" worried about her.. She went off her meds when she found out she was pregnant...and she was bipolar.  I don't know much about the disease and how it affects everyone individually..but with this girl  the difference between the two personalities was like night and day. Different people react differently I'm going to "assume"..  Perhaps they thought she was a danger to herself and the unborn child..don't know.  What I"m concerned about is how they were able to do a C-section and/or did not contact kin.. And now the judge wants to put the child up for adoption?  What is happening over in Britain..it's like a few over there are not functioning.

Her lawyers say that she had since resumed taking her medication, and that the judge formed a favourable opinion of her. But he ruled that the child should be placed for adoption because of the risk that she might suffer a relapse

JanuaryBaby06
by Gold Member on Dec. 2, 2013 at 5:05 PM

This is a huge violation of a pregnant womans rights. Something is absolutely happening over there though... social severices are absolutely over stepping...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2128465/10-000-children-taken-care-Numbers-doubled-past-years.html


JanuaryBaby06
by Gold Member on Dec. 2, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Children taken from parents for being fat: Outrage as social workers break up 'loving' family

By Chris Brooke


Social services faced outrage  yesterday for taking four obese  children from their parents.

The couple have lost a three-year battle with the authorities and their youngest children – girls aged 11, seven and one, and a boy of five – will either be ‘fostered without contact’ or adopted.

The move follows a failed attempt to solve the children’s weight problem by putting the family in a ‘Big Brother’ house, having a social worker present to monitor all meal times, and imposing a curfew and strict rules about their lifestyle.

Torn apart: The parents, far left and right, with six of their children who they fear will be taken away from them

Torn apart: The parents, far left and right, with six of their children who they fear will be taken away from them

There is no suggestion the parents are accused of deliberate cruelty or abuse or criminal acts, and concern over the children’s weight is said to be the main factor behind the intervention by social services.

 

The 42-year-old mother said: ‘We might not be the perfect parents, but we love our children with all our hearts. To face a future where we will never see them again is unbearable.

'We might not be the perfect parents, but we love our children with all our hearts. To face a future where we will never see them again is unbearable.'

‘It feels like even prisoners have more human rights than we do.’

The shocked parents plan to fight the decision to remove their children.

The case has provoked a furious public reaction on the internet.

Comments on Mail Online included: ‘And yet children who have sex at a young age, young girls getting pregnant and living off benefits, children who bully others, use drugs, steal, continue to “happily” live with their parents.

‘Talk about double standards.’

A woman commented: ‘Social services are opening a can of worms, if the obesity epidemic in children is as bad as they say, then they should be taking half the kids off parents across the country!

‘I hope the family fight it all the way and win, common sense surely must prevail.’

Investigation: The family have been subject to an obesity probe - at meal times social workers took notes and children met with dieticians (picture posed by model)

Investigation: The family have been subject to an obesity probe - at meal times social workers took notes and children met with dieticians (picture posed by model)

One man described it as ‘fascism’, another likened social workers to ‘monsters’ and a third said it was ‘child stealing by the state’.

Efforts are being made to start an internet petition to support the parents’ fight against social  services in Dundee, where the  family lives.

The couple also have sons of 16 and 13 and a 15-year-old daughter who are being spared the same fate only because they are too old to be adopted.

'If the obesity epidemic in children is as bad as they say, then they should be taking half the kids off parents across the country.'

The weights of the four youngest children have not been revealed, but when the authorities first investigated the family, the  then 12-year-old boy weighed  16 stone and his 11-year-old sister 12 stone.

The couple were given a three-month deadline to bring down their weight.

After that failed, the family were moved into a two-bedroom flat.

The strain of constantly being monitored is said to have led to the 56-year-old father moving out in January this year.

He said: ‘To have a social worker stand and watch you eat is intolerable. I want other families to know what can happen once social workers become involved.

‘We will fight to the end to get our beloved children back.’

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