When a couple brought their newborn son to a hospital with a fractured arm, Coventry social services were called in on suspicion that the child might have been injured by his parents.
Even though there was no indication or evidence of abuse by the parents – merely suspicion, the mother was arrested, handcuffed and detained for nine hours, all the time fearing her child might be taken away. Although not charged with any offence, the couple remain on police bail, preventing them leaving the country.
The child was taken by his Irish grandmother to Ireland, where he is being raised by his relatives. Social services are still attempting to obtain an order through the courts for the grandmother to return to England, along with the child.
This is just one case study out of thousands of “forced adoption” – a term used by critics of the practice of removing children permanently from their parents and their subsequent adoption.
The UK is just one of two countries in the EU (the other is Croatia) where adoption without the consent of a child’s biological parents – known as ‘forced adoption’ – is practiced.
For many, it is a secretive system operated within secret courts with closed hearings – hidden away from public scrutiny – that allows social workers to separate children from loving families with little justification and with minimal concern for their best interests.
But for others, adoption is only carried out when it is in the child’s best interests to do so – and criticism of the social care system is merely a consequence of the difficult task of removing children from their parents.
There are currently at least 92,000 “looked after” children in the UK – meaning cared for by the state – according to the NSPCC. Whilst some of these children in England and Wales became looked after because of genuine abuse or neglect, many critics of the system say they have had their sons and daughters taken away with what most would consider, insignificant justification.
Ian Josephs, who runs the Forced Adoption website, http://forced-adoption.com/ has assisted hundreds of families in this situation.
Speaking recently, he explained lots of parents feel they have been punished without having committed any crime.
“No baby or child should be removed from parents and put into care unless one of the parents has committed, or at least been charged with a crime against children,” he said.
But the argument in favour of forcible adoptions is that if left too late, the child may be at risk of serious harm or even suffer death, and the lone case of baby P is oft quoted as justification for the actions of social services in these circumstances. Damned if we do, damned if we don’t is the excuse most often presented.
However, a real problem arises in determining if and proving that, particularly in cases of emotional abuse, there is sufficient evidence to remove a child.
Despite international law calling it an emergency measure, “there were over 2,000 children forcibly taken from one family and placed with another last year”, MP John Hemming recently stated in an interview. Every year, some 11,000 children are forced into local authority care by the courts without the consent of their parents.
According to the MP, social workers are instructed by their superiors to advise the court to have the child adopted – even if they’re being cared for by a competent and loving family.
Britain’s children’s minister, Edward Timpson, recently proudly announced a 63 percent increase in adoptions since 2011, as if it was some sort of meaningful achievement. “Children are being removed from their families merely to satisfy government targets”, Hemming continued.
UK legislation provides several justifications for removing a child from its parents. One such reason being “a risk of future emotional harm”. This is the most commonly used excuse – and the most controversial.
How do you quantify that? It’s virtually impossible to assess and even harder to identify, yet hundreds of parents lose their children solely because social services and the secret courts say there’s a risk of future emotional harm!
Additionally it’s extremely difficult for parents to get their children back after a final hearing in court, because the appeal system isn’t set up for people to win.
According to Bridget Robb, chief executive of the British Association of Social Workers,
“Even if the court rules that the forced adoption was a mistake, it often still decides to leave the child with their new family, so as not to upset the child again,” she said.
There are also cases when parents – especially those with complications in mental development – are told that their children will be removed even before they’ve given birth.
One such case involved a pregnant woman who was visiting England for just two weeks for a work training trip. Alessandra Pacchieri had her unborn baby removed from her body and stolen by social services. The Italian was sedated after suffering a mental breakdown and awoke to find her baby daughter had been removed by Caesarean section and taken away by social workers.
She claims to have made a full recovery but her child, now aged 30 months, is still in the care of social services in Essex.
Alessandra flew to England in July 2012 for a two-week airline training course at Stansted Airport, Essex. She later suffered a panic attack when she couldn’t find passports for her two daughters, who were staying with her mother in Italy.
She called in police who soon arrived at her airport hotel room. Officers spoke to a relative and discovered the woman had a bipolar condition and hadn’t been taking her medication. [It is recommended for mothers who are bipolar to not take their medication whilst pregnant because the medication may harm the baby.] The police reportedly told her she was being taken to hospital to make sure that the baby was OK.
Instead she was transported to a psychiatric hospital, then restrained and sectioned under the Mental Health Act. Essex social services then obtained a High Court order for the birth to be enforced by way of caesarean section.
Five weeks later, whilst still imprisoned by the hospital, the woman was told she could not have any breakfast and was then forcibly sedated. She later woke up in a different hospital to find her baby had been removed and taken away while she was unconscious.
High Court judge, Mr Justice Mostyn, had given social workers permission to arrange for the child to be delivered and taken into care.
The woman was escorted back to Italy without her baby.
Alessandra has since returned to the UK and made an application through the crown court for the return of her daughter. She has been taking her medication regularly and the presiding judge described her as “actually extremely well” and “clear and articulate” in English, which is her second language. However, he ruled that the child should still be put up for adoption because there was a danger that she could regress.
Despite the utterly appalling and despicable treatment of this poor woman by social workers, she is not a lone case.
This is a problem facing hundreds of British families also. With limited tools to fight the system, and with the system deliberately designed to give the parents limited rights, many UK families are choosing to flee to neighbouring Ireland or other foreign countries in order to keep their children from being stolen by the state. They too realise that once social services become involved and remove a child from their care, it is almost impossible to get the child back.
One example is a 17-year-old Staffordshire girl, living with her parents and seven months pregnant. She was horrified to receive a letter which began:
“Dear Corinne, I am the new allocated social worker for your unborn child. We have serious concerns about your ability to care for your unborn baby. We are so worried that we intend on going to Court to apply for an Order that will allow us to place your baby with alternative carers.”
This so shocked the family that they raised what money they could and, like many others faced with similar threats, escaped abroad, where they now live in circumstances hardly conducive to a happy delivery of their new child.
Ireland is just one country of many willing to provide support to such parents, unlike England, which “may identify that there may’ve been a problem, but is not willing to help you solve that problem,” according to John Paskell, another parent who was forced to flee the UK with his child.
Critics argue there is a demonisation of parent’s embroiled in care proceedings by social services. More than 90% of families where children are forcibly adopted live below the poverty line, despite counterarguments that child abuse and neglect are not class issues.
Once a child is placed for adoption, neither the parents nor child have any recourse open to them to reverse the process – even when evidence comes to light that shows that the reasons for the adoption were flawed.
Currently, families subjected to forced adoption are often also prohibited by court order from publicly discussing their case and attempting to contact their children.
“Most parents who contact me say they have done nothing wrong and if they speak the truth, they shouldn’t be punished by the state by having their children confiscated – nor should they receive gagging orders to stop them complaining publicly and breaching their freedom of speech,” said Josephs of http://forced-adoption.com/
Whilst there are many question marks surrounding the legitimacy of forced adoption, and its impact on innocent families, it is generally accepted that social services is essential for the protection of vulnerable children.
But could it be possible that there is a much more sinister motive than child safety behind the huge increase in forced adoptions in the last decade?
Few are aware of incentivised targets introduced by Tony Blairs Labour government in 2000. £36million in “reward grants” was promised to English councils in an attempt by Labour to increase adoptions of children by 50 per cent. The scheme was introduced in an attempt to reduce the number of older children in state care. However, councils soon realised that young infants and babies were much more “adoptable” than older children, and it is these that are now being taken from their families in record numbers.
More than 900 newborn babies are now being taken from their mothers each year, a 300 per cent increase in little more than a decade.
The number of children aged between a week and a month removed from their parents has risen to 1,300 annually, a rise of 141 per cent in the same period.
MP John Hemming has demanded an explanation.
He said: “We are seeing a massive increase in the forced removal of newborns. Babies are being taken before they can even be breastfed. Social workers are seizing very young children on the flimsiest of excuses and giving them to other families”.
“This smacks of social engineering on a grand scale. The offer of monetary rewards for meeting the targets has created a frenzy among social workers. There are council targets for recycling rubbish and now targets for recycling children.”
He went on to say:
“I have evidence that 1,000 children are wrongly being seized from their birth parents each year even though they have not been harmed in any way”.
Records show that two councils – Essex and Kent – were offered more than £2million over three years to encourage additional adoptions. Four others – Norfolk, Gloucestershire, Cheshire and Hampshire – were promised £1million in extra funds.
Critics say very young children are specifically selected, even before birth, by social workers to get the bonuses. It is believed that 1,000 each year are wrongly taken from their parents.
Last week a court ruled that a couple whose first three children were taken for adoption should keep their fourth, now a year old.
Abuse allegations against Mark and Nicky Webster turned out to be false. But they will never see their three lost children again because adoptions are irreversible. This unfortunate couple are just more victims of the corrupt “cash for kids” UK social services system.
Despite the cash inducements, adoptions of older children, the very ones who were meant to be helped, have dropped dramatically, by as much as 50%.
Beverley Beech, of the Association for Improvements in Maternity Services, a body which advises new mothers, said:
“The Government is denying that social workers are targeting babies for adoption”.
“But the desperate calls on our helpline from pregnant women who have already been told by social workers, for no good reason, that they will lose their babies immediately they are born, or from mothers of new babies taken for adoption, prove these denials are not true.”
“We strongly suspect this is because newborns and toddlers are more easily found homes than older children. They are a marketable commodity”.
“I know of social workers making up stories about innocent mothers simply to ensure their babies are put up for adoption”.
“Suitable babies are even being earmarked when they are still in the womb”.
“One baby was forcibly removed in the maternity ward by social workers before the mother had even finished the birth process and produced the placenta.”
Campaigners also want an opening up of family courts, where adoptions are overseen in utmost secrecy. Parents are warned that if they tell anyone, even their closest family, what goes on, they could face prison for contempt of court.
Family law solicitor Sarah Harman said:
“It’s not the welfare of the child that is being protected – it’s the welfare of social workers”.
Only the workings of the homeland security service, MI5, are guarded more closely than those of the family courts.
Nobody is safe from the machinations of British social services and their corrupt “cash for kids” policies, and it could affect the families of any reader either from the UK or with relatives in the UK.
I know this all too well as my own nephew has had both of his toddlers stolen by social workers purely because of a visit to A&E following a fall by one of them. Within an hour or so of arriving at the hospital, he and his partner had been arrested and accused of abuse.
Even though no charges are being brought against him or his partner, and they have been completely exonerated following investigations by the police, Social Services are still holding his children and refusing to return them – and he can do absolutely nothing as the SS have the total support of the corrupt UK judicial system.
Following is a message I received from him just a few days ago:
“Thanks unc thank u. The basics of it is that I will never get the kids back in my care and the SS are saying to my partner that there MIGHT be a chance she could get them back as long as she isn’t with me”.
“Those b*****d SS are completely destroying my life just to save their own pathetic hides, they know full damn well they screwed every thing up and are now doing every thing they can to avoid blame by doing everything they can to blame me, and for some reason the way I was as a teenager is the reasoning they are using in order to blame me”.
“I’m just worried sick that I’ll never get to see them again or ever get the chance to be a real dad for my babies xxx”