Forced adoption is a truly dreadful scandal
Social workers are removing children from loving families without proper justification, says Christopher Booker
That is the headline to this article, by Christopher Booker
In recent months, I have been reporting on what is one of the most alarming scandals in Britain today – the secretive system that allows social workers to remove children from loving families without any proper justification, and to send them for adoption or fostering with no apparent concern for their interests.
Four more examples have come to light in the past week. The first came to my attention via Lynn Boleyn, a former councillor from Dudley, who first became concerned about "forced adoption" when she sat on various committees concerned with child care. Last week, she was in court with a mother of five girls, whose family tragedy began when her partner was sentenced to 14 years for abusing the eldest girl, who was sent to live with a relative. Although there was no evidence of their mother harming them in any way, the other four girls were seized by Dudley social services and placed in foster care. Three were kept together, separated from their two-year-old sister whom the council now wants to put out for adoption.
The three girls, aged 11, 10 and 7, are desperately unhappy, constantly asking to be reunited with their mother. But on Friday, a judge said he had no power to stop social services summarily withdrawing them from their local school to be sent to a new home. The 11-year-old was looking forward to being in the school play and the end of term Leavers' Service. She has now been torn away from friends she has known since she was four, the nearest thing to stability left in her life. The children's wishes were not taken into account.
A second case concerns another woman, for 20 years an NHS nurse who served with the Royal Army Medical Corps in the first Gulf War. Until recently, she was a semi-professional dog breeder, living happily at home with her eight-year-old son (his father having walked out when she was pregnant).
In March, their home was raided by two RSPCA officials and five policemen, complaining she had too many dogs in the house. Her home was untidy because she was clearing an attic, but the seizing of the dogs (breaking the leg of one of them) left it a befouled mess.
Acting on a tip-off from the RSPCA, Leeds social workers then intervened, and expressed surprise that the house was tidier than they expected. Nevertheless, they told the mother to bring her son's clothes to school, from where he was taken into foster care.
After three months, during which he has only been allowed short supervised "contact" with his mother, the boy is miserable, constantly asking when he can return home. His mother has repeatedly had to draw the social workers' attention to various conditions, such as head lice and threadworm, which indicated that he was not being properly cared for. Last week they announced that they were moving him to another foster home.
Although there was no evidence that she was anything other than an admirable mother, apart from the temporary mess made of the house in March, the social workers say her son cannot be allowed home until they have both undergone "psychiatric assessments". These cannot be arranged until October. Nor has the boy yet been given a guardian to represent him, as the law lays down.
My other two cases come from Ian Josephs, the former county councillor and businessman who runs the Forced Adoption website and has helped hundreds of families in a similar plight. When, in January, a couple brought their newborn son to hospital with a fractured arm, Coventry social services were called in on suspicion that the child might have been injured by his parents. After the mother had been arrested, handcuffed and held by the police for nine hours, the couple were terrified that their baby would be taken from them. Although not charged with any offence, they are on police bail, which prevents them from leaving the country.
The child's Irish grandmother took the baby to Ireland, where he is now surrounded by a large, supportive family. Social services are attempting to get an order through the courts for the grandmother to return to England with the baby.
My last case is so shocking that I will return to it in more detail at a later date. It centres on a London couple who, earlier this year, had their six children seized by social workers on what appears to be flimsy hearsay evidence (I have seen the court papers).
The mother was pregnant again. Last month, after the boy was born, three social workers and five policemen entered the hospital ward where she was breastfeeding at 3am, wresting the baby from her by force. They then discovered that they had nowhere to keep him. The boy was put into intensive care, where his mother was taken to breastfeed him for four days, until she was fit to leave the hospital. She saw her baby for the last time two weeks ago.
I will return to this story when I have had some explanation from the council responsible.
I have blogged about this, in my opinion, inhumane act before.
Why didn't these social workers going after the poor children that really needed to be taken into care like Baby Peter, Khyra Ishaq and Victoria Climbie.
It does look like they are going after soft targets instead of the ones that need the real help.
What worries me is that they are ignoring the children and their concerns and emotional well being.
Are the social workers putting children up for adoption because of quotas? Read here, here and here.
There are very good social workers out there working to protect children, and I do wish that their work was in the headlines more than the others, but we don't hear about their stories.