Baby forcibly removed by caesarian section and taken away by social services
The incredible story happened in Britain, in 2013, even though it feels like something from the past. Essex social services obtained a court order against a pregnant woman who was in Britain on a work trip and ended up suffering a mental breakdown.
The case, described by experts as “unprecedented”, has developed into an international legal and possibly diplomatic row.
The woman, who reportedly suffers of bipolar disorder, had skipped her daily medications and soon started to feel unwell. Aware of her condition, she contacted the police herself and was taken straight to hospital.
Only when she started feeling better and asked to go back to her hotel she realized she was being kept in a psychiatric facility. When she said she wanted to return to her hotel, she was restrained and sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
By that time the woman was near her delivery date, Essex social services obtained a High Court order for the birth “to be enforced by way of caesarean section”.
We can only imagine the horror of a mother to be, being unknowingly sedated and waking up with her baby no longer in her womb, asking her whereabouts and being told she had beentaken away by social services. Being restrained and sectioned, she was not even allowed to contact a lawyer.
Even if the council believed to act in the best interest of mother and child, they failed to contact Italian social services or relatives of the woman.
Obviously mother and daughter never met and the child, who is now 15 months old, has been in social care ever since as the woman was denied her baby back by a judge once free and fully recovered.
It is reported that the baby girl is under the process of being adopted by a British family. If the procedure goes ahead, there will be no chance for the natural mother to have her daughter back.
The case, that raises fresh questions about the extent of social workers’ powers, will be discussed in Parliament this week.
John Hemming, a Liberal Democrat MP chairing the Public Family Law Reform Coordinating Campaign, 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."
"I worry about the way these decisions about aperson’s mental capacity are being taken without any apparent concern as to the effect on the individual being affected.”