Wednesday, 17 November 2010

SBS: Social workers who snatched four-day-old baby put her up for adoption over unproven abuse claim

Mum’s heartbreaking fight to get her daughter back. A mum and dad have been told they will never see their young daughter again… after she was snatched away at only four days old. Tiny Baby A was taken from her mum by social workers who claimed the tot, who we will call Emily, was at risk in the family home. Not because of the mum’s failure to care for her – but because of a six-year-old unproven claim that her husband had injured his son from a previous marriage. Yet, although interviewed by police, he never faced a criminal court over that allegation. And he has even been allowed unsupervised access to watch his boy grow up.
Now the High Court, in a devastating civil court ruling, has decided that a decision to forcibly adopt Emily – now aged four – away from her parents (who we are calling Tania and Stephen) must stand. Revealing her agony for the first time, mum Tania said: “I had my beautiful baby girl snatched from me at just four days old. Only a mother could understand the horror of that. “My only crime is that I love and trust my husband. I don’t believe he could ever harm a child, and the courts have been unable to prove it. I have already missed years of Emily’s childhood.”
Stephen, in his 40s, married Tania, in her mid-20s, in 2003. Almost a year after their wedding Tania gave birth to Emily in hospital and they were overjoyed to take her home two days later. But they were to enjoy just two days alone with their little girl before she was taken from them. Social workers claimed there was a danger her dad would hurt her because of the case six years earlier. Stephen had been married before and has a 10-year-old son, Jamie. When he was eight weeks old, Jamie was taken to hospital with a suspected brain injury and was found to have suffered bleeding behind his eyes. The episode left him permanently disabled, and he now has cerebral palsy. A medical expert said that he had been shaken viciously.
Stephen, who also has a 12-year-old daughter from the previous marriage, said: “Doctors couldn’t tell for certain what was wrong with Jamie. But one came up with a theory it could be ‘shaken baby syndrome’, even though there was no conclusive evidence. “My wife and I were told that care proceedings were being started. It was heartbreaking to be accused of harming your own child. I vehemently denied doing anything wrong, but no one listened.”
A whole year later – during which time Jamie stayed with his parents and came to no further harm – the couple were taken to a family court in London, where a judge concluded on the basis of an expert’s opinion that the child’s injuries had been caused by one of his parents.

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