A mother in England is fighting for custody of her daughter after a judge forced her to undergo a cesarean section and put her baby up for adoption. The woman is an Italian national who is visiting the U.K. for a work trip and her newborn infant has been taken from her reportedly because she suffered a mental breakdown.
According to a news report, the mother suffered from bipolar disorder and had not been taking her medication at the time of the emotional issues she suffered. When she called police to help her locate missing passports and when they noticed she was dealing with bipolar disorder, they took the woman to a hospital for an evaluation. There, she was held without consent under the Mental Health Act.
A British judge ruled “for the birth to be enforced by way of cesarean section,” and then the baby girl was taken into the custody by social workers. The girl is now 15 months old and a family is reportedly positioned to adopt the baby, but her mother wants her returned to her and her family.
“She begged the court not to agree to the care and placement orders being made so that she lost her daughter forever,” Judge Roderick Newton, who began the adoption process, told Daily Mail. “She believed that by committing to take the medication she could return back to Italy with the child, and that she should not go into adoption. She said that nobody is perfect, neither she nor any adoptive mother, and that, I am quite sure, is the case.”
But the judge said, “It is not a case where I can accede to the mother’s wishes even though I understand, not just the strength of feeling that she has, but it is rare to have it articulated in such a forceful and coherent form.”
The Daily Mail has more on the story:
A mother ordered to give up her baby after a forced caesarean begged a judge: Please don’t take my daughter away.
The newborn was taken into state care on the orders of a judge in the notoriously secretive Court of Protection – despite the mother’s pleas to be allowed to raise her.
The case provoked a wave of anger from MPs and patient pressure groups, with one MP describing social workers as ‘dictators who are unaccountable and out of control’.
The treatment of the 35-year-old Italian, who arrived in Britain last summer and then fell into an episode of serious mental ill health, was condemned as extraordinary and totalitarian.
It will raise questions of how secret justice in Britain could impose an invasive medical procedure on a foreign citizen and then seize her child, apparently without contacting the authorities in her own country.
The girl, born last August, is now close to being adopted by a British couple, despite a court hearing that her mother had recovered and was giving clear and articulate evidence as she pleaded to keep her.
The judge who heads the family courts, Sir James Munby, has said they must be open to the public, but no information concerning any element of the treatment of the Italian mother has been made public by the courts or by Essex County Council, the local authority responsible for the baby.
The case follows a series of scandals over the way justice for families is meted out behind closed doors.
The woman, who is a mother of three girls, is understood to have arrived in Britain while pregnant last July. One report said yesterday that she was to take a training course at Stansted Airport with Ryanair.