I read with disgust this story from the Times, concerning a mother considered “not clever enough” to look after her own child. The child was born prematurely and ‘social workers’ deemed that the mother did not have the intellectual capacity to care for her daughter’s medical needs, so the child was released into care with foster parents. The State then decided to adopt the child out permanantly, appointed a State Solicitor to fight the mother’s case (who, surprise surprise decided not to contest) as the mother was deemed not intelligent enough to instruct her own solicitor and have now told the mother that she will only see her child a few more times and then never again. The mother is taking the case to the ECHR, and so is plainly intelligent enough to understand the workings of the system in that regard.
If this was an isolated case, then that would be bad enough, but a swift bit of searchng reveals cases like this, this and this. Of course, the children are always referred to with initials, to ‘protect’ them, and of course the fact that this also has the effect of making the stories harder to tell and keep track of doesn’t enter into it. The mother in the story didn’t have a chance to defend herself or make her case. The State plainly viewed Family Court as a formality and has the attitude that they can take any child at will. This is what we pay these people for?
The worst thing is, even while perfectly happy and well-cared for children are being snatched away from their parents, travesties like the Baby P case and Victoria Climbie happen again and again and again. Child Protection cannot be the motive for the machinations of Social Workers here, or logically children in genuine danger would be removed and children in no danger would remain with their families.
So is this another case of State Targets and the Law Of Unintended Consequences? Local Councils have, after all, received cash bonuses for hitting adoption targets in the past. Parliament last year dismissed claims that children were being taken unneccesarily in order to hit targets, but since most of these cases take place in secret court sessions, with the parents forbidden to disclose what was said under penalty of prison, who knows?