Human Exceptionalism

UK Court Steals Italian Mother’s Baby

This is unbelievable. An Italian pregnant woman was in the UK for job training when she had an emotional collapse. She apparently went off her meds. 

She was taken to a mental hospital, and kept forcibly in a locked facility. Things got worse from there. From the Telegraph story:

By now Essex social services were involved, and five weeks later she was told she could not have breakfast that day. When no explanation was forthcoming, she volubly protested. She was strapped down and forcibly sedated, and when she woke up hours later, found she was in a different hospital and that her baby had been removed by caesarean section while she was unconscious and taken into care by social workers. She was not allowed to see her baby daughter, and later learnt that a High Court judge, Mr Justice Mostyn, had given the social workers permission to arrange for the child to be delivered.

Forced surgery? Unless it could be shown beyond a reasonable doubt that it was necessary to protect the baby, I don’t get it.

But it gets worse: Even though the woman has immediate family in Italy, the UK courts decided to keep the baby!

In February, when the mother returned to Chelmsford to plead for the return of her daughter, the judge, I am told, admitted that, since resuming her medication, she seemed impressively articulate and a different person from the one he had seen earlier. But, because he could not risk a failure to maintain her medication in the future, he ruled that the child must be placed for adoption.

This is an attack on all parents with mental illnesses. Moreover, if there is a welfare of the baby issue, it should be up to the Italian courts to decide.

But the Italian court abdicated its obligation by claiming the woman agreed to UK jurisdiction–even though she was sedated and didn’t know what was going on.

I suppose because the child was born in the UK, she is a citizen (that would be the case in the U.S.). But that should not give the authorities there the right to steal the woman’s child! 

The case continues.

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