Couple accuse social services of 'kidnapping' daughter
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A couple have accused social services of "kidnapping" their nine week-old daughter for adoption.
Nov 27, 2009
They allege that police and council staff forced their way into their home and took the baby away while they were physically restrained. They claim they were not allowed to cuddle the child or say goodbye.
The couple from Suffolk, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, say their daughter was taken for adoption despite no allegation made against them ever having been proven.
The mother said: "The council have been hellbent on taking our daughter away come what may. We feel we have been a victims of a system which is completely biased in favour of social services."
The couple have started legal proceedings to have their daughter returned.
Earlier this week in the Commons Tim Yeo, their local MP, accused council officials of "kidnapping" the child solely to boost their adoption figures.
The mother, 32, is pregnant again. She says she and the father, 41, plan to emigrate so their second child is not taken. She came to the attention of social services two years earlier, when she was married.
As her marriage disintegrated and a custody battle ensued, allegations were made to social services about her ability to be ad mother.
It was claimed that she suffered from factitious disorder – a condition in which sufferers are said to feign illness or exaggerate symptoms. It was also alleged that she had falsely claimed her son suffered from various illnesses. She denies both claims.
On Oct 27, council staff and police banged on their door, moved in and removed the girl. The couple have only been allowed to see their daughter at supervised visits to a children’s centre 15 miles away. Adoption proceedings were finalised in September and the baby is due to be transferred to adoptive parents in January.
Suffolk County Council denied it wanted to take the baby to boost targets. A spokesman said Suffolk did not have targets and followed national guidance and legislation on providing an adoption service.
Simon White, director of children and young people’s services, said: "Decisions of this kind are not taken lightly and follow a rigorous process of assessment. Our highly trained, professional staff are very mindful of the particular circumstances of each case but ultimately it is the welfare of the child or children which must be safeguarded – we reject any accusation otherwise.