exposing the dark side of adoption
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By Lucy Johnston

A father whose three young children were “dragged” from his arms by social workers and adopted is taking his battle to be reunited with them to the European Court of Human Rights.

Philip O’Gorman, a 31-year-old electrical engineer, was not accused of harming his children, yet he has been barred from any contact with them.

They were snatched from his home three years ago with no explanation. He says his local authority failed to respond to more than 50 phone calls and letters.

Finally, two years ago, with help of Lib Dem MP John Hemming, he was told social workers had believed the youngsters, now aged 10, eight and seven, were “dirty”, and not up to date with their childhood vaccines.

Last night Mr O’Gorman, from Walsall, West Midlands, said: “I never abused my children or harmed them. I love them and would do anything to see them again.

“We’ve never had a letter to say how they are, no photograph or visiting rights. I could have gone to prison and had more rights to see them.”

Social workers were first alerted when he was living with his wife Ceta who suffers mental health problems.

They split up in 2004 after six years of marriage. Mr O’Gorman moved in with his parents and weeks later social workers reunited him with the children.

But 18 months later the officials were back after his daughter’s school complained she had been absent.

After missing a court appearance because of a mix-up he was suddenly confronted with three social workers on his doorstep, telling him they had come to take his children.

The stunned father said: “I begged them for two minutes with them to say goodbye and tell them I loved them and they threatened me with the police. They just took them out of my arms.”

2009 Jun 7