Archive for the 'adoption' Category

Baby abduction scandal – write to your MP

I should have been at my desk working. Instead I was watching day time TV, it was very disturbing.

Lib Dem MP John Hemming.

He looks ordinary enough, just like any other MP, really. His allegations of an adoption scandal going on in the UK today – that is very disturbing.

Babies are being removed from their parents so that councils can meet adoption targets, MPs have claimed.

Obviously it is easy to find adoptive parents for young babies, but not for the thousands of older children in care.

A young woman, Fran Lyon, was also on the TV. Fran is 22 and pregnant, her baby will be taken from her at birth to be given for adoption – against her wishes. This decision has been made by the Family Court. The reason given is that an ‘expert’ who has never met the woman says their is a risk she could harm the child. This risk is because a number of years ago, as a teenager, she was treated as a psychiatric inpatient. The Psychiatrist who has treated her does NOT think there is any risk.

Just in case you do not know – it does not mean she is a psychopath or schizophrenic, she is not a threat to society or herself, she is just normal. Many people have some psychiatric illness for a period in their lives (possibly 1 in 4 people) teenagers are especially vulnerable to anorexia, bulimia, self-harm and suicide attempts. It is not trivial at the time, but at risk of sounding flippant, for most people this period in their lives passes away into history as they grow up and get on with life. I know many respectable people who have spent some time in mental hospitals in their distant pasts.

Many scandals have come to light in recent years where people have been imprisoned due to discredited ‘expert’ witnesses. So you would think there would be more caution these days.

The problem is that The Family Court is not like any other, it does not work to the same rules.

This part of the story is more shocking. The court can take away a child even though nothing has happened. Before the baby is born Fran Lyon can appear on TV and speak out about this injustice, but after the child is born she is not allowed to speak to ANYONE (but her lawyers) about it. This is a very common occurrence – but no-one is allowed to speak about specific cases. There really seems very little a mother can do once the baby is taken, as adoption is irreversible.

This sort of thing could happen to any family. I have heard harrowing stories of children all taken in to care and adopted with no evidence against the parents. No crime was committed and the parents were never charged with a crime. Still the children can be taken, ‘just in case’ and spend months or years of their precious childhood in care, foster homes or even be adopted. This is UK Family Justice today (I think, Radio 4, Law in Action).

More about Fran Lyon’s story here:

A few months ago I watched the harrowing film Stolen Babies on

It is based on the shocking story of the Tennesee Childrens Home Society, a local adoption agency, run by Georgia Tann in the 1940’s. Children were abducted from their parents and adopted by people for cash payments.  Many of the families were reunited after it was exposed, but some records were destroyed, some parents were never able to find their children.  There is a similar film which I have not seen, Butterbox Babies, another true story based in the 1940’s USA.

It seems that a similar thing is going on in the UK today. The new adoptive parents do not have to hand over cash and will be unaware of the true circumstances behind the babies.

As a mother myself, I can begin to imagine how painful it is for parents who have their children taken away.

As a rational, intelligent person born in the twentieth century – I can’t imagine the frustration of the parents at the how illogical and medieval the Family Court system seems.

I do know that John Hemming was correct when he stressed that this process is a cruel injustice to the children – as taking them from their mother at birth, denying them the physical contact and breast milk has negative health implications which are proven.

I shall be writing to my MP to ask him to support the campaign led by John Hemming for reform of the Family Justice System.

If you would like to know a lot more about this subject look at Hemming’s website.

click on family law on left, then ‘reform of family public law on right. From his site I have copied the following:

BBC – An independent enquiry finds that social service works in Norfolk take decision based on insufficient evidence
The Times – A child is taken away from it’s parents because of suspicions over whether the father hurt a child during a previous marriage, though the father was never either charged or convicted.
Libdemvoice – A mother has her baby taken off her just after it is born, and isn’t allowed to breast-feed it.
The Daily Mail – A mother and daughter are re-united after having been separated on false grounds seventeen years previously.
The Daily Mail – A mother is accused of abusing her children and they are taken away from her.


I’ve had some comments: I’ve cut and pasted this into the body of the blog – it is a quote from a comment received:

We are in the UK helping parents under threat of having their babies taken by Social Services. We arrange free Legal advice, help and support.
Trackers International is also fighting for a Public Inquiry for the hundreds of thousands of unmarried mothers 1950’s-1970’s who suffered the heartbreak of having to surrender their babies for forcible adoption. They were subjected to coercion and duress, denied vital informattion about their rights and never told of the alternatives.

… We’ve had 57,000+ viewers since Oct 2006.

Please pay us a visit, we have boards for John Hemming MP. Joe Soll, Mirah Riben, Ian Josephs and Origins.

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