2012: Year of Our Shame
Published by Yvonne Hutchinson on Thursday, July 26th, 2012 at 12:12 pm
The Olympics have always provided a platform for activists to highlight controversial issues of state abuse and excesses.
The Beijing Olympics were understandably no different with the country having a notoriously poor human rights record. More recently China’s failings once again hit the headlines when the regimes treatment of Chen Guangcheng, the blind anti-forced abortion activist sparked a diplomatic crisis. Thankfully, Mr Guangcheng is now finally free and safely in the USA. Sadly, Chinese officials continue to remove women from their homes and stand guard as they are forced to undergo abortions.
This all sounds like a grizzly situation far removed from our civilized country and bearing no relevance to the UK. Not so. In my mind there is something even more brutal and abusive about our own widespread practice of forced adoption than China’s appalling practice of forced abortion since a relationship, often a loving one, has already been formed between mother and child.
Forced adoption, where babies are often removed at birth or as young children from distraught and traumatised mothers and placed for adoption by secret courts and target-driven bureaucrats, is surely one of the worst human rights abuses still perpetrated in the UK. For me the London Olympics have been marred by this awful practice that is going largely unnoticed and unchallenged.
I’d been conditioned by the media with horror stories of (the relatively rare) child abuse cases like Baby P. So, like most Brits I had automatically attributed guilt to parents who had their children removed. It wouldn’t have occurred to me that the state was subjecting people who needed its support most to widespread abuse. The reality is Children’s Services across the country, terrified of the next ‘Baby P’ media frenzy, are routinely getting things horribly and devastatingly wrong. My naive trust in the state was completely shattered after meeting a young Nigerian mother.
Last year a friend of mine who worked for the local Children’s Services brought a young Nigerian woman to me in the hope that I might be able to befriend her and offer her some support. My friend, having a conscience, was unable to stand by and do nothing. The young woman’s son had been taken from her at just three weeks old when all she actually needed was a little extra support. This was the beginning of my journey into the terrifyingly dark and callous world of Children’s Services.
The young woman was given a solicitor paid for by, yes, Children’s Services. Needless to say he made every effort to assist his paymaster in meeting their target for removing children from parents. The courts brought in their ‘expert witnesses’ and the judge finally removed her son (who was two years old by that time). Then they stood outside the delivery room waiting to remove from her arms her new born baby on the grounds that they had removed the first! Neither of her children had suffered any kind of abuse.
They had argued that she was ‘emotionally unstable’ because she often held her first son closely and cried when visiting him at the contact centre. They also reported that she had an ‘emotionally negative’ effect on her son because he often cried at the end of visits and didn’t want to leave her.
So what was her crime? She had turned to Social Services years earlier when she fled a previous abusive relationship and sought accommodation in a women’s refuge. From that point on she had secretly been branded a risk to her children, even before conceiving them, and targeted by the people she had turned to for help.
Both children have now been placed for adoption on the grounds that they may be at risk of emotional abuse! I attended Court with her on the first adoption placement and was horrified at the glaring inconsistencies, errors and even complete fabrications throughout. It was nothing but a kangaroo court, held in secret and with no grounds for appeal! Do such things really take place in our ‘civilized’ state? Yes, every day!
I felt powerless as I watched the state destroy the lives of a young woman and her children. Only later did I learn of Children’s Services adoption target and the payments they receive from government for each adoption placement.
The report on last Friday’s Channel 4 News was the first sign to me that out there somewhere, sanity still exists and that there are a few people fighting against these practices that have no place in the civilized world. How can it possibly be right to forcibly remove loved and healthy babies from their mother’s arms and place them for adoption on the grounds that they may be at ‘risk of emotional abuse’? How can such barbarism be happening in 21st Century UK? Why are there so few dissenting voices? How are we any better than China?
Forced adoption is arguably the worst human rights abuse still taking place in the UK and we should hang our heads in shame. Better still, we should add our voice to the growing campaign for radical change and demand to live in a country that protects and supports families instead of incentivising bureaucrats to abuse and destroy them.
The shocking facts:
1:- The UK is the ONLY State in the WORLD that gags parents whose children have been taken by social services
2:- The UK is the ONLY State in Europe (except Croatia) to permit the horror of "forced adoption".
3:-The UK is the ONLY State in Europe to allow "punishment without crime" ie the forced removal of children by social services from sane parents who have not committed any criminal offence.
4:- The UK is the ONLY State in Europe forcibly removing and placing babies for adoption on the grounds of ‘emotional abuse’ and worse still ‘risk of emotional abuse’
These practices must be made illegal and family courts must be ruled by the criminal court system, “innocent until proved guilty” and hearings must be by jury before children can be taken for ever; as argued by Justice campaigner Ian Josephs.
I for one will be lending my full support to John Hemmings MP’s Private Members Bill and doing everything in my power to expose the scandal that has destroyed my young friend’s life.
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