Baby taken from mother by UK social services in ‘forced caesarean’
The Sunday Telegraph reported the story, citing the woman’s
lawyers, who is now fighting for custody of her child. The woman,
who is reportedly an Italian national, was in the UK on a
business trip last year when she suffered a panic attack. She
called the police who subsequently took her to a psychiatric
facility where she was sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
Members of her family said the panic attack was caused by her
failure to take medication for bipolar disorder, which she had
been diagnosed with in Italy.
The legal documents handed to the Sunday Telegraph indicate that
after 5 weeks in the ward, the woman was sedated and subjected to
a caesarean section procedure to remove the unborn child from her
womb. The Essex social services had received an order from a High
Court giving them the go ahead to carry out the operation on the
grounds that the woman was not mentally fit.
“I have never heard of anything like this in all my 40 years
in the job,” Brendan Fleming, the woman’s British lawyer,
told The Sunday Telegraph.
The woman’s lawyers say that she was never informed of the
The aggrieved returned to the UK in February of this year to
claim custody of her child at a Crown Court. Her lawyers said
that although the judge formed a favorable opinion of her, he
ruled that the child should be put up for adoption because there
was a danger that she could regress.
Following the ruling the case has snowballed and is now at the
center of an international dispute. The woman has also filed a
case with a High Court in Rome asking why an Italian citizen had
been subjected to UK care proceedings. Her lawyers are currently
trying to discern why no next of kin in Italy were informed when
she was sectioned.
“If there were concerns about the care of this child by an
Italian mother, then the better plan would have been for the
authorities here to have notified social services in Italy and
for the child to have been taken back there,” wrote
Christopher Booker in his column in The Sunday Telegraph.
Lawyers also voiced some concern that the child was put up for
adoption when there had been an offer from a family friend in the
US to take care of her.