Forced Adoption: UK families flee to Ireland to keep their children (DOCUMENTARY)
The UK is just one of two countries in Europe (the other is
Croatia) where adoption without the consent of a child’s
biological parents – known as 'forced adoption' – is practiced.
Despite international law calling it an emergency measure, “there were over 2,000 children forcibly taken from one family to another” last year, MP John Hemming told RT's documentary channel (RTD). Every year, some 11,000 children are taken into local authority care without the consent of their parents.
According to the MP, social workers are instructed by their
managers to advise the court to get the child adopted – even if
they’re been taken care of by a competent family.
With Britain's children's minister, Edward Timpson, proudly announcing a 63 percent rise in adoptions since 2011, children are being removed from their families “merely to satisfy government target,” Hemming said.
UK legislation provides several reasons for removing a child from their parents, with “risk of future emotional harm” being the most widely used – and the most controversial.
“Now how do you quantify that? It’s almost impossible to quantify, but a lot of people lose their children because the social services and the courts say there’s a risk of future emotional harm,” human rights activist Yolande Lindbridge said.
It’s very difficult for parents to get their children back after a final hearing in court, because “the appeal system isn’t set up for people to win,” she stressed.
If the court rules that the forced adoption was a mistake, it often still decides to leave the child with their new family, so as “not to upset the child again,” said Bridget Robb, chief executive of the British Association of Social Workers.
There are also cases when parents – especially those with complications in mental development – are told that their children will be removed even before they've given birth.
With limited tools to fight the system, many UK families are choosing to flee to neighboring Ireland or other foreign countries to keep their children.
Ireland is willing to provide support to those parents, unlike England, which “may identify that there may’ve been a problem, but is not willing to help you solve that problem,” according to John Paskell, a parent who fled the UK with his child.
The documentary ‘Forced Adoption: UK,' premiering on RT and RTD on March 23, tells the story of several UK families who have experienced forced adoption and are now fighting to keep their children or have them returned.