English authorities take newborn babies for adoption – this compares how their legal system treats a pregnant woman and a man arrested for murder.
The bulk of English adoptions result from forcible takings:
Children fall into three groups according to the reason for their adoption: relinquished infants (14%), those whose parents had requested adoption in complex circumstances (24%), and those children required to be adopted by social services and the courts (62%).
So now let’s compare our murderer and the woman whose baby is taken (English authorities often take several kids at once, but to keep it simple we’ll look at single takings).
The murderer gets investigated by the cops who are required by law to identify themselves by name, and sometimes number.
The pregnant woman gets investigated by social services officials whose identities are kept secret throughout legal proceeding and all all times subsequently.
The alleged murderer is entitled to have his lawyer present at all interviews with cops.
The pregnant woman has no rights to have her lawyer present during her meetings with social services, and (as the YouTube debacle showed), they prevent the woman recording.
Cops must read the alleged murderer the Brit equivalent of Miranda rights before taking any statement from him, and must release him if they are not able to charge him within a tightly-limited period. They must tape the entire interview and hold it for subsequent audit, and the suspect must sign any confession.
Social services officials do not read Miranda rights; they can interview the woman as many times as they like for as long as they like. They can call on (or require the attendance of) the woman at any time. They do not tape meetings in auditable form. They are not required to have the woman sign any statements they note.
The murder is charged with a specific act, which the court must verify.
The woman can be charged with the potential for inflicting harm, for example:
In March Mr Justice McFarlane publicly castigated social workers who had removed a nine-year-old girl from her parents for 14 months on the absolutely false pretext that her mother might be suffering from Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy (attention-seeking).
The judge found that every one of the 13 assertions made by the social services team leader was “misleading or incomplete or wrong”.
Social services targets the babies of the young, ill, and poor, who must rely on court-provided lawyers. Some (at least) of these are believed by their customers to be in cahoots with social services and/or the dregs of their profession.
The murderer has the same problem, however he has daylight on his side – if his lawyer messes up, it’s visible to the world.
Unlike the murderer, the woman has to fight for her child under a complete blanket of secrecy:
The courts…rule on bids by councils to put removed children up for adoption, which is irreversible. Yet, while criminal cases must be proved beyond reasonable doubt, family courts take decisions on the balance of probabilities and unlike criminal courts, cases are heard in strict secrecy.
Under the current law, reporters and members of the public cannot attend family court hearings, see documents, review evidence or obtain copies of judgments.
Since in forced adoption cases the baby is being taken into a new family, its “old” identity is irrelevant. The real motive is to protect the individuals doing the taking – here’s a family lawyer:
“Social services are the only department other than MI5 who undertake their work in complete secrecy. It’s not the welfare of the child that is being protected, it is the welfare of social workers. This cannot be justified.
It gets worse – adoption agencies aren’t covered by this secrecy – here’s a rare campaigner (scroll quarter way down):
I can generally only write when judges go public.
Yet I have discovered that even as I was writing about this case last year, painstakingly omitting much of the detail to ensure that no one could identify the child, her picture, real name and age were being published in a national newspaper. Not by a journalist, who would have been in contempt of court. But by an adoption agency, advertising for adopters.
Agencies have to find good homes for needy children. Many do a great job. But for parents who are routinely told that they will be in contempt if they dare to reveal the legal proceedings to anyone outside the court, or even to talk about the child by name, because his or her privacy is paramount, it is staggering to see their children being advertised like pets.
Women fighting to keep their kids may not treat these awful courts and social services employees with the respect they feel they deserve. In consequence, each week in England, these courts jail 4 people for contempt. That gives them a criminal record and guarantees they won’t get their kids back.
This 200 a year is oddly hard to track down. It’s a quote by government minister in a debate on June 13, 2006, and a search confirms it. But the full quote is not accessible on Parliament’s website – I do hope that’s a glitch.
The murderer has the full record of his trail published, and has a right to appeal.
The mother has no such record, so cannot appeal:
Family courts are refusing to tell mothers why their babies are being taken away and put up for forced adoption.
Two mothers have told The Sunday Telegraph that their pain at losing their children was made worse by not knowing the grounds on which judges took the decisions.
Both women had their requests for copies of the judgments turned down repeatedly. As a result, they were prevented from launching legal battles to win their babies back, because appeals cannot be lodged without -written judgments.
Without written judgments, parents can’t even ask the European Court of Justice to intervene.
And even if the woman does appeal successfully, once the baby has been adopted, the English authorities won’t return it (see comment 3:18):
After taking their daughter to hospital, they were accused of abusing her. Their second child, born a few weeks later, was taken away almost from the moment she was born. They have subsequently been cleared of any charges, yet their children have not been returned to them.
They are being told by SS that, despite seeing their mother up until January this year (when the older daughter was told to say goodbye to her mother because she’d never see her again), they are settled with their prospective adoptive family and they will not be moved and that it is SS’s decision to overturn an adoption decision.
So English women are unprotected from a state that inflicts the terrible and life-long damage of losing their kids, while murderers have a raft of protections against a short prison sentence:
The mandatory life sentence does not underpin public abhorrence of murder because everyone knows that life does not mean life but on average something less than 10 years.
That’s England – land of stolen kids, abused women, and happy murderers.
Fortunately, the rest of the world is different – here’s Baroness Hale:
The United Kingdom is unusual amongst members of the Council of Europe in permitting the total severance of family ties without parental consent. (Professor Triseliotis thought that only Portugal and perhaps one other European country allowed this.) It is, of course, the most draconian interference with family life possible.
In future posts we’ll look at the perpetrators of these outrages, at the people fighting them, and the implications for English society.