Protesting forced adoption. Image from Facebook page – Never Give Up.
by TLB Contributor Christina England
In the UK, there has been a steady increase in the number of children taken into care for many years. Sadly, however, many of these children may have been needlessly taken away from loving families, families who are innocent of any wrongdoing.
One case to have hit the headlines recently is the case of Kerry McDougall. In April 2015, Mrs. McDougall, a 22 year-old woman with moderate learning difficulties, gave birth to a third child in Ireland, after having her first two children forcibly removed from her care because social workers believed that she was “too dumb” to be a mother.
The Mirror, reporting on the story, wrote:
“In 2010 Fife social workers shocked Britain by ruling Kerry, who used to have a cleft palate and has moderate learning difficulties, was unfit to wed or be a mum.
But Kerry and Mark defied them, marrying and fleeing to Ireland when she became pregnant with her first son.
They had another boy there and she and Mark were deemed fit parents by Irish social services, who removed their sons from their register.
But when the couple returned to Fife thinking they had proved themselves, their boys were handed to a foster family.
Close to tears, Kerry said: “I can’t describe what it feels like to have your children taken away, screaming for you.”
Mrs. McDougall’s only “crime” was to have been born with learning difficulties. She and husband Mark were offered no parenting classes or advice by UK social services; instead, they were ridiculed and bullied by a system that was put in place to protect children. Before fleeing to Ireland, the couple were told that Kerry lacked the intelligence to understand her wedding vows and would be unable to provide adequate care for her children.
Fighting the case on behalf of the family is member of Parliament Mr. John Hemmings, who told reporters:
“It’s clear to me that Fife social services have acted vindictively against this young family.
They were living happily in Ireland and Mark and Kerry were considered to be suitable parents.
There has never been an incident to suggest they are not suitable parents.
Taking any child into care is extremely disruptive and traumatic and it should be done only when essential for the safety and well being of the child.”
In their fight for justice, the couple told their story on video, in the hope that their story will help others.
Sadly, Kerry McDougall’s family is just one of a growing number of UK families who have faced discrimination for a variety of reasons.
Baby Stolen From Mother’s Womb
In 2013, another disturbing case dominated the UK headlines. According to reports, nearly two years after being forced to have a caesarean section because she suffered from a bipolar condition, 35 year-old Italian born Ms. Alessandra Pacchieri began the fight to have her 15 month-old baby returned to her care.
This poor mother was sectioned under the mental health act, then ordered to have her unborn baby delivered by a caesarean section and then forced to give up her newborn baby for adoption because she had stopped taking her medication during pregnancy for fear it could have harmed her baby.
Mr. John Hemmings, speaking on behalf of the family, told The BBC News:
“The rules are straightforward when it comes to foreign nationals and care proceedings. The foreign country concerned should be contacted through their central authority (in Italy’s case part of the Justice Ministry). This clearly did not happen and for this Essex County Council are clearly in the wrong.
Essex have not managed to explain why no-one in the wider extended family was competent to look after the baby when they were already looking after two of her siblings. Additionally Essex have not explained why this baby was in their control to get adopted when the mother always intended to return to Italy.”
Outraged by the inhumane way that this pregnant mother had been treated, Hemmings told reporters that he would raise the matter in Parliament.
Speaking of her ordeal, Ms. Pacchieri told reporters from The Daily Mail, who also reported on the story:
“Your family courts and your social workers invaded my body and stole my baby. I believe that the British authorities planned to adopt my daughter from the very beginning.”
She could be correct, as according to FASSIT, a leading UK website offering advice to families who are being faced with the wrath of social services, hundreds of children are being stolen in the UK for profit.
In their mission statement, FASSIT stated that:
“Fassit provides a website containing information and advice for families with children experiencing frustration in working with Social Services in Child protection Proceedings. Initially a organisation looking to change views over the legitimacy and ethics of ‘forced adoption’ the organisation has grown to encompass support for individuals at any point in the investigative processes operated by Children’s Social Services.
Fassit are trying to protect all children where massive legal resources and support can be better used on keeping children at home with their families and not completely wasted on unnecessary court proceedings. [Children in care cost the taxpayer an average of £2,500 per child, per week-more than four times what it would cost to send a child to Eton.
Channel 4 Profiting From Kids In Care]
Fassit are finding that social workers are removing hundreds of children from innocent parents each year through sheer incompetence and organisational failure what could best be described as blatant discrepancies between the evidence presented at Court by expert witnesses (social services; health; education etc.) and the actual events or material facts of the case.”
Their statements are certainly true, according to the cases of Mrs. Kerry McDougall and Ms. Alessandra Pacchieri.
How Many UK Children Are Currently In State Care?
According to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), there are currently over 93,000 children being looked after in the UK by the government. These figures include children who live at home under the terms of their care plan. Breaking these figures down, the NSPCC stated:
Department for Education (2014) Table A1 in Children looked after in England, including adoption: national tables (XLSX). London: Department for Education.
Northern Ireland: 2,858
Iain Waugh (2014) Section three of Children’s social care statistics Northern Ireland 2013/14 (PDF). Belfast: Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety.
Scottish Government (2015) Children’s Social Work Statistics Scotland, 2013-14. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.
Welsh Government (2015) Children in need at 31 March by looked after status, category of need and disability, including unborn children. Cardiff: Stats Wales.”
These figures are certainly impressive, but how many of these children have been taken away under false pretenses?
One Mother Is Speaking Out
Stephanie Freeman Speaking Out – Stop Stealing Our Children Now. Image from Facebook page – Never Give Up.
One mother, Stephanie Freeman, campaigns on behalf of her own children and children throughout the UK on a regular basis. We asked Stephanie for her thoughts regarding the current situation in the UK.
“Forced adoption is an act in which the parents have no say. Their children are forcibly stolen from them and their parental rights stripped, for no other reason than that of social services meeting their monthly targets for how many children they take into care and adopt each and every month, being driven by the financial bonuses should they achieve these said targets. A lifelong trauma caused by lies from social services and cafcass in the family courts.”
Stephanie backs up her claims with a YouTube video recording of Member of Parliament Mr. John Hemmings speaking to Going Underground on the subject of forced adoption.
Commenting on her own story, Stephanie told Medical Kidnap:
I myself am a mother falsely accused of child abuse. No factual-based, proven evidence to support within the family courts that I had abused my children. I have had my two sons permanently removed from my loving care.
I was described as “a loving mother,” with my “parenting skills to a high standard.” Regardless, I have been separated from my children indefinitely, who as siblings have been permanently separated from each other. My eldest son remains in long-term foster care, regardless of there being no initial allegations of abuse regarding him.
I have been denied contact, and am in-fact in a position where social services tell me absolutely nothing about my children, even before the forced adoption of my youngest, that I am unaware of even if my children are dead or alive.
I can only imagine how my children are feeling, based on how I feel on a day-to-day basis. Lost, hurt, numb, lonely, distraught, depressed, confused, like my life is over, I don’t have a life, just an existence. Will we ever see each other again? I have no idea, but I hold on to the hope that my children will find their roots.
I feel through the unconditional love that I shared with my children, the indefinite love that I gave to them, and the eternal love that I feel for them, that they will find their way home one day, if I don’t find them first. Forced adoption is a lifelong living bereavement.
Sadly, we are unable to report in full on Ms. Freeman’s story because she has told Medical Kidnap that she has been silenced by the UK Justice System and threatened with a prison sentence if she speaks openly about her case. She did tell us, however, that one of her children has recently been adopted.
Stephanie outside of County Court. Image from Facebook page – Never Give Up.
Stephanie spends her time attending rallies and campaigning for the rights of children in the UK. She also helps to run the online Facebook group titled Stolen Children of the UK (S.C.O.T.U.K) to support every parent facing forced adoption.
They’re Our Blood, Not Your Profit! Image from Facebook page – Stolen Children of the UK.
Conclusion: Being Falsely Accused of Child Abuse is a Universal Problem
Forced adoption is a universal problem. Being falsely accused of child abuse and having your child taken away from you and given to a stranger can cause immense pain to both the parent and the child.
Who gives social services the right to say who can be a parent and who cannot? Who gives social services the authority to decide that a person with a learning disability or a mental illness is unfit to be a parent? Who gives social services the authority to force a pregnant woman to have a caesarean section so her unborn baby can be adopted by the state?
I conclude with a trailer of a documentary that social services are trying to ban in the U.K. I feel that the content alone will explain why.