201512.09

Adoption Order Made in ‘Concealed Pregnancy’ Case

Family judges are focused on protecting the most vulnerable members of society, in particular children, whose welfare is always treated as of paramount importance. In one case, a judge ruled that a baby girl, who was born after her mother concealed her pregnancy from social workers, must be adopted outside her natural family.

The girl’s mother had been so desperate to keep her that she gave false information to midwives and gave birth under an assumed name. Social workers suspected the truth, however, and took action a fortnight after her delivery. An emergency care order was issued and the child was placed in foster care.

Her parents continued to have regular contact with her and urged the judge to find that they were capable of bringing her up. However, the judge noted that the girl’s father had previously been found to have physically and sexually abused her older half-sister. The mother, who had failed to protect her child, had refused to accept that finding and had stood by her husband.

In the circumstances, the judge found that there was no realistic prospect of the girl being returned safely to her parents’ care. She required a permanent stable home and that could only be provided by way of her placement for adoption. The judge expressed the hope that both the girl and her half-sister could be placed with the same adoptive family.

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