Warm and Gentle Mother Loses Her Two Children to Adoption

Those ignorant of the realities of family justice are wont to assume that, if a child is taken into care, there must be some fault on the part of the parents. That point of view was given the lie by one case in which a warm and gentle mother was in no way to blame for the loss of both her children to adoption.

The mother, who had learning difficulties, suffered extreme deprivation and sexual and emotional abuse during her own childhood and was highly vulnerable. Her local authority had, however, offered her no therapeutic support. Her oldest child, a boy aged three, had already been freed for adoption. However, she resisted the local authority’s plan to also arrange adoption for her five-month-old daughter.

In ruling on what he described as a desperately sad and wretched case, a family judge noted that the mother’s grief at losing her children was very apparent and lamented what might have been achieved had she received timely therapy. Neither the mistreatment she endured during her childhood, nor her difficulties in providing good enough parenting, were in any way her fault.

However, in freeing the little girl for adoption, the judge found that there was no prospect of a further assessment of the mother’s parenting skills leading to a different outcome. The evidence was overwhelming that she was incapable of caring her daughter, even at the most basic level. The judge expressed the hope that she would now receive therapy in order to heal the deep emotional wounds of her past.

A Local Authority v The Mother & Anr. Case Number: BS17C00707

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