A couple who claim social services “kidnapped” their baby daughter for adoption are due to flee Britain today to prevent their unborn child being taken into care.
By Murray Wardrop
Published: 7:30AM GMT 09 Dec 2009
The couple with with one of their baby’s first toys Photo: DANIEL JONES
The pair, who cannot be named for legal reasons, intend to travel to Spain because they fear social workers will try to adopt their son, who is due in February.
Their daughter was taken into care in October last year when she was nine weeks old after Suffolk County Council raised concerns that they were unfit to bring her up.
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The couple allege that police and council staff forced their way into their home and snatched the girl despite no allegation made against them ever having been proven.
The 32-year-old woman and 41-year-old man said they felt they had been „driven from their own country“ in order to ensure they can bring up their own child.
The father, a lorry driver, told the Daily Telegraph: “We are absolutely terrified that social services will do exactly the same thing with our baby boy as they did with our daughter.
“They have already requested that we attend meetings for a pre-birth risk assessment but we are not taking any chances, so we’re leaving immediately.
“We feel like refugees, being driven from our own country just so we can have the right, like any other parent, to bring up our own son.
“We have had to drop our entire lives and flee but we cannot take the risk of losing our baby, it would destroy us.”
The pair intend to start a new life abroad and have arranged to move into a flat in Algorfa, a small town on the Costa Blanca in Alicante.
Last month in the Commons Tim Yeo, the couple’s local MP, accused council officials of „kidnapping“ the child solely to boost their adoption figures.
„This council actively seeks opportunities to remove babies from their mothers. Its social work staff do so in a manner which in my view is sometimes tantamount to child kidnapping,” he told MPs.
The mother came to the attention of social services in 2006 when she was married.
As her marriage disintegrated and a custody battle ensued, allegations were made to social services about her ability to be a good mother.
It was claimed that she had factitious disorder – a condition in which sufferers are said to feign illness or exaggerate symptoms. It was also alleged that she had falsely claimed her son suffered from various illnesses. She denies both claims.
She gave birth to her daughter in August last year and she and her new partner were allowed to take the baby home following advice from doctors.
The couple said they were continually “hounded” by social services until October 27, when council staff and police banged on their door, moved in and removed the girl.
They were not allowed to cuddle their daughter or see before she was taken, they said.
Since then, the couple have only been allowed to see their daughter at supervised visits to a children’s centre 15 miles away.
Adoption proceedings were finalised in September and the baby is due to be transferred to adoptive parents in January.
Suffolk County Council has denied it wanted to take the baby to boost targets. A spokesman said Suffolk did not have targets and followed national guidance and legislation on providing an adoption service.