Revealed: ‘Draconian’ plan by social workers to secretly take pregnant woman’s baby

Revealed: Social workers secretly took pregnant woman's baby
The woman was not told her baby would be taken away (Picture: Flickr/ Montse PB)

A High Court judge gave social workers permission not to tell a pregnant mentally-ill woman that they planned to take her child into care at birth.

Mr Justice Keehan said there was a risk that the 24-year-old woman would harm herself and her child if she learned of the plan.

The judge made the ruling in April – after an application by a local authority.

But he had imposed a reporting restriction temporarily barring journalists from revealing his decision.

And detail of the case has emerged following the birth of the baby – a little girl – in early May.

The judge did not identify the woman – in a written analysis of the case published today – but said the local authority involved was North Somerset Council.

‘I am satisfied that if the mother were to learn of the plan to remove her child at birth there is a very real risk she would harm herself and a very, very real risk that she would cause physical harm to her baby,’ the judge had said.

‘In particular it is highly likely that she would not co-operate with the professionals involved with her, would seek to avoid contact with them and would conceal that fact that she was in labour.’

Mr Justice Keehan accepted that he had made a reporting restriction order which was ‘draconian’.

Decisions have yet to be made about the child’s long-term future.

The judge said a relative was being assessed as a possible carer.

He said social workers thought that they knew the identity of the girl’s father and DNA testing would be carried out.

21 May 2014 | 5:13 pm – Source:

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