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Essex County Council responds to interest in story headlined "Essex removes baby from mother"

2 December 2013

Key Dates

There have been lengthy legal proceedings in this case over the past 15 months.
 
  • Mother detained under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act on 13 June 2012
  • Application by the Health Trust to the High Court 23 August 2012
  • Application for Interim Care Order 24 August 2012
  • Mother took part in the care proceedings ending on 1 February 2013.
  • Mother applied to Italian Courts for order to return the child to Italy in May 2013. Those courts ruled that child should remain in England
  • In October 2013 Essex County Council obtains permission from County Court to place child for adoption
 

Context

The Health Trust had been looking after the mother since 13 June 2012 under section 3 of the Mental Health Act. Because of their concerns the Health Trust contacted Essex County Council's Social Services.
 
Five weeks later it was the Health Trust's clinical decision to apply to the High Court for permissions to deliver her unborn baby by caesarean section because of concerns about risks to mother and child.
 
The mother was able to see her baby on the day of birth and the following day. Essex County Council's Social Services obtained an Interim Care Order from the County Court because the mother was too unwell to care for her child.
 
Historically, the mother has two other children which she is unable to care for due to orders made by the Italian authorities.
 
In accordance with Essex County Council's Social Services practice social workers liaised extensively with the extended family before and after the birth of the baby, to establish if anyone  could care for the child.
 

Statement on behalf of Essex County Council

"The long term safety and wellbeing of children is always Essex County Council's priority. Adoption is never considered until we have exhausted all other options and is never pursued lightly."