Victor Hugo, Where Are You? British Couple Has Third Child Seized by State

This is astonishingly similar to a post that appeared on February 21, 2009 that you can read here. At that time, a British couple, Mark and Nicky Webster, had had two of their children kidnapped, not by some rogue holding them for ransom, but by a rogue state – the British government.

That happened to the another, unnamed couple just a few days ago, but this time with a particularly insidious twist. It is a story that’s worthy of Victor Hugo. Jean Valjean never went through anything this insane or harrowing.

About four years ago, the Websters took one of their children to the doctor. The child had some anomalous leg fractures which the doctor decided were due to child abuse. It turned out later that they were due to a rare form of scurvy, but no matter. The British version of Child Protective Services took the children into custody and placed them for adoption. By the time the Websters had convinced a court that no abuse had occurred, the same government that had taken the children in the first place announced that Mark and Nicky couldn’t have them back. Adoption had been completed and that was that.

The Websters had done nothing but be good parents to their children, but a single medical error resulted in them losing their children forever. My guess is that there is an existing finding by a court that the Websters abused one of their children, and, as long as that exists, their “record” as parents is tainted.

Now the same thing has happened to an unnamed family. Again the couple was charged with injuring one of their daughters; again the children were taken by the state and eventually placed for adoption; again the parents proved they had done nothing wrong and again it was too late. The adoption of their two daughters was complete.

But this case is even worse than the Websters’. By the time the case was over, the mother was again pregnant. Traumatized by their treatment by “child protective” authorities and fearing what might happen when the new child was born, the couple asked John Hemming, MP and family law expert what to do. As Hemming relates,

“I am embarrassed that I have to say to people that they won’t get a fair hearing in the family courts in England and Wales, and the best thing for people facing removal of their child at birth is to emigrate.”

Apparently, even though they had never done anything wrong, their newborn would have been taken from them immediately after birth.

So they did what any sane couple would have done; they followed Hemming’s advice and fled to Ireland. But now this article tells us that move was in vain (Independent, 6/7/09). The mother has given birth and, you guessed it, Irish authorities seized the child and placed it in foster care.

Pause for a moment and stand in the parents’ shoes. You’re in the hospital about to give birth, knowing full well that agents of the Irish government may, at the end of labor and birth, when you most passionately desire to do nothing but hold and gaze at your newborn, take her away from you. Understand that you may never see her again, not because of any wrong you have done, but because of a level of state hysteria about child abuse that renders facts irrelevant and parents “quaint.”

The article states that this may be a “test case.” What that means is that custody of the infant will be tied up in courts for who knows how long? If, during that time, the child remains in foster care, it may be once again determined that, although the parents have done nothing wrong, they nevertheless will be deprived of their child because sufficient time has passed for the child to have “bonded” with its new parents. That is a distinct possibility.

Who knows? Maybe the parents will spend the rest of their reproductive years fleeing from country to country desperately attempting to do that most basic, that most humble of all things – have a child whom they can love and care for. And every step of the way, agents of the British government will be snapping at their heels brandishing a paper bearing the word “abusers,” a word that everyone knows to be wrong.

Where’s Victor Hugo when we need him?

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