Fifteen months have passed since social services in Essex ordered the removal of a pre-born child from her mother’s womb via Cesarian section. The woman, an Italian who allegedly suffered a mental breakdown during a business trip to England, called the police during a panic attack. She was taken to a mental facility and held there per the Mental Health Act. A few weeks into her sectioning, she was sedated, and when she woke up, she was no longer pregnant. She was informed that her child had been removed via C-section and placed with social services authorities.
The woman still has not been given custody of her child, and when she returned to England (from Italy) in February to appeal to a judge for her daughter, the judge ruled that, due to the possibility of a relapse, the girl should be placed with an adoptive family instead. Italian authorities have asked why the British courts did not even contact the Italian woman’s next of kin or place the child in the custody of Italian social services, since the mother is a habitual resident of Italy, not England. The case is ongoing, and no final decisions have been reached.
According to the British Daily Telegraph:
The cause has also been raised before a judge in the High Court in Rome, which has questioned why British care proceedings had been applied to the child of an Italian citizen “habitually resident” in Italy. The Italian judge accepted, though, that the British courts had jurisdiction over the woman, who was deemed to have had no “capacity” to instruct lawyers.
Lawyers for the woman are demanding to know why Essex social services appear not have contacted next of kin in Italy to consult them on the case.
They are also upset that social workers insisted on placing the child in care in Britain, when there had been an offer from a family friend in America to look after her.
British authorities have not commented due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, but the reasons why no closure has come to the case fifteen months later are unclear.