A mother who has been separated from her son for seven years has said she will take her contact battle to the European Court of Human Rights.
Claire Walters has only seen her nine year old son Donavan a few times since he went to live with his father in Belgium when he was two, the East London and West Essex Guardian reports.
A child contact order states that Donavan should see his mother and half-sister monthly and speak weekly on Skype, but Ms Walters claimed this has not happened. She also said that her son cannot speak English, making communication more difficult still.
Walters recently lost a court battle in Belgium. She was told she would have to travel there if she wanted to see her son. She said:
“The court has about four months’ worth of bank statements where, according to my solicitor, I’m left with about 60 Euros a month to play around with. It’s not enough to travel to Belgium with my daughter.”
Ms Walters has now said going to an international court is her only option for contact with her son:
“I have letters from my MP, Eleanor Laing, saying she can’t help me and Families Reunited tried to help, but there’s nothing anyone can do. My next step is to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.”
Walters was first separated from her son in 2006 when she contacted social services with concerns about whether she could look after her children. Donavan was then sent to live with his father abroad, while his half-sister Morgan went to stay with her uncle. Morgan, now 11, returned to live with her mother in Essex four years ago.