The then-pregnant 35 year-old woman visited the UK for a training course in 2012. One day she suffered a panic attack at her hotel and the police were called. Her mother told them that she had not been taking her medication for bipolar disorder. She was detained after suffering “paranoid delusions”.
Her baby, called ‘P’ in case reports, was born via a court-ordered caesarean section during the mother’s subsequent stay at a psychiatric facility, and immediately taken into care by Essex County Council.
Sitting at the High Court this week, Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, ruled that the girl, called ‘P’ in case reports, should now be formally adopted by a couple he referred to as “Mr and Mrs X”, who have cared for the child since last November.
The judge declared:
“Mr and Mrs X are good and loving people. They are admirably equipped to meet P’s needs now and into the future. P is obviously thriving in their care and doing very well. In all the circumstances, and having regard to the ‘welfare checklist’ in section 1(4) of the [Adoption and Children Act 2002], P’s welfare throughout her life requires – demands – that she be adopted. Nothing else will do.”
The court heard details of a series of emails between the mother and a social worker at Essex County Council. When asked for her views on the proposed adoption, the mother wrote:
“I wish for my daughter the best. Me personally I am trying to forget this bad experience I had in England. I love my daughter with all my heart and I pray to see her one day again.”
Sir James Munby noted that despite criticism of the case from the Italian authorities:
“As of 1 April 2014 the position remained as it had been on 17 December 2013. … no application of any kind had been made on behalf of either the mother or the Italian authorities, whether to the Court of Protection, the Chelmsford County Court or the Family Division, nor had any application been made to the Court of Appeal. In particular, it is to be noted, neither the mother, nor for that matter the father, had made any application in accordance with section 47(5) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 for leave to oppose the making of an adoption order.”
Photo by Naddsy via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence