A child who survived an abortion was described as a “little miracle” by a family judge before being placed in his father’s care.
In A (Fact Finding), the boy’s mother had developed a serious infection during her pregnancy which put her life at risk. The attempted medical termination failed and the child was born at 26 weeks gestation.
The boy, identified only as ‘A’ in the judgment, is now 16 months old.
Sitting at the Family Court in East London, Her Honour Judge Carol Atkinson remarked that it was “really quite remarkable” that A has survived considering the “traumatic start” to his life.
In the fact finding hearing, the judge had to rule on whether the mother’s accusations against the father were credible. She alleged the father had regularly been “physically abusive” towards her, “forced [her]to have sex with him against her will” and had violently assaulted her despite knowing she was pregnant.
The mother also claimed that the father, from a Nigerian Muslim family, objected to her wearing short skirts and tried to make her wear a hijab, which is a headscarf worn by some Muslim women as a symbol of modesty.
However, the father denied all allegations made against him. Judge Atkinson noted that, unlike the mother, the father was able to provide details about the relationship such as the “times and dates of their meetings”. The judge said she believed him to be “an honest young man”, although he may be “a little unworldly and naïve”.
Judge Atkinson said she believed the mother’s allegations were likely fabricated. This was due to the “wholly unconvincing and utterly unreliable” evidence she offered which was “riddled with inconsistencies”. She added that some of the mother’s claims were “simply incapable of belief”.
Turning to the care of A, the judge pointed out that no one disputed that the mother was unable to care for him alone. As the judge “made no findings against the father”, she concluded that he would take care of A, with help from his family and the local authority.
To read the full judgment, click here.
Photo by Tatyana A. via Flickr