The thee-month-old daughter of a troubled woman should be adopted, a Family Court judge has ordered.
Born in March, the girl, ‘J’, was the fifth child of a woman who first came to England from an unidentified country one year earlier. Prior to the move, her eldest three children had been taken into care “as a consequence of her alcohol and drug misuse”. Her fourth child died in infancy. After this, she lived on the streets for several years.
Sitting at the Family Court in Leeds, Her Honour Judge Lynch said it was possible that the mother “was trafficked or assisted [in her move to the UK] for the purpose of marrying a non EU national”. She also noted that, since the mother’s arrival in the country, she had lived “an itinerant life without visible means of financial support”.
Upon her admission to hospital to give birth to J, the mother was diagnosed with “a number of serious health problems that required immediate treatment”, which meant that she had to be separated from the baby as soon as she was born and moved into an isolated unit. J was moved into care shortly afterwards.
The local authority described the mother as “a very vulnerable adult and would not be capable of caring safely for her daughter, even with intense support”. As a result of that assessment, they applied for a placement order which would allow them to find an adoptive family for J.
Judge Lynch examined the evidence provided by both the local authority and the authorities of the mother’s home country. She declared that “on balance of probabilities the local authority’s case is made out” that the mother cannot care for her daughter. This was further compounded by the fact that the mother declared that there was no kind of help the local authority could provide “which she would find acceptable and would take up”.
The judge ruled that J’s needs “can only be met in an adoptive placement” and subsequently granted the application for a placement order. She also ordered that a detailed history of the case be made available to whoever adopted J so she could know about her biological family history.
To read J (A Child) (placement order) in full, click here.
Photo by Tim Green via Flickr