Why The "Forced Caesarean" Story Was Wrong
The case is complicated, unusual and tragic. But social services did not force a woman to have a caesarean so that they could take away her baby. Updated.
The adoption judgement in the "forced caesarean" story has been released, and it shows that a lot of the claims made about the original case were wrong.
The Telegraph had originally reported that "Essex social services obtained a High Court order against the woman that allowed her to be forcibly sedated and her child to be taken from her womb." The woman was from Italy, and was staying in the UK on a short-term basis.
In fact, as the judgement makes clear, social services did not start legal proceedings until after the baby – referred to as "P" – was born.
Updated, Dec 4: The ruling and transcript of proceedings for the earlier Court of Protection judgement on the mother's caesarean have also now been released:
...she had something of a panic attack when she couldn't find the passports for her two daughters, who were with her mother back in Italy.
The judgement says that at the time she was "profoundly unwell", and that when not taking medication for her bipolar affective disorder, she suffers "very intrusive paranoid delusions":
The Telegraph report also suggested that social services had not consulted with either the child's extended family or Italian social services. In fact, the judgement makes clear that both a social worker and the baby's guardian visited Italy, and documents from Italian social services played a major role in the judge's decision.
The mother's two other children are currently being cared for by their grandmother, and both the family and the Italian courts had for some time restricted the mother's contact with them due to her illness, which caused "considerable conflict" with her parents. The judgement says that one child in particular had been "traumatised" and "terrorised" by what they had witnessed.
However, relations between the mother and her parents have subsequently improved – along with her health – and the mother now has "the support of her family".