A mother is currently fighting for custody of her daughter who was forcibly taken from her via cesarean section after the High Court ordered it done. The High Court ordered the procedure for the Italian woman who was visiting Britain on a work trip because she suffered a mental breakdown.
The woman reportedly suffered from bipolar disorder and had not been taking her medication at the time of the meltdown. She called police to help her locate her missing passports, and the police, upon learning of her alleged bipolar disorder, took the woman to the hospital for evaluation. Instead of a traditional hospital, though, the police took her to a psychiatric hospital, where she was held under the Mental Health Act.
Mr. Justice Mostyn gave the order "for the birth to be enforced by way of cesarean section," and then the baby girl was taken into the custody of Essex social workers. Now a family is close to adopting the 15-month-old girl, and her biological mother is protesting and asking for her to be returned to her family.
"She begged the court not to agree to the care and placement orders being made so that she lost her daughter forever," Judge Roderick Newton, who began the adoption process, told Daily Mail. "She believed that by committing to take the medication she could return back to Italy with the child, and that she should not go into adoption. She said that nobody is perfect, neither she nor any adoptive mother, and that, I am quite sure, is the case."
However, Judge Newton said, "it is not a case where I can accede to the mother's wishes even though I understand, not just the strength of feeling that she has, but it is rare to have it articulated in such a forceful and coherent form."
"I have never heard of anything like this in all my 40 years in the job," the woman's attorney told The Sunday Telegraph. "I can understand if someone is very ill that they may not be able to consent to a medical procedure, but a forced cesarean is unprecedented. If there were concerns about the care of this child by an Italian mother, then the better plan would have been for the authorities here to have notified social services in Italy and for the child to have been taken back there."
The case is on-going but many fear it highlights the power and extent courts are willing to go to in order to. Douglas Carswell, the Tory MP for Clacton told the Daily Mail he had "serious concerns about Essex children's service. They are unaccountable and out of control. These people are dictators who abuse their powers. They are arrogant bullies and people are frightened of them."
The mother, meanwhile, has managed to secure work, a good home, and has the full support of her family. Unfortunately, that was not enough to convince Judge Newton to return the child to her mother.