Apropos my previous post, it might not be particularly well-known that, every year, hundreds of British children are forcibly removed from their families and put up for adoption. The reason that it is not well known is because the court hearings are held in secret and parents are denied the right to speak freely on pain of summarily losing all access to their children.
Ian Josephs who runs the Forced Adoptions website describes the process thus:
My name is IAN JOSEPHS. … UK Social services have never hurt me, my family, or my friends, but their wicked abuse of power has simply shocked me into action! “Forced adoption” too often legally deprives healthy, happy children from all contact with loving parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents and other relatives for the rest of their lives! The UK is the ONLY country in Europe to tolerate “forced adoption” (adoption of children against the will of the parents).
Adoption is a wonderful thing for abandoned and neglected children if it is TRULY VOLUNTARY but is a wicked deed that should be severely punished if forced through the courts against the will and frantic opposition of loving parents. Worse still these parent VICTIMS are ruthlessly gagged !! Yes, here in the UK secret courts jail parents who dare to protest publicly when social workers take their babies at birth and arrange for them to be adopted by strangers. Some “lucky” mothers who discovered where their adopted children were living have been jailed for ringing the doorbell, waving at the children in the street, or sending them a Xmas card (three real cases and 3 mothers jailed!) on the grounds that they were undermining the forced adoption and committing a breach of the peace ! Forgive me if I repeat myself too often in this “exposé” of the “SS” and the family courts but the average person simply cannot believe that such things happen in “democratic Britain”. Well, believe me they do! Repetition is necessary to reinforce your belief!
Who are punished by the State when they have committed no crimes?? The ONLY people in the UK who suffer this injustice are parents whose children are taken away after so called “experts” make predictions of the future such as “risk of emotional abuse”. Most mothers would receive better and fairer treatment from the court if they killed their children (and benefited from the protection of criminal procedure) rather than tangle with the cold ferocity that demolishes all those unfortunate parents who appear before the stern “establishment” judges sitting in our UK family courts.
PUNISHMENT WITHOUT CRIME !!!
The nightmare begins when social workers act like a second police force PUNISHING PARENTS who have NOT committed any crime. They do this by obtaining an emergency protection order “ex parte” ( in the parents’ absence) to take away children into foster care. They claim these children have “suffered emotional harm” or worse still are “at risk of emotional harm” ! On this basis an order is nearly always granted without any problem by a “friendly” magistrate. They then pressurise the parents with threats that if they do not “do what we tell you” or if they dare to discuss “the case” with their children or tell them “we love you and miss you” during “contact” the social services will stop contact and maybe never let those parents see their children again etc . Parents are GAGGED when speaking to their own children !
Even worse,when issuing interim care orders the “Family courts” have become “Kangaroo courts”. Interim care orders are issued on the basis of written statements from social workers and “hired experts” that cannot be questioned or disputed because these documents are not shown to the parents and in any case the authors are nearly always absent from court! The parents’ are rarely allowed to testify as not only the judge but also their own lawyers nearly always stop them from speaking! If they do by some miracle manage to testify, what they say is not only disbelieved it is almost always completely ignored! The interim care orders are usually renewed automatically every month for nearly a year before a final care hearing is held, during which time the unfortunate children are isolated from their parents (except for very limited supervised contact periods) wondering what they have done wrong!
”Legal aid lawyers”, known in the trade as “professional losers”, usually advise clients to “go along with social services” earning their fees the easy way ! Those few parents who succeed in winning and recovering their children are nearly always those who represent themselves .When this happens however judgements, court documents, reports from experts and position statements are often shown to parents at the last moment or not shown to them at all ! As a consequence, when local authorities apply for an interim care order in the family courts only one in 400 is refused! (official judicial statistics), so what chance do most of the unfortunate parents have?
To cap it all social workers only too often go round schools and friends of parents and by their loaded questions spread harmful rumours about the parents. The unfortunate parents however are warned (quite wrongly in fact) that they are forbidden to talk to ANYBODY about their case (they actually CAN talk to individuals for advice and support). Those bold enough to protest publicly are jailed for their impertinence (200+ per year according to Harriet Harman answering a Parliamentary question when she was minister for children).
Yes parents are legally GAGGED yet again, when their babies and toddlers are taken to protect the “privacy” of families and children! Grandparents, aunts and uncles are excluded from the court in order (believe it or not!) to protect the children’s privacy! Social services however have no need to respect this “privacy” as they frequently advertise for adoption the children they have taken, with colour photos and first names in the Daily Mirror and other periodicals, much to the horror of parents when they see their offspring paraded for the public “to choose” like pedigree dogs!
Eventually many of these children get adopted (“Forced Adoption”) and their siblings are often split up into different families despite the pleas of their parents who have been judged to pose a “risk of emotional abuse” to these babies and young children. Alone in Europe, only the UK tolerates forced adoption of children against the wishes of parents in court. In most cases, the parents never see or hear from their children for the rest of their lives. The parents (and their children) are in effect punished not for something they have done but for something some so called “expert” (using a crystal ball?) thinks they might do in the future! Babies and young children who have been battered and physically abused (like baby P) are “poor adoption material” and no use to social workers hoping to “hit” their adoption targets (PAF C23 Ofsted) so they are more often than not left to die alone…. Children however, with just ONE unexplained injury such as a bruise, a burn or a fractured arm but with no prior record of abuse or injuries still make good adoption material and are seized for that purpose even when there is no evidence that the parents were in any way responsible. IT’S “ONE STRIKE AND YOU ARE OUT”. That is the cry of the “SS” and is typical of the way that “justice” is served up at our UK family courts!
This is the REALITY of what actually happens to parents falling foul of the “system”. Is there a conspiracy? No need! Lawyers, fosterers, “experts”, adoption agencies, social workers and even judges all do very nicely out of the present system and have no need to conspire but naturally they do unite to resist if anyone threatens to “rock the boat”!
What reforms should the government introduce? Well, the social workers in “child protection” should be instructed to hand their punitive functions back to the police and the family courts in turn should hand back all of their judicial functions that concern “public law” (citizens versus the State) to criminal courts where the rules of evidence prevail . That is how it used to be before the Children Act 1948 and it worked much better! Parents would have the right to question their “accusers”, demand final hearings by juries, and would no longer be gagged. There would then at last be an excellent chance that most of these injustices would be eliminated.
Yes family courts should be criminal courts and children should only be taken from parents if they have committed or been charged with a crime. At the moment however babies are snatched at birth from perfectly inoffensive and law abiding parents for “risk of emotional abuse”. This accusation is the social worker’s “favourite” as it is quite impossible for parents to prove their innocence when so called “experts” predict what they might or might not do at some time in the future! Incredibly, mothers lose their children to forced adoption not for anything they HAVE done but for what some overpaid charlatans (reading tea leaves or tarot cards?) predict they might do! No you couldn’t make it up !
Yes it’s punishment without crime !!
Even the actual family court proceedings are fatally flawed. Only too often parents resisting a local authority application for an interim care order are faced with reports from social workers and “experts” who do not come to court and so cannot be questioned. Barristers read these reports as though they are themselves witnesses and present these reports made by absent officials and experts as though they are “gospel truth”. When the parents contradict them with live evidence in court the hearsay evidence coming from the local authority barristers is nearly always preferred ! Furthermore, when the local authority employs an “expert” to rule on parents’ mental state, non accidental injury to a child or parents’ general parenting skills, those parents are routinely refused by a judge the opportunity to call experts of their own to counter those “expert opinions”. The result is that parents are then faced with reports by these experts who rarely turn up in court to be questioned. The parents are then informed that they have no qualifications so when the local authority’s expert says they are not fit parents, then that is the evidence that must be believed !
The theory is that “adoption targets” (still very much in force via Ofsted PAF C23) are set to encourage social workers to find children languishing in care for years new permanent homes. The reality however is that adopters want babies not older children so social workers seize babies and toddlers to be put into care and from there into forced adoption with the agreement of compliant judges so that targets can be met!
Disgracefully in our family courts all the rules of evidence are casually “thrown out of the window”. SHAME on our family court legal system and all those who support it !
(Not surprisingly, Ian Josephs clearly feels extremely passionately about this situation – to the extent that he freely advises families in the position he describes. I feel duty-bound, however, to point out that there appears to be nothing other than hearsay evidence for the thesis that Social Workers are working towards targets when it comes to forced adoptions. Social Workers themselves claim that any targets are in general relation to moving children from local authority care into adoptive families).
The secretive nature of forced adoption ensures that its prevalence is difficult to measure although the Times was reporting back in 2007 that ‘1,300 babies under a month old are placed in care before adoption‘ every year: this compared to 500 a year 10 years earlier. According to the tireless Christopher Booker, a lifelong campaigner in the cause of rationality, forced adoptions are now an “everyday procedure” and he reports new cases regularly – as best he can given the secrecy involved – in his Sunday Telegraph column: this one is well worth reading (it’s not particularly long) to gain some insight to the legal cartel (the ‘professional losers‘ described by Ian Josephs, above) that seems to be operating against parents. Unusually, it also offers a glimmer of hope in that the Appeal Court Judge, Lord Justice Thorpe, spoke out about the conduct of the case.
This is also worth reading. There is much to consider, not least the relationship of the author to the family, his reason for being there and how much of an agenda there is in play. But it is what is not being said that is the most important here: thanks to the manner in which the system works, we can be given no information about why Baby Harley was being removed from his parents in the middle of the night. We can be given no information that enables us to determine whether or not the state machinery is working in the best interests of child and parents. In short, we have no means of knowing whether justice, supposedly mandated in our name, is being conducted in a fair and just manner. On the evidence of Ian Josephs and Christopher Booker, we have good reason to believe that it is not. In the slightly different case of Steven Neary, we know that the very same state bodies got it badly wrong.
The fates of the abused, battered and murdered Baby Ps are rightly spread all over the front pages – but we get next to no information about the Steven Nearys: how many decent families have been needlessly broken up by this apology for justice? Of course there are bad parents; of course there are children in danger; and of course we need a system that can properly deal with these situations. But this system needs to be open and I am at a loss to understand what the justification can be for the present secrecy: we manage anonymity elsewhere in the justice system on an everday basis without compromising its integrity. Secret courts are an affront in a supposedly free and democratic society: they are the mark of a totalitarian society and unless we stop them, they may just be coming for one of yours in the middle of a not too distant night.
There is an old saying no less apposite for its constant repetition; justice must be seen to be done. How true – secret justice is no justice at all.
*Attributed to the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. The full quote is, “Thou shalt not be a victim. Thou shalt not be a perpetrator. Above all, thou shalt not be a bystander”.