Five-month-old baby to be put up for adoption because father gets angry with social workers
Emily Dugan is Social Affairs Editor for The Independent, i and Independent on Sunday. She was previously a news reporter for The Independent on Sunday. Her investigations into human trafficking have twice been awarded Best Investigative Article at the Anti-Slavery Day Media Awards and her human rights journalism was shortlisted for the Gaby Rado Memorial prize at the 2012 Amnesty Media Awards. Emily is on sabbatical until March 2015
Sunday 25 May 2014
A five-month-old baby who has still not been given a name will be put up for adoption because of his father’s hostility to social workers, a High Court judge has ruled.
The case will raise concerns about the impact of poor parental relationships with social workers on a child’s care arrangements.
The public ruling was made by Mrs Justice Parker following a private hearing at a family court in Watford. The family cannot be identified but Hertfordshire County Council was named as the local authority involved.
Mrs Justice Parker decided the five-month-old boy should be taken into care after being told how his father had assaulted one social worker and threatened to kill another. He appeared to have become frustrated by what he saw as an “invasive” approach by social services.
The judge said she thought he could be dangerous and that the mother made excuses for her partner rather than facing up to his behaviour.
But the baby’s mother criticised the judge, saying: “We haven't had a fair hearing and we're going to appeal. I don't think I have learning disability and the judge hasn't given me a chance to prove that.
“And my partner only gets angry with social workers - no one else. The judge hasn't taken account of that.”
She said the baby had not been given a name because her religion required it to have a naming ceremony.
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