Social Services Sedates and Forcibly Removes Baby from Mother’s Womb Because She Did Not Take Her Medication

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist December 2, 2013

social services

This is the most disturbing story of parental rights abuse that I’ve ever come across. In fact, when I initially read about this case, I didn’t believe it at first due to the horribly violating and surreal nature – a storyline worthy of a slasher movie screenplay except that it is real life.

The story began in July 2012 when a pregnant Italian woman traveled to Great Britain for a two week work related training course for Ryanair at Stansted Airport in Essex.

While in the UK, the woman suffered a panic attack which was apparently related to missed medication for an existing bipolar disorder. The attack was likely triggered by the woman’s distress when she was unable to find the passports for her two daughters who were staying with her mother back in Italy while she was abroad.

The woman called police who found her on the phone with her mother when they arrived.  Concerned for the unborn baby’s well being, the police told her that they were taking her to a hospital but took her to a mental facility instead. When the mother realized where she was, she requested to be returned to the airport hotel where she was staying whereupon she was forcibly retained under the Mental Health Act.

The woman remained in the psychiatric facility for five weeks unable to leave or return to Italy. Meanwhile, Essex Social Services obtained a court order from Mr. Justice Mostyn in August 2012 to forcibly remove the baby from her womb via Caesarean section, according to legal documents seen by staff at the Telegraph newspaper in the UK.

Most unbelievably, the woman’s next of kin were not consulted or apparently even contacted about what was happening.

Based on that court order, the woman was sedated without her knowledge or consent.  When she awoke in another hospital, she discovered that her baby had been removed from her womb against her will.  She was not allowed to see or nurse her baby daughter and in October, at a hearing before another judge, she was told she would be escorted back to Italy without her baby.

Since February of this year, the mother has been fighting to be reunited with her now 15 month old daughter who remains in the care of Essex Social Services.  At a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court, the woman’s lawyers state that she has resumed taking her medication and is fit to care for her daughter.  However, the judge ruled that the child should be placed for adoption because of the risk that she might suffer a relapse.

This case has understandably ballooned into an international incident with a judge in the High Court in Rome questioning why British care proceedings had been applied to the child of an Italian citizen “habitually resident” in Italy.

The case has even made it to Parliament where the incident will be raised by John Hemming, who chairs the Public Family Law Reform Coordinating Campaign, which seeks reform and openness in court proceedings involving family matters. He had this to say about the situation:

I have seen a number of cases of abuses of people’s rights in the family courts, but this has to be one of the more extreme.

It involves the Court of Protection authorising a caesarean section without the person concerned being made aware of what was proposed. I worry about the way these decisions about a person’s mental capacity are being taken without any apparent concern as to the effect on the individual being affected.

Attorneys for the mother are demanding to know why Social Services apparently did not even bother to contact or consult with the woman’s next of kin in Italy before moving forward with its barbarous plan of action.  Moreover, a family friend of the woman offered to care for the child but Social Services refused and retained custody in Britain.

Essex County officials had no comment on the situation citing the vulnerable nature of the individuals involved.

International incident aside, this case is outrageous and once again demonstrates in the most abhorrent way imaginable that Social Service workers in the Western world are completely and utterly out of control.

As Brendan Fleming, the woman’s British lawyer, said in a statement, “I have never heard of anything like this in all my 40 years in the job. I can understand if someone is very ill that they may not be able to consent to a medical procedure, but a forced caesarean is unprecedented.”

Let’s hope this horrific story will prompt Parliament to immediate and reformative action to significantly curtail the broad-reaching bureaucratic powers of Social Services. In the United States, perhaps this story will help garner additional support for a Parental Rights amendment as the behavior of Social Services workers here is not far behind the level of rights violation seen in the UK.

Unfortunate but true that sometimes an appalling story like this one is what is necessary to break the inertia and prompt change for the better.


‘Operate on this mother so that we can take her baby’

Child taken from womb by social services

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist


Comments (64)

  1. HOL.Y.SHIT. How in the hell does this happen in the first place, let alone be dragged out for almost two years??!! Appeal to the Queen, lady! And use the Italian courts as well! I am so outraged I can’t even use enough exclamation points!!!!

  2. This story made me feel physically ill :( How horrible!! I can’t believe the authorities think they have the right to do such a thing. The poor woman was a foreigner and now they’re keeping her baby essentially prisoner in another country from her! I can’t believe it. Oh, wait I CAN believe it, I just don’t want to. Too heartbreaking.

  3. This happens when you allow a government to have dominance over all the aspects of your life including your healthcare. They always tell you it must be done for the public good, so people will support it not knowing the true depth of control they have surrendered. Which is why we are fighting it in the United States.

  4. Ask yourself, is there any area or aspect of life that is not presided over by the government? No, there isn’t. We have become slaves. That is sick. That is evil people testing the waters to see what they can get away with. If it is not fought tooth and nail to the severest consequence, it will happen again. Stay the hell out of Great Britain if you value your life. Maybe that can be the motto of their travel office. Disgusting.

  5. While in the UK, the woman suffered a panic attack which was apparently related to missed medication for an existing bipolar disorder. The attack was likely triggered by the woman’s distress when she was unable to find the passports for her two daughters who were staying with her mother back in Italy while she was abroad. – See more at:
    Where is her accountability in this? She should be responsible enough to take her medication if she is suppose to be responsible to raise children.

    • i let out a very loud and exasperated “WHAT” when i read this article…and then again when i read this comment. personal responsibility should not be taken lightly, i agree, but i must beg to ask of you HOW DOES HER MISSED MEDICATION JUSTIFY A KIDNAPPING? why do you, as well as the gov’t, and the medical authorities think you/they are so much superior than this woman at raising a child? and why do you believe you have such authority to determine what she should and should not do? what if she CHOSE to stop taking this medication? is that her own right? or what if she could not find the medication? should people with mental disorders not be allowed to reproduce? well then what about poor people? or people that just think a bit differently? should we just sterilize the anti-vaccination crowd because they believe differently than the status quo? the personal responsibility in this situation HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM HER, and if it continues along this line NONE of us will be allowed any sort of personal responsibility. shock and outrage should be the only response to this situation not victim blaming.

      • You are so right. Not to mention the fact that too many cases of Bipolar are misdiagnosed to begin with, leaving some people with chronic kidney conditions and other iatrogenically related health issues due to side effects from all the drugs….sheesh!!!

      • If I were taking mind altering drugs powerful enough to change brain chemistry, one of my primary concerns would how is that affecting the developing brain of my unborn child and how can I minimize the effects. I would probably try the minimum dose for the greater concern of the child. A clear statement from the social services that their concern is not whats best for the child is their choice for the greater of two evils; to rip the child from the womb before it is fully developed and ready for the outside world, then further deny it the much needed immune development with mothers breast milk. What they have said is the baby’s best bet is to remain exposed to the mind altering drugs on a regular basis or be taken out altogether. When did mother nature make The incompetent list and why are we allowing social services to even suggest this? Monetary fines are not enough. The untouchable attitude of SS will quickly diminish as we prosecute those individuals involved with the decision making on this and hold them personally responsible while ensuring the entity which they worked under correct the wrongs as best as possible.

    • So you have never forgotten to take medication…ever? It happens. This sure is not enough of a good reason to invade her body and take her child. The responsible the thing to do would have been to contact the authorities in Italy. And why not let a relative look after her child while this is going on!!

    • How is missed medication a reason for someone to experience a forced surgery (without consent) to remove a baby from a woman’s WOMB??? This government agency made a decision about a woman’s ability to parent her UNBORN child based on one incident.
      Moreover, this mother hasn’t even been given the opportunity to mother her child and neither has any of her family.
      This government STOLE her child. In any other case, this would be kidnapping.
      Missy Homemaker\’s last post: Happy Birthday Peanut!

    • I’m surprised she could even have a baby while taking those meds. They are strong ones. Maybe she was thinking of her baby after all and didn’t take them for that reason. It’s easy to point blame and say something without knowing the whole truth.

    • They blame her for not taking the meds, implying that the meds work. She was on medication in hospital for 5 weeks, and it appears they didn’t work thus giving the medical profession the idea they could “rescue” the baby. Or maybe the meds did work and the mother’s rights were abused just the same.

      It’s not a question of whether she was on meds or not. The authorities wanted to exercise their power.

    • Ummm…I know of many women who are bipolar and thye were given ‘medication while pregnant to deal with their bipolar disorder. This led to the death of a 5 month old baby girl, who was born with SEVERAL birth defects DUE to the mother being misled into taking the medication that was supposed to be ‘good for her’! The doctors and pharmacists FAILED to tell her that by doing so (injesting that medication) it would likely end up resulting in her child being born with severe birth defects including under-developed lungs. Which is why she died. Her heart was too small and her lungs were not developed right, among SEVERAL other previously unnoticed defects, this baby girl stood no chance to live, due to these supposedly ‘good for you’ medications! Since then when this mother has gotten pregnant she stops ALL bipolar meds, to care for her baby in the womb. RESPONSIBLE? Hell yeah she WAS being responsible for her baby’s well being!

    • Suppose she was more worried about her child’s health when taking a drug that COULD affect that baby?
      Then you’d be complaining she was using drugs while pregnant. MAKE up your MIND!

    • News articles frequently don’t tell the whole story, or misconstrue facts. So maybe she stopped taking her medication because she was pregnant, or maybe she had other good reasons to stop. There is not enough information provided here for us to know. On the other hand, maybe she really is severely mentally ill and unable to care for her child. That is entirely possible, since we are only getting part of “one side” of the story.

      But regardless, I cannot fathom how that could possibly justify a FORCED C-SECTION. Do you have any idea how invasive and violating that is? I shudder at the core of my soul just thinking about it. How can anyone, much less a government agency of a country that she does not even reside in, have the right to do that to someone?! It is beyond my comprehension.

      I also cannot understand how they can take her child and place him or her for adoption. Here in the U.S., the courts and social services are required to go through a multi-step process in order for that to happen. Parents must be given a case plan, and if they complete it the child will be returned to them. If they cannot complete it within an acceptable time frame (usually 1 year) then social services can petition the court to terminate parental rights. If the parents do not consent, then a trial will take place, and even after the trial there is an appeal. Did any of that happen here? And really, why is it happening in England when she does not live in England?

      What details could possibly be missing from this story to make it make sense and not be a horrific abuse of human rights?

      • Same here in uk. – this story has much missing and Social Services will not be able to tell their side. This would have had to have had approval from the highest court in the land. Social workers do not make these decisions – courts do!

  6. You know what scares me the most about this story? That in the US there are idiotic judges who look to international cases in formulating their opinions.

  7. This is a slippery slope when women’s rights are systematically removed, one by one. The world has become a harbinger for madness.

  8. Thank you for your stand on the paramount Parental Rights Amendment! It is America’s best hope to prevent this “torture” from common practice here!

  9. What none of you have mentioned, but which is there in UK press reports – is that this baby is now up for adoption. In UK law adoption is final, no going back ever under any circumstances. The comments I have heard here are very disillusioned – they’re generally of the ‘ah, Essex county council hasn’t met its quota for adoptions this year, so that poor woman has no chance’.

  10. Nobody seems to be asking why she was not taking the medication. Had she actually been managing well without it? Had she researched the risks and benefits of the medication for unborn children and decided to manage her disorder without for the SAKE of her baby? I can image her being more vulnerable to panic attacks while abroad, away from her familiar environment–shocking that she wasn’t immediately RETURNED to her home in Italy and to her other children, where she surely would have done better.

    The Nuremburg Code, adopted after the Doctor’s Trial in Nuremberg, Germany after WWII, and where we get our medical ethic of informed consent, is supposed to protect people from this type of atrocity (as well as forced vaccines, but THAT’S another sad, disappointing story).

    This story is truly horrifying and should be the final straw for anybody still placing any degree of trust and credibility in government systems like social services, or even, so sad to say, medical systems–especially those tied to governments (ahem!).

    • My first thought when I read the comment from the woman’s attorney, “… but a forced caesarean is unprecedented.” was that it is not unprecedented at all. The government “scientists” working for the German National Socialist (NAZI) party did it legally all the time in the 1940′s. It is similar to the actions of the U.S. government’s “scientists” in the 1950′s who decided to sterilize many mentally impaired citizens without anyone’s consent (following the lead of Margaret Sanger and the latest government accepted “science” of Eugenics).

      I know this event happened in Europe, but social “services” in the U.S. does not drastically differ. Yes, they may have tighter regulations a bit here…but they are not always followed. Research the ongoing unbelievable actions of social “services” in many states toward caring families who choose to legally and responsibly educate their children at home…removal of terrified children from safe & loving homes, strip searches of children, intense interrogations of children without another familiar person in the room, etc. In many of these cases, social “services” will continue to terrorize the children and families until lawyers get involved and inform the “social worker” of the laws that they are breaking. Then the cases quietly disappear and the families are left to deal with the emotional, and often financial, consequences. This is not at all rare.

      Caution: Long opinion below
      To me, this all points to a moral or spiritual problem; people have been taught to reject traditional religious thought (experts/scientists in government schools and media) and to look to the government for a savior.

      Either mankind (the human leaders of the government) is the highest power and source of wisdom and, therefore, has the power to give rights and to take away rights at whim (maybe depending on the latest popular poll) OR there is an unchanging higher law given by a higher power to whom all, including politicians and bureaucrats, are accountable.

      The U.S. Constitution was written in plain English with the specifically mentioned intent to chain up or limit the actions of the federal government for the purpose of protecting the states and the people from out of control power….because mankind with unlimited power = unlimited corruption. The federal government (a federation agreed to by the states) has broken its contract, the US Constitution, with the individual states and continues to get away with it and oppress the citizens. The people must demand state leaders immediately act to rein in/ re-chain the federal politician and bureaucrats and to turn down the federal bribes. The states can say “No” to the feds. The county sheriffs can protect us and legally say “No” to the feds. You’ll notice that none of this is taught anymore in the federally controlled schools….no wonder we have insane judges and corrupt politicians.

      With the federal government re-chained by the states to the Constitution, Big Pharma, Big Ag, and the military/industrial complex could no longer take advantage of the broken system and would lose most of their damaging influence and power over our lives. I call it “Aggression by Government”…using the government to control, steal from, or exert power over someone else. If this doesn’t happen, I see no stopping our continued slide in the direction of no rights at all. We, collectively and individually, have allowed them to enslave us.

      Sorry for such a long post, but to me it is all interconnected: morals, legislation, government-controlled education and media, regulations, oppression, tyranny, etc.

      Governments have life cycles, too. When a formerly hard working, moral and self-governed people (only people who can function under a Constitutional Republic) become self-centered (sports, fashion, and entertainment) and apathetic, continually demanding more and more from their government and exchanging liberty for security (pure democracy), next comes anarchy when the government cannot provide everything demanded, and then tyranny comes quickly to suppress the anarchy.

      The choice is a Small State with self-governing people and leaders accountable to a higher power, or a Big State with enslavement under the increasingly arbitrary laws and whims of another human. This is how I vote; I ask myself will this increase or decrease the size of the government.

      Ideas have consequences. To me it is clear that the western world is reaping the harvest of our “progressive” ideas.

      Sorry for going on so long; I had to get it “off my chest”.

    • In the U. S. that would be HHS…. Before them up the chain of command would differ depending on the state… DFPS in Texas. Obundsman for HHS takes complaints regarding DFPS actions who have oversight responsibility over CPS. Problem is…. They direct and redirect and fail to respond with investigations into complaints at their own discretion. HHS is a mighty force to be reckoned with… And in my experience…… The MOST you can get out of them is a personal letter of an oppologetic nature mailed to you…. Referring you to more resources that when contacted… Practice the very same desire ruin until it comes full circle and you realize there is no recourse. I feel for anyone in a position to have to deal with these officials.

  11. I wander if the social workers who took this woman’s baby by a forced caesarean section also believe in the rights of women’s choice to have abortions (early to late term). If so, they have violated their own principles on two accounts:

    One. They did not respect this woman’s choice in the matter and forced their way into her womb to kidnap her child.

    Two. If we are to assume that they had good (albeit misguided) intentions and were acting out of concern for the welfare of an unborn “fetus” here we see them going to extreme measures to protect the unborn “fetus” from its host. If they believe in the rights of women’s choice to abort their unwanted “fetus” then why did they feel some sort of moral obligation to rescue a “fetus” from a woman they considered to be an unfit host to responsibly care for the “fetus”?

    In other words, if an abortion is not a murder of a child, but merely a termination of an unplanned fetus, then why did they feel some sort of moral obligation to rescue a fetus and give it to someone else to care for it?

    Aside from the social workers’ convictions about the abortion issue, I wander about the convictions of the general public. It would be hypocritical for the general public to express outrage in this case if they believe in a woman’s right to choose to abort an “unplanned for fetus”. After all, if a woman has the right to get rid of an unwanted fetus then she also has the right to keep a wanted fetus in her womb. The state has no right telling a woman what to do with the contents of her womb.

    Vivian Maddox

  12. do they not think that ripping that baby out of her might contribute further to her mental instability? what right does ANYONE have to say she shouldn’t at least deliver that baby? it wasn’t detrimental to her or the baby’s health I am assuming. The British are evil they have tortured many a commoner in centuries past, why not continue with tradition?? and they wonder why the british are one of the most hated, right nest to americans!

  13. There is no doubt that the surface of this story is gut-wrenching, shocking, and appalling! But to make a blanket statement that all Social Services is out of hand is a bit much. These people have very difficult jobs and are put in some very unfortuante situations, sometimes putting themselves in danger, and other times saving someone elses! Don’t use this one story to give “them” all a bad name. Besides, this story was is Britain, not North America.

    • I’m in the uk and will tell you from first hand experience Social services get a rough deal they make impossible decisions about people no one gives a toss about until it all gies pear shaped. We are fishing you much on the mothers rights in this case what about the child’s

  14. My mother is bipolar. Reading this story is horrifying to me. To think that I could have been taken away from my loving and dedicated mother is beyond imagination. She managed to raise two of us without medication, and we are both now successful and stable adults in long stable marriages. I shudder to think of what could have happened to us if we had been removed from her loving care.

    Although I am American, I have lived in the UK and have seen the over-reach of the UK Social Services. I know a couple who lost all of their 5 children to false accusations of the lewdest kind. When she found herself pregnant with another child, she left the country and gave birth in another country so that she could voluntarily give custody to a relative where she could continue to have contact with her child. All of her other children where given for adoption to other families in the UK (and separated from each other).

    It is amazing to think that the UK Social Services would think they have authority to do such a thing to a foreign national who was only visiting the country. But if they would do it to her, they must have done it to a UK citizen or resident, too.

  15. If she was well enough to leave the mental facility than she is well enough to care for her child!! Under any circumstance the government of UK should return the baby to Italy and let them figure it out!

  16. That is atrocious!!! I feel so bad for this woman. Sounds like their Social Services are run like a business, just like in the US. People need to stand up against this sort of thing by getting the word out. About HOW the governments are taking more control away from ALL of us as parents.

  17. Social Services, DHS, DYFS wherever you may live or whatever you may call it, these places break up and tear families apart. And they do not think about the devastating effects that it causes for our children. I have viewed a few other posted comments and I have personally heard similar stories of false accusations on ALL levels. PLEASE, we all need to wake up and do our part in getting the word out about issues like this or someday the governments will take control of parenting and family issues.

  18. This is not some isolated case out of United Kingdom, the very same Social services that operate in the UK are a branch of the social services that operate in the US and Australia and Canada. We are in the same boat and this happens more than you may realize.Fortunately this one has gained some publicity. The pervasive Government control is through out the world not just isolated countries. It is a new Corporate world where Money is king and not God as the superior power. Be educated.Its all about control..

  19. Beth,
    What mental health acts in the Usa are you talking about?

    I never heard of this type of Horrific act, having our government sedating a women , giving her a C-section, with out her permission, and putting her baby up for adoption!!

    My Jaw fell open with shock, Anger, and helplessness reading about this poor defenseless women. I can’t even imagine how the child is being treated!.
    Talk about child abuse! No Mommy, or Daddy. Unloved, not valued, not have family around, etc.

    What I hear is, Children like J.C. Dugard (not sure her spelling), being kidnapped and hidden for 18 yrs, having two children by a Pedifile, and CPS not check the home correctly,and not often enough, and the Police never going to check , when they got so many calls there was children in the back yard, besides him being a register Wacko.
    Or the 3 girls that where kidnaped by a pedifile and never was he checked up on…That goes on every day, and its absolutely Disgusting that the police and CPS are not put in jail, or lose there jobs..
    There getting paid for a job there not doing. !!

    The system sucks!
    Annie\’s last post: Vax or Get Fired? How to Prepare for Forced Vaccination

  20. It’s like they took the already horrendous crimes of rape and kidnapping, combined them, and amplified them 1000 fold.

    This government is saying that SHE is the one with problems? They are barbarians.

  21. I think the forced c-section is an awful abuse of power. BUT, at least in the US you arenot taken into a mental health facility and kept against your will for five weeks for a panic attack. You have to be an immediate threat to your life or the life of the others(including an unborn baby). I think the missing part of this story is the severity of her manic episode and possible threats to harm herself or the baby. If they let her go and she killed herself people would blame the governement then too.

    • Bethany, in our country you can get a court ordered, kidnapping by the police to a mental health facility for just about any excuse. There they can drug people without counseling or their consent. All this with the help of interrogating psycopaths in the court room. This is outrageous that this woman would be forcefully hospitalized, drugged, and have her baby ripped away from her. This violation could happen to anyone if you don’t speak up.

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  23. Please help us get the attention of the persons who can help this poor mother and anyone who may be taken advantage of this way by signing the online petition. I am a British citizen and I am appalled that the UK can think that this is allowed.

  24. I was a little surprised at the last comment. The idea that the US is not far behind the UK in these absurdities.

    I had long thought the US was the leader when it came to grander stupidities.

    This brought to mind the horrors of spaying women that got pregnant without a man to pay the bills.

    Sadly, it seems that no sooner than one monstrous establishment dragon is slain than another rears its ugly head. The hydra comes to mind.


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