Social Services Forced C-Section, Took Baby: UK Case

15 months later, child still not with mother
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2013 11:14 AM CST

(Newser) – The Telegraph reported yesterday on a crazy court case in the UK: After a pregnant Italian woman, in town for business, had a panic attack, social service workers in Essex got a court order allowing the woman to be forcibly sedated and undergo a C-section so they could take her baby. Fifteen months later, the little girl is still with social service workers, who won't return her to her mother. The case is now "an international legal row," the Telegraph says, and the anonymous woman's lawyers call it "unprecedented."

The woman was in Britain in July 2012 for an airline training course, and called police when she suffered the panic attack. They arrived while she was on the phone with her mother, who told police the woman suffered from bipolar disorder and was off her medication, according to a Telegraph columnist. Police took her to a psychiatric facility, and restrained her under the Mental Health Act when she said she wanted to go back to her hotel. She underwent the C-section after having been there five weeks. The case is ongoing; the mother says she has made a full recovery, but a judge nonetheless ruled that her daughter should be put up for adoption. More on the case here and here.

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