Full length fiction. Paperback. 240 pages. £8.99 in most bookshops or click on BUY for direct link to Amazon discounted price, plus delivery.
Fictionalised story of a miscarriage of justice in the family courts. A HEART-BREAKING ACCOUNT OF ENFORCED ADOPTION.
THIS STORY was inspired, (with the permission of the original parents) by one example from a file of family tragedies compiled by the author in the process of her work as a television Agony Aunt. It tells of a young mother of three children whose baby seems to have become ill quite suddenly. The mother and father take the infant to hospital where it is found to have a bone fracture in the leg. It is then assumed by medical and social services that the parents have caused this injury. Once in progress, the machinery of state is unstoppable. By the time it is discovered that the baby suffered from a rare, but not unknown, birth injury a procedure for the removal of all the children for enforced adoption has been approved. The fight to save them is a nail-biting account of suspense and desperation which bares comparison to almost any thriller.
DID YOU KNOW that enforced adoption is a recognized and frequently used procedure in the British courts? This book is not only a heartbreaking story of suspense and tragedy told by a popular best selling writer (“One of this country’s best storytellers.”— Daily Mail) but also a vital social document. We should all know about the problems of the social services – “damned if they do and damned if they don’t” in their efforts to intervene to help maltreated children. We should all know about the frequency of miscarriages of justice in this area too, and the questionable difference for some children of maltreatment in their real home or in a ‘Home’. What can be the solutions to the problems of the justice system when bombarded with conflicting evidence; the so-celled experts, the devious or lazy advice, heartlessness, force, arrogance and tragedy?
Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division of the High Court of England and Wales:
“It must never be forgotten that, with the state’s abandonment of the right to impose capital sentences, orders of the kind which family judges are typically invited to make in public law proceedings are amongst the most drastic that any judge in any jurisdiction is ever empowered to make. When a family judge makes a placement order or an adoption order in relation to a 20-year-old mother’s baby, the mother will have to live with the consequences of that decision for what may be upwards of 60 or even 70 years, and the baby for what may be upwards of 80 or even 90 years.”
AUTHOR DENISE ROBERTSON has been described as Britain’s favourite agony aunt, following her work for ITV . She currently does two programs a week, plus contributions to newspapers, and has had 16 novels published. As a very popular writer (before Hopcyn Press she has been published by several publishers but mainly by Penguin) her best loved work is in fiction, but she felt compelled to undertake the task of writing about her experience with enforced adoption. It was a heart breaking project for her, but she was determined to see it through. The title of this book is a quote. They are words used when advising a mother to control her emotion when saying goodbye to her children!
She remembered the Websters well. Sandra’s story had echoes of theirs: three children removed because one child had metaphyseal fractures. Barely six months later, the children had been removed and put up for adoption to separate homes. By the time it emerged that the child in question had an underlying bone fragility caused by lactose intolerance, it was too late.
‘Are you interviewing them?’ she asked.
‘No. Just recapping and adding comments. The story speaks for itself. It’s now acknowledged as a gross miscarriage of justice ... according to the judge, the adoption proceedings took only one day, and he described them as “cursory”.’
‘They ran away, didn’t they ... when she got pregnant?’
‘They went to Ireland. Social workers followed them, and when the parents came back they slapped a gagging order on them. It was the Mail and the Beeb who got it lifted, and kept the baby for them, but it was too late to get the other kids back. Come to think of it, I’m fairly sure it was Judge Munby’s decision to lift the gagging order, and allow the Websters to instruct new experts. So he was aware of what was going on, even then.’
‘The council didn’t get to take the new baby?’
‘No. The new experts exposed the truth, they kept the baby ...’
‘... and without that new baby, none of the truth about the others would have come out?’
Celia thought about it as the taxi carried her to her dinner with Paul Fenton. A gross miscarriage of justice, and not a blind thing anyone could do about it. What if that happened to the Blenkirons? It didn’t bear thinking about.”
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