Posted by on 17 Jan 2014. Filed under Current Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Top news, UK Forced Adoptions. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

UK’s Top Family Judge Criticises Forced Adoptions

Following the media attention in 2012 surrounding the case of the Boor family, who had their children taken by British social services, and the mounting criticism of the system of fast adoption processes, Britain’s most senior family court judge has criticised the system in another case involving a Slovak parent.

Ivana Boorova eventually reunited with her kids in Slovakia, but not as their guardian, after her mother was awarded custody

The case in question concerns 12-yr boy ‘E’, who was taken from his Slovak mum by the authorities last year and entrusted to his aunt. In the case, Sir James Munby, president of the Family Division of the High Court, essentially criticised the system of fast adoptions in the UK, where the process often goes ahead even without the biological parents knowing about it.

Munby underlined the importance of involving consulates or the authorities of foreign nationals about cases, praising the fact that the Slovak Embassy was involved in this case from the outset. The Embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were both criticised heavily for the complacency shown in the Boor case, so an interest in such cases is now almost standard practice.

In a public judgment issued for the case, the judge said “In cases involving foreign nationals there must be transparency and openness as between the English family courts and the consular and other authorities of the relevant foreign state. This is vitally important, both as a matter of principle and, not least, in order to maintain the confidence of foreign nationals and foreign states in our family justice system.”

Protesters in front of British Embassy in Bratislava, 2012 (c) TheDaily.SK

In this case, Sir Munby also revoked the ban imposed on parents from speaking openly in the media about their traumas, but only if it is not in English, to protect the child’s identity in Britain. Here at TheDaily.SK we had a reporting ban imposed on us last year concerning the Boor case, forcing us to remove all comments and factual details about the case from the articles (subject to possible arrest for contempt of court on my next return to the UK).

“It is one of frequently voiced complaints that the courts of England and Wales are exorbitant in their exercise of the care jurisdiction over children from other European countries” Sir Munby stated, adding “In the nature of things it is difficult to know to what extent such complaints are justified. What is clear, however, is that the number of care cases involving children from other European countries has risen sharply in recent years and that significant numbers of care cases now involve such children.”

Protest in front of British Embassy over forced adoptions in UK (c) TheDaily.SK

“It would be idle to ignore the fact that these concerns are only exacerbated by the fact that the United Kingdom is unusual in Europe in permitting the total severance of family ties without parental consent”, Sir Munby noted.

This is not the first time Sir Munby has spoken out against the system, which is suspected of being corrupt and over-zealous, with a recent case from December 2013 involving an enforced caesarean, where Essex County council literally snatched the baby from the mum’s womb. Commenting on that case, Munby retorted how it was an ”irrefutable demonstration of the pressing need for radical change” in the family courts.

 

8 Comments for “UK’s Top Family Judge Criticises Forced Adoptions”

  1. Dave C.

    JB. I think your article is a tad misleading – Sir Munby used his publication of his ruling on this specific case to highlight previous failings by both the UK authorities and foriegn consular staff in previous cases and the policy of UK courts to grant adoption orders without involving the biological parents.
    In this specific case the 12 year old boy has ben made a ward of the court and given into the care of his aunt ( a Slovak National, who gave evidence in support of the original care order). He has not been placed on the adoption register. Fortunately for this child a close family member was involved from the start of the procedings, this is not always the case. It is worth noting that the biological father never contested the case or attended any of the hearings and the mother decided not to attend one hearing having opted to return to Slovakia. In the face of such apathy, which is all too common in many of these cases, do the UK courts have any other option other than to put the child on the adoption register?

  2. Dave C.

    Meanwhile, after the damning report that 20% of Slovak children suffer physical, sexual or mental abuse Minister Burian has announced the creation of an Ombudsman for Children. Lets us hope that the Government takes more notice of his/her findings than they do of the Civil Rights Ombudsman!

  3. Dave C.

    i think the key message this article refers to is the ability of the UK judiciary to highlight failings in legislation and procedures, suggest and implement improvements and ask the Government to review the law as a whole. Meanwhile, here in Neverneverland the courts apply codes from the 1800′s , follow every full stop and comma in their very thin “idiots guide” law books and allow things to continue with complete apathy and complacency.

  4. Dave C.

    The full judgement, comments and guidlines issued by Sir James Mumby with relation to this case can be read, in full, at http://www.familylawweek.co.uk.

      • Dave C.

        Spider – I’m British not Slowvak, I don’t tell lies!
        Sorry……….! For thickos…. go to the website, on the home page, under the “latest news” heading, article entitled “president issues new guidlines………” , then read all of it. You will eventually come to the details of this case, no names of course but sufficient for even the most retarded to understand it refers to the case in question.
        JB – ever considered having some form of basic inteligence test for would be commentators before allowing them to summon up their entire but limited intelect to post things similar to Spider’s effort?

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