The recent attention received by the zealous actions of British social workers who see no issue in taking children from foreign nationals and putting them up for adoption has caused an uproar in Slovakia to the extent that the Ministry of Justice has openly condemned the actions and threatened to take Britain to the European Court of Human Rights over the issue.
Many Slovak children (estimated at around 30 now) have been torn from their parents in recent years in the UK, with the child snatching of two young boys two years ago providing the impetus for the Slovak public to organise themselves on a social network and plan a demonstration in front of the British Embassy at 4pm today.
In an article in the Telegraph at the weekend, journalist Christopher Booker also refers to the unprecedented move where a foreign government is considering contesting the British social system at the ECHR, with the Slovak government’s decision to pursue action resting also on the Appeal Court decision today in a case involving two young Slovak boys.
In the case, distraught mother
Mrs. B has been battling in vain for over two years to get her beloved sons M and S back from the British social services system. A special report was broadcast about their case on TV Joj on Sunday, causing a swarm of discussion and outrage on the internet.
The family had been living in Britain since 2004 and their problems all started when they took their kid to the doctor to get a genital infection checked. Social workers moved in and claimed possible sexual abuse by the father. Before they knew it, their children had been wrenched from their home and eventually taken away for fostering in a traumatic scene involving 3 police cars, social workers, screaming children and a shattered and hysterical mother and grandmother, who were being held on the other side of the street as the children were being forcefully removed.
The tearful documentary on the B family case raises accusations that the motive behind such cases is big money, because one child feeds a whole chain of people in the social services network. In this case, the Telegraph cites various court hearings, four social workers, seven specialist doctors and psychologists, 16 interpreters, 13 contact supervisors and dozens of lawyers.
The mother, who ironically works as a carer and got qualified in the UK to run a nursery and be responsible for up to eight children, is determined not to give up. The B family case is specific in the sense that the court eventually swept the initial accusations off the table and the appraiser retracted an earlier appraisal, meaning the children should have been returned to their parents.
The social services workers were determined to hold onto their catch, however, and so refused to release them. The strain eventually broke the couple’s relationship. They have filed for divorce three times, but their applications have been rejected, claims Mrs. B. She says this is because the social services authority would have to return the children if the ‘threat’ had gone, i.e. if she was no longer in a relationship with the ‘potentially abusive father’. The father is fighting for his innocence, acknowledged by the court, and has always been willing to take a lie detector test.
The article in the Telegraph points to the unorthodox nature of the system in Britain, which is unlike anywhere else, citing just one recent case in Norway, which was swiftly resolved by the two governments involved. On the Slovak case, he notes how it has been drawn out with all kinds of experts, interpreters, contact supervisors and lawyers wrangling over a family that till a few years ago had functioned normally.
The Slovak authorities did not react properly or on time, at least to battle to have the boys delivered to their grandmother in Slovakia. Earlier this year a UK court ruled that the children are to be put up for adoption. MP for Birmingham John Hemming has taken a special interest in the case and even set up a campaign group called Justice for Families. Hemming, who is offering also similar families help with legal representation, criticises the way the system works and says he was astonished to see just how many foreigners are on the other end of the child snatching.
Mr Hemming helped prepare the appeal that will be decided on today and he is contacting other countries whose nationals are experiencing similar problems (he has info on around 1,500 cases already). According to the Telegraph, Hemming will be raising the disturbing issues with the so-called children’s minister Edward Timpson, whose parents have fostered something like 80 children over the years and adopted two. He could therefore be easily excused for supporting the system.
The Slovak Ministry of Justice issued a Declaration on its website, opposing this kind of forced adoption and instructing parents in similar situations to request a preliminary injunction in line with European law on human rights, before an adoption ruling is issued, in order to prevent their kids from being ‘processed’.