‘Your mother loved you very much and wanted to keep you’: Judge’s remarkable message to baby girl of woman who was forced to have caesarean

  • Judge Roderick Newton, who ruled that the baby born to sedated mother be put up for adoption, tells child her mother wanted to keep her
  • Girl was born to mother, who has bipolar disorder, by court-ordered caesarean 15 months ago
  • Her Italian mother, 35, says she has suffered ‘like an animal’ at having child she wants to raise taken away from her
  • Judge Newton wrote: ‘If she reads this judgement I hope she will appreciate that her mother loved her and wished to bring her up’
  • He explained his decision by describing how the mother had been hospitalised when unwell
  • Judge also said one of her older children had suffered trauma after witnessing her mother’s bipolar episodes
  • The mother says she is ‘suffering like an animal’ after treatment in Britain described by her lawyer in Rome as ‘like something from a Hitler regime’
  • Lawyer Stefano Oliva says forcing the woman to deliver baby by caesarean was ‘absolutely unreasonable’

By  Harriet Arkell

PUBLISHED: 04:47 EST, 4 December 2013 |  UPDATED: 07:35 EST, 4 December 2013

A judge has written a heart-breaking message to the baby born by forced caesarean after ruling that the little girl be put up for adoption against her mother’s wishes.

Judge Roderick Newton said he wanted the baby, who is now 15 months old, to know when she is older that her mother – who suffers from a mental illness – had not chosen to abandon her.

He said: ‘If in later life she reads this judgement, as she may well do, I hope that she will appreciate that her mother in particular loved her and wished for her to return to live with her and to bring her up.

‘It is not the mother’s fault, nor the child’s, that it was not possible and that a predictable home could only be secured by way of adoption.

Judge Roderick Newton, who ruled that the baby be adopted, says the little girl must know she was wanted 

Judge Roderick Newton, who ruled that the baby be adopted, says the little girl must know she was wanted

‘The child should know that the mother very much wished to parent her and bring her up and I hope that this is some small comfort both to the mother and to the child,’ he wrote.

In explaining his decision, Judge Newton described the mother’s condition, which entailed mental breakdowns and hospitalisation.

He also noted there were disagreements between her and the grandparents caring for her two other children.

He said one of her older children suffered trauma after witnessing episodes of her mother’s poor health.

 

Today the woman’s Italian lawyer said that forcing the woman to have a caesarean was ‘absolutely unreasonable’.

Stefano Oliva said the unnamed woman wanted a second chance to prove she could care for the baby girl with the help of her family.

He told Radio 5 Live: ‘I do not understand why my client has been forced to have a Caesarean section. It is a very unusual statement to be issued by a judge.

‘From my point of view this decision is absolutely unreasonable.’

He said he understood the baby had not yet been formally adopted by anyone, and added: ‘There is absolutely no reason why this woman should not be allowed a second chance.’

‘This woman has only a minor mental disease, which can be cured with medicine. She is not a woman who is not able to understand what is happening around her.’

His comments came as the 35-year-old mother, who is Italian and suffers from bipolar disorder, said she was suffering ‘like an animal’ after having her baby taken from her womb without her knowledge or consent.

xxxThe mother, who is 35 and Italian, was doing a training course at Stansted Airport, pictured, when she became ill after failing to take drugs for her bipolar condition. File picture

At a county court hearing in  Chelmsford in February this year, Judge Roderick Newton heard the mother  beg that she should not lose her child for ever.

The judge ruled the girl should be placed for adoption – even though he  accepted that the mother was well, successfully taking medication and  had a job.

But he said the mother might stop taking her drugs and the family offers to raise the child were ‘not a starter’.

The woman, who is from central Italy, has started legal proceedings to try  and get her daughter back from Essex County Council and has hired  lawyers in Rome, specialised in international family matters, to help  fight her case.

She said nobody told her she was having the operation until she woke up and discovered the baby was no longer there.

She added:  ‘The Caesarean was forced upon me, I wasn’t even told about it. I did  not give my consent either verbally or written, for my child to be  adopted.

‘The baby’s natural father and an American relative were both happy to take care of her but the English social services ignored me. Why? Why did nobody help me?’

She spoke amid growing international outrage over her enforced caesarean,  which took place on the orders of the Court of Protection, which makes  decisions for incapacitated people. The court has not revealed its reasons for its ruling, made in August last year.

But within hours of the woman speaking out about her treatment, Essex County Council demanded harsh new  restrictions on the press’s ability to report her case ‘to preserve the  privacy of this baby’s family life’.

 

John Hemming, a Liberal Democrat MP who has campaigned for open justice, said it was ‘absurd’ to gag reporting of the case.

He said: ‘The only thing this does is to protect those who make erroneous decisions.

‘It appears Essex children’s services are now so worried about the  exposure of what they have been doing that they are now trying to  silence the judiciary.
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