Social workers forced a woman in the U.K. to get a C-section last year because she had a mental breakdown. They subsequently took the baby from her.
The woman is Italian but was in England for a work event at the time.
During the breakdown, which occurred as a result of the woman’s bipolar disorder, she called police. Officers reportedly told the woman they were taking her to a hospital, but instead took her to a psychiatric facility. She asked to leave and return to her hotel, but was detained at the facility by social services; this is allowed under England’s Mental Health Act.
After being held for three weeks, the woman was forced into sedation. Her baby was then taken out of the womb, against the woman’s wishes.
She claims that she was kept in the dark the entire time — she never knew that social services was planning on the forced C-section.
Currently the baby girl is still in the care of social services, despite the fact that the mother has made a full recovery and wants her child back.
The woman and her lawyers are also angered over the fact that the baby was put up for adoption in England, despite the fact that a family friend in America had offered to care for the child.
Brendan Fleming, the woman’s attorney, said, “I have never heard of anything like this in all my 40 years in the job. I can understand if someone is very ill that they may not be able to consent to a medical procedure, but a forced caesarean is unprecedented. If there were concerns about the care of this child by an Italian mother, then the better plan would have been for the authorities here to have notified social services in Italy and for the child to have been taken back there.”
Experts on social services have called this case “highly unusual” and “unprecedented.”
We will keep you up-to-date on the situation as news breaks.