A pregnant Italian woman who was visiting England for a work training course had her baby forcibly removed and taken into the custody of social services.
While in a psychiatric facility in Essex, a court declared her incompetent, so doctors sedated her and performed a caesarean section on her against her will. When she woke up, doctors told her they had removed her child and taken it into custody. Prior to the operation, the woman reportedly suffered a panic attack when she could not find her daughters’ passports, and she called the police. They took her to the psychiatric facility, where she was held under Britain’s Mental Health Act for five weeks.
Essex social services refuses to return the now 15-month-old girl to her mother and plans to put her up for adoption. The mother is currently fighting to have the court’s ruling overturned before the adoption process is completed. A judge formed a favorable opinion of her, but he ruled to put the child up for adoption anyway because of the risk that the woman may suffer a relapse.
This case has been called “unprecedented” by the woman’s attorneys. “I worry about the way these decisions about a person’s mental capacity are being taken without any apparent concern as to the effect on the individual being affected,” said Member of Parliament John Hemming, according to The Telegraph.