Monday, November 13, 2006

Solomon's choice.

I blogged about this case back in October, but today the supreme court has overturned the high court's decision to let Baby Ann remain with her adoptive parents.
In a fraught and emotional case it seems to me that emotion has won out.
Baby Ann was offered up for adoption by her natural parents who were unmarried students at the time. They got married earlier this year and changed their minds about the adoption and withdrew their consent. At this stage Baby Ann had been with her adoptive parents for almost two years.
The reason the judge gave in the high court was that baby Ann had bonded so firmly with her adoptive parents that he felt it would be cruel to take her from them...
"Two-year old baby-girl Ann should remain in the care of her intended adoptive family as returning her back to her natural parents would damage her psychologically.' The hig court ruled a the time.
So now more time has passed and the bond between the baby and her adoptive parents will have deepened. What makes the courts rule like this?
I would question the thinking of the natural parents in this case too. What is best for the child? Their wants aside. This little girl does not know them, she does not recognise them as her parents. Ann is three or almost three now, she will be bereaved if wrenched from her parents. It could affect her for the rest of her life.
And waht of the adoptive couple, will they return to their home, sit in their daughter's bedroom, surrounded by her toys, her photos, her memories? Can you imagine the hearkbreak?
It is a tragedy and I feel very upset for the adoptive parents who adopted that little girl in good faith and loved her. They are now faced with the devasting task of handing over their daughter- who they have loved and raised as their own for two years- to another couple.
Their hearts must be breaking and I think this decision is disgusting.

UPDATE: Thinking behind the ruling can be found here...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Incredible. What were the details given by way of explanation for the judgement?

12:51 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've just been reading about this on RTE. There's no sign yet, but like monty, I'm interested to see how they came to this conclusion.

Agreed, cat. That is a horrible situation for the adoptive parents.

12:56 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

The adoptive criteria in this country Monty was set up in 1952, and goes with the 'Married natural parents are always' what is best for the child. There have been no other details released yet as to the five judges decision making, as soon as there is I'll post it.

1:59 p.m.  
Anonymous Sinéad said...

That's awful. I couldn't imagine how the adoptive parents feel, but I thought there were structures in place that didn't automatically elevate the right of the the natural parents above the adoptive ones?
The most important person in all of this is the child and it makes you wonder if an physical and emotional upheaval like this at such an early age is the best thing for her.

It's very sad.

2:16 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I do feel for the natural parents too Sinéad. It must be horrible to have made a mistake and then have it eat away at you like that. But in a situation like this the child must be thought of first. And a child who has bonded with a loving set of parents, who only knows those parents, who calls them 'mammy and daddy' should not be made suffer because someone else regrets their actions.
Can you imagine the agony of those adoptive parents today? Can you imagine trying to explain to a three year old that they won't live with you any longer? It's just heartbreaking.

2:27 p.m.  
Blogger Boliath said...

Surely a compromise could have been reached, the child spends a week with her birth parents every month or something? This is a horrible situation, the only people happy are the birth parents. I do feel for them as well of course it must have been difficult to face a crisis pregnancy and give the child up for adoption. but my heart breaks for the adoptive parents, just breaks with indescribable pain.

3:29 p.m.  
Blogger Dr Maroon said...

I love the way you say they adopted 'in good faith' as if they had bought a toaster {don't hit me).

I don't think the child will either know, remember, or be directly affected by any of it. When she's 35 years old, she could smell talcum powder or something and be mysteriously transported back in time to memories she never knew she had.

3:37 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They came to this decision because it was the right one. There were 5 judges and the best interests of the child were said to be with the natural parents.

3:40 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Docky, I love you dearly, but if you think taking a child from the only people she knows as parents and placing her elsewhere won't effect her you're a bit of a Tanya.

3:41 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I'm sure her natural parents are not bad people or unfit, but I'm just very sorry for the adopted parents in this case. And in this case I wonder does it serve the best interests of the child to remove her from a family she has bonded with.

3:43 p.m.  
Blogger P1P said...

I always thought adoption was final. It's all very well deciding later that you have made a mistake but surely adoption is permanent. How long is it before the parents can no longer change their minds? Will there now be a spate of people deciding they are now ready to have their unwanted child back? Maybe the adoption process isn't long enough. Perhaps more time needs to be given before it's definite.

Three is old enough to understand that your "parents" are gone and you are now with two people you don't know. I doubt it's old enough to understand why though.

Imagine trying to explain to a kid that you "couldn't" take care of her before so you gave her away. It's all very traumatic for both sets of parents but surely the decision should have gone with whats best for the kid.

It would seem unikely that tearing her from the arms of the people who she has always considered to be mum and dad and giving her to two virtual strangers can be in her best interests.

Well done supreme court fucked up a kid, destroyed two peoples lives but you have managed to keep people whoditched their own child happy. Well done. Good job.

4:51 p.m.  
Anonymous yank said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:34 p.m.  
Anonymous Bonnie said...

And how much irrepairable damage have they done to the adoption system? Do any of YOU want to run out now and adopt a child who could be taken away from you at the whim of the "real" parents? And Docky, please show me your PhD in psychology, because I'd like to yell at the college that gave it to you.

6:03 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Ireland a signatory to the European Human Rights legislation. If it is, then as far as I understand, it then trumps any Irish Law. A case would of course have to be brought on behalf of the child by some-one or some entity.

6:42 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I don't know Monty, I just heard some MInster saying on Newstalk that he was unhappy with the outcome and that a new constitution for children's rights must be created. He could very well be right.

7:41 p.m.  
Anonymous laura said...

It is interesting that everyone is vilifying the biological parents' decision to seek the return of their daughter at a time when the adoption process was not complete.

At the time that they sought return of the child, that was their right, as provided in the statue law governing adoption.

The statue law was updated as recently as 1998 in order to ensure the rights of the father were also taken into account.

I think that the full facts in this case are not known. The time line for one thing is not known. How soon after giving the baby up for adoption did they seek her return? Was it months or weeks?

The adoptive parents' refusal to give the child back, despite the fact that the Adoption Order had not been granted, has caused part of the problem. Definitely with regard to time. There is no getting away from that fact. They have a hand in their pain and the child's pain.

So, blame the adults, but don't just blame the biological parents. The adoptive parents had a hand in this mess too.

10:15 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

From reading the judges reports it would appear that the biological parents did not seek the return of their daughter until at least 14 months had passed.
I'm not trying to come down hot and heavy on the them either, but I understand the reluctance of the adoptive parents to return a little girl they have grown to love and cherish as their own.
The biological mother refers to what is in the best interest of the child frequently, but I wonder is she being honest in that, the best interest of a child would surely not to be wrenched away from parents she knows and loves and placed with strangers-albeit biologically her family.
This is an unusual and disturbing case, both sets of parents clearly love the little girl, but at the end of the day-I feel, and it is just my opinion- if the biological parents realy wanted what was best for their now almost three year old girl, they would leave her with the only family she has ever known and not shatter her life and the lives of her adoptive family for their own personal satisfactions.

10:26 p.m.  
Anonymous S said...

It sounds like the biological parents had a kid, realised that they still had some more college to do and couldn't handle both so ended up putting raising the child on pause for 1-2 years.

I would love to see the courts rational behind it's decision.

1:00 a.m.  
Blogger Green Ink said...

My take.

3:51 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

S, follow the link on my update and you can read their thoughts on it.
Green Ink, very good.

8:44 a.m.  
Blogger Fat Sparrow said...

It makes you appreciate the good old days of fake birth certificates and never telling kids they're adopted, and no trace left at all, and I do not mean any of this in a sarky fashion.

Those poor adoptive parents. Little did they know that they were just being used as a baby-sitting service while the biological parents finished school. They should reckon up a bill for their services, and have it served.

And as for the biological parents, they can fuck right off, and if it's all the same to them, please have yourselves neutered.

11:41 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just read the high court documents.
1. the biological parents were just finished college had no jobs and had not the full support of their parents when the child was born
2. the subsequently put the child up for adoption
3. they had doubts almost immediately.
4. the angecy and 1 social worker in particular seemed to persuade them to adopt on several occasions
5. there was some issue that the social worker persuading them to put the child for adoption was on some level socially or work related to the prospective couple.
There was supposed to be an open adoption whereby the biological parents would still see the child. hoever there was no legal basis for this and they were not as free to see the child as they had thought.
7. They then changed their mind about the adoption 14months after the birth due to these circumstances and sent a letter to that effect.
8. the adoption agency stalled , the foster parents stalled, the courts stalled and now the child is 24months old.

I dont' remember anything from when I was 2 years old and neither will the child if you ask me.

There seems to have been a major failure on the part of the adoption agency. they should not have encouraged/persuaded the biological parents to give up their child when they had so many doubts almost immediately after the birth.

A child belongs with it's birth parents, who it looks like and has the same personality traits as, as long as the parents are 100% committed to that child - as they are in this case.

2:37 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

"There seems to have been a major failure on the part of the adoption agency. they should not have encouraged/persuaded the biological parents to give up their child when they had so many doubts almost immediately after the birth.

A child belongs with it's birth parents, who it looks like and has the same personality traits as, as long as the parents are 100% committed to that child - as they are in this case."

I agree there is a cloud over the adoption agency, but If the natural parents had doubts they should have written to the adoption board and expressed those doubts immediately, they did no such thing.
Personality traits are learned as much as they are inherited and blood does not always mean the best parents.
I don't doubt that the birth parents are good people but this little girl is almost three and has bonded deeply with her adoptive parents. The whole situation is shambolic and I think -in this case- the wrong decision has been made with regards to the best interests of this particular child. She may not remember every detail and emotion, but she will be bereaved and she will need time to rebond to a new set of parents and this upheaval might have a very permanent effect on her future behaviour and stability.

3:45 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have 6 adopted friends that are now in their 20's.

Out of those 6, 5 of them have suffered from serious depression, the 1 that didn't bears an uncanny resemblance in both personality and looks to his adopted parents.

9:42 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fatmammy cat said "I agree there is a cloud over the adoption agency, but If the natural parents had doubts they should have written to the adoption board and expressed those doubts immediately"

According to the court documents they did express their doubts to the adoption agency and social workers, and were told that this was a normal reaction, even though the social workers stated that the level of interaction of the biological parents after the birth was unique.

These experienced and educated social workers should have known better at this early stage than to keep pursuading the biological parents that they were doing the right thing by giving their child up.

I refer again to issue that the social worker persuading them to put the child for adoption was on some level socially or work related to the prospective adoptive couple (this was mentioned in the court documents)

It all seems a bit fishy and badly handled to me and I feel so sorry for all involved especially the biological parents as no one seems to have stuck up for them then or now.

(and I think they said the child is 24months old -2years)

10:02 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's terrible that Baby Ann is to be ripped away from her parents and given to two stangers, because that is what they are. I am adopted myself,and I traced my birth parents only to find out that they married when I was two and had three more children. In fact they did look to get me back when I was 9 but did not get very far. You give up that right when you make the decision you can't care for your child. I have the greatest respect for my bith parents and I feel very sorry for anyone who has given up a child for adoption,but once a baby has been placed with a couple for more then 6 months they are then the babys parents regardless of genetics. Imagine if you had a baby naturally with your husband/wife, and a court decided you had no right to the baby,a nd took her away. It's the same , I feel so sorry for the adoptive parents of Baby Ann. They are grieving now, and to my mind, it is worse then a death, as they have no closure. The natural parents are very selfish and if they had any regard for their child they would have let it be loved and cared for by it's parents. Solomons choice exactly. And don't give me bullshit about children getting over stuff liek that when they are young, it's not true my sister was a late adoption (same age as baby ann)and she's still not adjusted to the whole thing. (in her late thirties now )

11:20 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry I know I did not sound very sympathetic. I do know how difficult it is when people had unplanend pregancies especially when they have no support. The whole case has just really upset me.

11:25 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

That's quite all right, ti is an emotive issue. I suppose I have a jandiced view of this. I have a very good friend who was with a foster family for the first eighteen months of her life in thelate sixties, then she was removed from that family and placed with a different one shortly there after, and this friend has-through her whole life- always felt something was missing in her life, that she didn't fully belong anywhere. When she found out recently about her origins the tumblers fell into place. FInally a lot of things made a whole lot of sense.
Her bond was with her original family and she never did fully establish a new one with her new family, and it has effected her emotionally.
I do think that initial bond is so important, but you are right watermains, it was all handled very badly.

2:27 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was the same for me when I finally found out about my birth family. Even though my adoptive family are great, and I have always been treated like a natural child, I always felt something was missing. When I found out , I felt like I was finally given my identity, which funnily enough didn't in the end have anything to do with either family. (birth or adoptive)My identity is about who I am in the context of me today, but I always felt it should have more do do with where I came from. It took me until I was 29 (couple of years ago) to get that.I think the identity issue and sense of belonging is always going to be missing for an adopted child to a certain extent. Just some people are more sensitive to it than others. I think I was very sensitive as a child even. I know I'm happier knowing who I am. I guess what I'm saying is that your friend that was in foster care and me who was not and who was adopted at 4 months both had problems with belonging, and it looks like that for both of us, finding out kind of healed us. (I think ) gosh, I'm very maudlin about it. Thanks for this blog. It was like a form of therapy for me today.

4:18 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

You're most welcome, drop by whenever you like.

6:08 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that every on this site with the exception of watermains need to do some research before making comments on something they know nothing about. all of their information is based on what they have been told by the media. Read the judgement! You might actually get your facts right then.

9:38 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Which fact would this be then? The fact that we think it's hearbreaking for the adoptive parents? The fact that we whink the adoption board mishandled the case? The fact that we think the parents are decent people but might not have the best interest of the child at heart?
Before you come onto my site making sweeping statements you might do a spot of reading yourself.

10:19 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said fatmammycat

10:52 a.m.  
Blogger MOL_Am_Ris said...

This really shows ignorance (not unusual or surprising) about what adoptees go through, the experiences they have as a result of being separated from their families, and complete ignorance of what mothers experience when they lose their children. Not to mention ignorance of how often women are coerced into relinquishing their children.

And how often love is exploited in order to gain more infants for the adoption industry.

People claim that it's best for the child to remain with the strangers who have raised her thus far, but this shows ignorance of what psychology and science (statistics) say is the real truth.

Your ignorance is normal, but it's just horrible that our nation is so utterly and horrifying ignorant about the terrible damage that is done to adoptees JUST by the act of adoption itself.

Here's some edification for you:'t_tell_us.html (Suicide is more common among adoptees FOR A REASON)

Educate yourself. Please.

Adoption is destructive for pretty much everyone except the adoptive parents. Though even they are often disappointed when the child turns out not to be the promised 'blank slate' that they can make their own.

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حيث شركتنا تتميز باداء الخدمه علي افضل وجهه حيث نعد شركه رش مبيدات بالطائف
شركه تنظيف خزانات بالطائف

8:40 a.m.  
Blogger عبده العمراوى said...

شركة صيانة مسابح بالدمام
شركة تنظيف منازل بالقطيف

7:26 a.m.  
Blogger rehabgad1 said...

Good write-up. I definitely love this site. Keep it up

6:33 p.m.  

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