Yvonne Stewart-Taylor - A retired town councillor from Cumbria
UK Social Services Tried to Take my Granddaughter - [23rd Mar 2009]
Yvonne Stewart-Taylor’s Granddaughter was born in the U.S.A. on 26th May 2002 after her Mother went into premature labour 3.5 months early on a beach in Mexico. Her parents were transported by Air ambulance to University of San Diego hospital where the labour could not be halted. The little one was born by emergency caesarean section weighing in at just 2lb 6oz. The baby stayed in intensive care for 10 weeks during which time I visited the new family and tried to help support them. She had only a 50% chance of survival. It cost Barclays travel insurance over $1 million for her intensive care.
In August 2002 she was flown by Air Ambulance from San Diego to Newcastle Upon Tyne where we were told we would have a problem getting her into the British system because she came into the U.K. without a passport and holds an American Birth certificate only. We were at a loss as to how, at a time of heightened national security, S.A.G.A, working on behalf of Barclays insurance could have managed to bring her into the UK illegally.
From Newcastle she was brought by ambulance to Lancaster Royal Infirmary and later discharged. Finally we had her home. As a caring family we all cared for her and loved her, she was and still is the centre of our Universe. On Jan 03, 2003 she was admitted to hospital with a severe chest infection, remaining there for a few days and then sent home with a broken femur. I asked for a full inquiry into how this could have occurred. A locum paediatrician at Lancaster diagnosed “Non-accidental Injuries” and Social Services took out an interim care order; accusing the family of child abuse. We asked them to wait until doctors in San Diego could be consulted. We were refused. We endured 8 months of child care proceedings and had to fight the system.
When San Diego Doctors finally sent e-mails to her Mother stating she had been born with significant OOP (osteopenia of prematurity); a bone condition which effects premature infants. We had been told that if one of six family members did not admit to hurting her she would be placed for adoption. We were all questioned by police regarding child abuse, including her great grandfather who had lost his wife (my Mother) a few months previously to terminal cancer. Police asked him why he came to visit us so regularly?
After 8 months the family court dispersed the child protection case to Australia, where after a few weeks it was disposed of as a waste of their time and resources. We had seen her for only 2 hours per week for 8 months, under social services supervision. Some weeks we didn’t see her at all because social services didn’t have enough staff. We went through hell. Had it not have been for the arrival into the UK, from Australia of her maternal grandmother, social services would have removed her from her birth family -she was still being breast fed at the time, and social services had no mother and child foster provision to place her in. Her Australian granny oversaw her care 24/7 without respite for 8 months; preventing them from being able to take our granddaughter away.
We were made to prove our innocence and treated like criminals. The social workers were so set on an agenda of ‘baby for adoption’ that one even changed the wording of the Australian social worker’s report to try and mislead the Court. Perjury of a document admitted to court. Social services went to great length to protect her from the mixed-race paternal family. Later, when we complained, they admitted partially discriminating against us on racial grounds. They were not compliant with The Amended Race Relations Act, and had inadequate policies in place.
Our suffering and sense of loss was immense. We had all endured 8 months of hell. We celebrated when the Family Court judge said we could bring her home and her parents could then take her to be with her Australian family. We were sad to see them go but relieved that social services had to let go. She had been neglected by the NHS, we had been falsely accused, and yet she did not become another of the thousands of children who have been wrongly removed from their birth families and illegally adopted in the UK. Our one saving grace was American Doctors’ e-mails and the fact that she is an American Citizen with no claim to British Citizenship until her parents are married, which to date they are not. Had social services placed her for adoption to a UK couple they would have contravened international law.
We have exhausted all the complaints procedures only to either be ignored or fobbed off. The NHS were presented with our formal complaint along with the police in December 06 and to date the NHS has not answered our complaint. Social services have refused to answer the Australian complaint and the police have not addressed our concerns either.
My Husband who works for Cumbria Constabulary has, twice in the last two years, faced disciplinary action directly associated with this case and could lose his job after 6 months of investigation into his alleged misconduct at work. The authorities are now hell bent on making us criminals. Not one family member has ever been prosecuted or charged with any offence yet we are listed on a secret police intelligence computer as ‘prospective child abusers’. We have requested the removal of our names and been refused.
My Son, his daughter and her Mother do not feel safe to return to the UK, as the social worker has said he will get her next time. It has cost us approx £25,000 and the Australian family the loss of their home, business and caused the family unit of 30 years to almost breakdown. We fear that due to the stress of it all her parents relationship will not endure much longer. The good name and character of our families has been tarnished and I can no longer function normally day to day. I lost my jobs, and fear my husband will soon lose his. We will be forced to sell our home and leave the UK in the near future. Institutionally racist Cumbrian Authorities have done us and our granddaughter nothing but harm and they are not even going to be dealt with, for this huge miscarriage of justice.
People aware of this case. Tony Blair Prime Minister, Margaret Hodge Minister for Children, John Hemming MP, Beverly Hughes Minister for Children, Tim Collins MP, Tim Farron MP, Chief Constable Baxter (Cumbria Constabulary), Joan Stocker, County Council. on can intervene in individual cases or right the wrongs of the flawed family courts. The only chance we have of justice, is to go to the European Courts with others who have had their families torn apart.We are fortunate we still have our granddaughter.
The sad reality is that the UK child protection racket is nothing more than a liscence for the Family Law Franchises to make money, at tax payers expense and rip innocent families apart for financial gain. Sadly while vital recourses are wasted on innocent families, children who really need protection are being abused. Many thousands of pounds of tax payers money have been wasted on this case to protect what was essentially an illegal immigrant. US congress are also aware of this case involving one of their citizens and we intend to tell this story as widely as we can in three countries in the hope of naming and shaming those who have deliberately abused us as a family.
We want to raise awareness of this case in the hope that it will highlight the abuse of innocent families in the UK by Government Agencies who appear to be a law unto themselves and answerable to none. We believe that this case sets a president as American Dr’s as well as UK Dr’s were involved. If we had relied on UK Doctors we would have certainly lost her to the system. The fact remains that she is not even British.
The current system is flawed, open to abuse and damaging or destroying families. How much longer can this continue? Why do social workers have and abuse, so much power?
Note. I am not bound by the Court’s gagging orders to be silent as I was never a party to Proceedings. The parents do not have the same freedom I have to speak about this, as they are bound by the courts not to speak about it. I have deliberately concealed names to protect the innocent. I do feel strongly that this case should be made public, especially if it raises the profile enough to force changes to occur in the future and prevent others from enduring what we have been through. No, family should have to suffer as we have done. Incidentally, our family were interviewed re-child abuse by my husbands work colleagues, is it any wonder we are still being looked at and treated like criminals by local police? Policies and procedures have not been followed by Social Services or the Police.