Parents fight British social services ‘gag’ to petition European Parliament
Britain’s social services “unique” in EU for “threatening and bullying” of parents who speak out against forced adoption of their children, say MEPs
Britain’s social services are “unique” in the European Union for “threatening and bullying” parents who speak out against the forced adoption or “snatching” of their children, MEPs have said.
The comments were made after a group of British parents who lost their children to social workers or forced adoption took their plight to the European Parliament’s petition committee on Tuesday, which makes representations to the European Commission.
One man from south east England, who cannot be named due to court injunctions, told The Telegraph that he was threatened with arrest if he complained to the Brussels assembly’s about his son being forcibly put into care.
“These authorities are like the modern Nazis,” he said. “I was told I could be arrested for protesting over my son being forcibly placed in care.”
The parliament’s committee condemned “unacceptable” moves to pressure people from giving evidence to MEPs at a time when most complaints about forced adoption or the unjust loss of children to social services are coming from Britain.
“In my experience, the UK is unique in Europe for the secrecy of its family courts and for the threats and bullying by authorities of parents who want to speak out about their treatment,” said Tatjana Zdanoka, a Latvian MEP.
“We know that individuals have been threatened with severe consequences by authorities in the UK if they come to the European Parliament’s Petitions Committee to tell their story.”
It emerged on Tuesday that British parents and European couples have previously been arrested and lost of visiting rights with their children for taking their case to MEPs.
“People are threatened with imprisonment,” said Sabine Kurjo McNeill, a campaigner against forced adoptions who helps parents with legal advice. “People have been punished for exercising their rights.”
Mrs McNeill said that a Portuguese couple who had attended the parliament in March were “arrested and had their house raided” after returning to England.
A Welsh man was punished by having visits to his son restricted, “leading to a suicide attempt,” she said.
The commission cannot intervene in child protection cases but has offered to broker a meeting between parents, including many European couples, and the British authorities.
Jude Kirton-Darling, a Labour MEP, called for an investigation because of the increasing number of forced adoption or care complaints coming from Britain.
“The number of petitions suggests that something worrying is going on,” she said.
“There should be a an investigation about what is going on in the UK. There needs to be a detailed response form the Government.”
Government officials declined to attend the meeting or to “comment on or intervene in court proceedings or individual cases”.
“Parents have legal representatives who are appointed to ensure their views are heard,” said a Government letter to MEPs.