I have been abhorred, horrified and totally disappointed in Essex authorities in their handling of the whole case involving an Italian women who came here to study, was pregnant and had a caesarean forced upon her without her consent.
Some replied, not understanding the enormity of what had taken place, happy to see freedom and human rights exchanged for what they consider a thoughtful set of actions by those with the power to snatch your child away.
I know many will not agree with me when I say that I believe we interfere too much in peoples lives but this particular case goes beyond anything that I thought would ever happen in this country.
Brendan Fleming, the woman’s British lawyer, told The Sunday Telegraph: “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.”
My mother has Italian satellite and watches the news from Italy rather than from the UK news channels. I was interested to see what the view was from my other country.
As I trust doctors a lot more than I trust social workers, I had made an assumption that it must have been a necessary evil with good reason. I was more upset by the fact that the baby was not then sent back to Italy with her mother for them to decide what was best. I think I may have trusted too much. I have learnt today that the operation happened when this lady was only 34 weeks pregnant. Why?
Her other two children are looked after by their Nonna and the mother spends time with them every day, although does not live with them. She has been trying to rebuild her life and that is one of the reasons she came to Britain. Her sister in law is happy to take on all 3 children in America including the mother.
The family were never consulted properly and although the Nonna has said she has her hands full with the 2 children she already looks after, it seems there are other family members willing to take the new addition.
Italians are in uproar, and rightly so. They are probably not in receipt of all the facts - as we are not - but at the moment they think we are the devil incarnate. Our reputation is in shreds and I can't defend it.
The solution was simple.As the baby still had a few weeks to go inside the womb, this lady should have been sent back to Italy - AS SHE HAD REQUESTED - before she had the baby and left to the wider family and the Italian authorities to deal with, as they had done before and quite successfully. Who are we to think we could do a better job? The sheer arrogance of it. If the Italian authorities had wiped their hands clean, as has been suggested, then so be it.
Apparently the lawyers were told that the mother was too late in her quest to get the child back because adoption procedures were already in place - this was not true. Was this a lie? A mistake? Has this happened before? We need to know.
Now there could be any number of factors that could put a different perspective on the whole tragic tale but one thing I will not change my mind about is this.
Social workers should not have had the power to keep this baby away and make a decision to adopt when there are other family members who are willing to care and look after. If this woman is trying to rebuild her life, she should have been given the support and the chance to prove she is capable, or will be in the future. We are spending money in the wrong places.
Imagine if this had happened to your daughter and your grandchild ended up in another country, with you having no say control whatsoever in it's future, or even being nearby in order to fight it properly.
We need grandparents rights across the whole of the EU, especially if now country boundaries count for nothing when it comes to snatching children off their parents. Does anyone think of their feelings when it comes to family courts? Sadly the answer to that is No, as I have witnessed for myself in a current case I am watching closely. Grandparents, often totally innocent in these affairs, have no say whatsoever in being able to even see their grandchildren for a couple of hours never mind on a regular basis. This needs to change immediately. The state loves the fact we look after them while our children work, help out financially etc etc but when it comes to our needs we are insignificant and ignored. When I met David Cameron, I asked him to make this a priority and he has promised that they are looking into it. I will hold him to that.
This is a shameful moment in the history of social work and reminds me of the film Philomena. I'm sure those nuns who stole from the shamed unmarried mothers at the time, thought they were doing God's work and the right thing for the babies. We are horrified now at this true story, and in the future people will be truly horrified at this one - if they are not already.
Shame on us..