01/12/2013 07:28 GMT | Updated 31/01/2014 05:59 GMT

Pregnant Woman Forcibly Sedated And Baby Taken From Womb

A pregnant woman was forcibly sedated and her baby taken from her womb by cesarean section, according to The Sunday Telegraph.

Essex social services obtained a High Court order against the woman.

The council said it was acting in her best interests because she had suffered a mental breakdown, the newspaper reported.

The baby girl, now 15 months old, is still in the care of social services, who are refusing to give her back to the mother, even though she claims to have made a full recovery, it added.

Lawyers for the woman say the council should have consulted the woman's family beforehand and also involved Italian social services.

An MP is to raise the case in Parliament.

Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming said on Sunday: "I intend to raise this in Parliament. I need to speak to the lady tomorrow evening to find out how she wishes to proceed.

"I can't work out why they didn't send her back to Italy. Being in a psychiatric institution when you are without your medication in a foreign country is not a good experience to go through.

"There are considerable problems in the operation of the family courts. Part of the solution to that is greater public scrutiny, but also we need to make sure there is more independence in the evidence provided by expert witnesses, such as social workers."

The newspaper said the woman came to Britain in July last year to attend a training course with an airline at Stansted Airport in Essex.

She had a panic attack, which her relations believe was due to her failure to take regular medication for an existing bipolar condition.

She was taken to a psychiatric facility and was restrained and sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

She was in Britain for work reasons.

Meanwhile, social services obtained a High Court order for the birth to be enforced by way of caesarean section, the newspaper said.

In February, the mother, who had gone back to Italy, returned to Britain to request the return of her daughter, but a judge ruled that the child should be placed for adoption because of the risk that the woman might suffer a relapse.

Shami Chakrabarti, the director of Liberty, said: “At first blush this is dystopian science-fiction unworthy of a democracy like ours. Forced surgery and separation of mother and infant is the stuff of nightmares.

An Essex County Council spokesman said: "Essex County Council does not comment on the circumstances of ongoing individual cases involving vulnerable people and children."