Teenage Mother Forced To Give Up Her Baby For Adoption

A judge has told of his regret after forcing a 16-year-old mum to give up her baby for adoption.

Judge Stephen Wildblood said the teenager loved her 12-month-old son 'with all the natural love that any parent could hold'.

He said he was sorry that his ruling, made after a hearing at Bristol County Court, 'should be the instrument of so much pain', the local paper reported.

Gloucestershire County Council had asked Judge Wildblood to place the boy for adoption.

Council staff said the teenager was 'immature, vulnerable and naïve', had 'exceptionally low or borderline' intelligence and had not been able to demonstrate an ability to care for her son.

They said she lived in a 'cluttered and unhygienic' home, struggled to 'adhere to advice', gave her son junk food and did not meet his health needs consistently.

The judge said social services staff had given the teenager, whose family was 'dysfunctional', an 'exceptional level of services'.

He said everyone who had assessed her had concluded she could not offer her son the care he needed and the only solution was adoption.

The teenager, who had been living under supervision with her son at a mother and baby foster home then with family members, said she found social workers and a health visitor 'very difficult to get on with'.

She told the court that two social workers 'talked down to her as if she was a bad person'.

Judge Wildblood said he spent a long time trying to see if a way could be found to meet the boy's welfare needs whilst allowing him to stay with his mother.

In a written ruling, the judge concluded: "This is an extremely sad case. The mother, who was aged 14 at the time of the conception, loves her son with all the natural love that any parent could hold."

But he said the only option which would meet the boy's 'paramount welfare' was an adoption placement.

He said: "On the facts of this case and the evidence that I have heard, a care order is the only order that can be made consistently with the welfare of (the little boy).

"Nothing short of such an order of last resort will do. Thus a care order is necessary and proportionate and I am driven to make one."

He went on: "This is a heartbreaking case for all concerned but most particularly for this young mother.

"I have no doubt at all that that highly distressing impact will be felt by those have supported (her), including her legal team, and I can only express my own regret that this judgment, for which I am solely responsible, should be the instrument of so much pain."

The judge named Gloucestershire County Council as the local authority involved but said the boy and the teenager could not be identified.