Woman who had three children taken away is allowed to keep fourth

A Peterborough woman who has seen three children taken from her care has won a second family court fight to keep a fourth.

Tuesday, 14th June 2016, 10:34 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 8:49 pm
Peterborough Crown Court.

Last year, Judge Peter Greene - who has analysed the woman’s case at family court hearings in Peterborough - refused to rule that the woman’s youngest child, a girl now 14 months, should be placed for adoption.

Now he has rejected another adoption application from social services bosses at Cambridgeshire County Council.

In a ruling in October, Judge Greene said the woman had a “sad and worrying history”.

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But he said it was always hoped that parents with problems would try to put things right - and said the woman had made “positive changes” which should be recognised.

In a second ruling - published after a hearing in May - the judge said he recognised social workers’ renewed concerns.

He said there was “clearly work to be done” and said the woman needed a high level of support.

But he said the council had not produced evidence to justify the little girl being taken from her mother and placed for adoption.

He said neither the woman, who is in her 30s, nor her daughter could be identified.

Judge Greene has explained, in two written rulings on the case, how the woman had suffered mental health problems and had a history of relationships with “violent men” who “abused drink and drugs.”

Two of her older children had been adopted and a third was living with a relative, he said.

The judge said the woman had a “very sad and worrying history”.

But he listed shifts in her approach - saying she had engaged with ante-natal services and with mental health services, and mended her relationship with her mother and stepfather.

And he said she had a “determination to change”.

Social workers had made a second adoption application in February.

They raised concerns about the little girl being harmed by exposure to “risky” people.