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Saturday, 21 September 2013

Let Megan Return to her Mother - the heartbreaking scandal surrounding a Bulgarian mother living in Britain!


A JUDICIAL REVIEW - The story of a Bulgarian mother

By Patrick Brigham
 
It is very difficult to expose just the facts with no feelings, because the following events are associated with a huge burden of pain, grief and also an element of fear. But in short, I will try to tell this true story with as many facts as possible. It all started with the visit of a Midwife to the home of a Bulgarian woman in England. They talked about life as a family, and in particular the question of how concerned the father was about the child and her motherhood. Unfortunately the answers that the Bulgarian woman gave to these probing questions, were not very positive from her side. This was because her relationship with her husband was presently fueled with an element of angst, which mainly concerned the use of the family computer. If you follow this chain of events, you will see that it is truly a case of serendipity, as each event simply compounds the next. 
 
To this day, she still wonders how she could have imagined sharing her life with a man who seemed more concerned about his use of a computer than his family, but then she unwisely asked the visiting Midwife what she thought about the situation. The woman's reaction was immediate and she went at once and made a statement to the police. They in turn made a recommendation to the UK Social Services, and in May 2012 they lodged a claim for the custody of Megan the daughter of the Bulgarian woman. The hearing was held at the local court during the same month, whereupon the court issued an Interim Care Order, which gave the Local Authority the right to take Megan away from her natural mother, and put her into foster care. 
An alternative option was also proposed, which was that the mother should also live together with the child at the home of the fostering family. From that moment on, she began to fear that the child would be taken away from her as she went to live with this family of strangers in a remote location and far from the home where she had presently lived.
As to the father, it was concluded that he might pose a risk to the child, and whilst the computer issue was discussed, the computer was inspected - together with any disks seized from the house where the couple lived -  for any signs of child pornography, but none were found. At this point the father still had contact with Megan twice a week, but this gradually decreased to once a week - due to the mother and daughter living in an isolated area - then once every two weeks, and finally a social worker revealed that he had finally lost contact with Megan altogether. 
Immediately after moving in with the host foster care family, UK Social Services forced the mother to sign a contract forbidding her to make any contact with the father - including using SMS or Facebook - or they would promptly take her child away altogether. But whilst living with the host family, the mother was getting messages from the child's father stating that he was going to commit suicide, because he claimed that he had now lost everything that made any sense to him, and variously he repeated these threats every day. At this point she agreed to meet with him and traveled back to their home town alone on the bus.  Here he started to threaten her and refused to hand over her personal luggage, children's furniture or any of the many things that had been bought for Megan their daughter, from the day she was born.
After that, the Social Services processes continued as did their various assessments. An independent social worker was sent from England in Bulgaria to interview her parents and to see if they were able to take care of Megan, in the event that Megan would be given for them to care, but before this trip to Bulgaria ,the social worker insisted on meeting Megan's mother and an an interview was arranged at the office of the Bulgarian woman's lawyers in England. It was here that the social worker emphatically told the mother that she should not hold out too much hope for a positive outcome. 
The British social worker in question, spent four days in Bulgaria interviewing the family - especially the child's grandmother, her mother - as well as Megan's grandfather, her father. On returning to the UK the report came back with very negative results, the recommendation being the same as the one which the UK Social Services had previously predicted  to the child's Bulgarian mother in England, and in advance of their trip to Bulgaria.
After that it was back to the original Local Authority social worker - now referred to as an expert - who then proceeded to ask further questions relating to her childhood. Called a Protective Ability Assessment, this too was returned with a negative result. In this report, the alleged expert accused the mother of all sorts of things, and things that she had never ever even considered before. In it each sentence began with the words we believe, but simultaneously offering no evidence whatsoever to support these accusations, which were all compounded by reams of missing papers and information from the original report.
On February of this year the final case before the court was heard, at which time the Judge issued two orders. The first, removed any parental rights from both of Megan's parents, and without their written consent. The second, gave full parental responsibility to the Local Authority - giving them the right to find adopting parents for Megan - even though an Appeal was due to be lodged against the courts findings.This case was due to be reviewed sometime thereafter, but because her lawyer had claimed a pressing personal commitment, it is clear that the mother appeared in court on her own behalf, without any legal council. 
She presented documents to the court concerning her change of circumstances, offering her divorce papers as evidence to the Court, but they decided that it was insufficient reason for them to change their ruling, pointing out that from then onwards the natural mother would have no right of contact with Megan until the child reached the age of majority(18). Her last encounter with Megan was on August 2013, since which time there has been no further news. 
The mothers pain and grief are difficult to describe, and during her last minutes with Megan they both wept uncontrollably and the memory of Megan holding out her arms to her mother, will remain forever.
The Bulgarian Embassy were only ever present as observers, and were quite useless, offered nothing in her defense, although her lawyers had implied that if the Bulgarian Embassy were to appear in court as some sort of mediator, then on this account alone victory would  be assured. But alas, this was not to be the case!
As far as one can see, not only have the Bulgarian mothers Human Rights been transgressed, but also her rights under European Law. This is especially so when the entire case rested on an unofficial visit to Bulgaria, by a foreign social worker who would seem to have been previously totally prejudiced against the mother - and probably Bulgaria in general - and who together with sundry British Local Authority social workers, had made detrimental prejudgments about her and the case from day one.  

Now, where have I heard that before?  Oh! And why was she not represented at Appeal by a Lawyer? Was that because she didn't matter?

The Verdict

The decree is based on two considerations. The first is the British CHILDREN ACT of 1989, which allows the Court to determine custody - not only if there is significant harm to the child - but with a likelihood of significant harm to the child in the future. The second is THE ADOPTION AND CHILDREN ACT 2002, which allows the forced (that is against the wishes of parents and children, when their views may be taken into account) adoption of children. It should be noted that the UK is the only EU country in which such an act is lawful. It violates a number of legal provisions guaranteeing due process and also the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child (ratified by the United Kingdom in 1991). Do you agree with this?

 
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