Tuesday 19 September 2017

How children can be lost in the care law minefield

A homeless couple's unsuccessful bid to win custody of their baby highlights the issues, writes Shane Dunphy

Shane Dunphy

A homeless couple have lost their High Court bid to have custody of their prematurely born baby returned to them after he receives necessary medical treatment and is released from hospital. The couple had been living in rooms provided by the hospital while their baby was being treated, and had, according to their legal team, made arrangements to move in with one of the child's grandparents until they could find suitable independent accommodation.

Despite these plans, the baby, who is likely to remain in hospital for at least another month, will be placed in the care of a foster family, a ruling that has caused some consternation, particularly among groups who advocate for the homeless. They assert that this couple have done everything possible to demonstrate a genuine willingness to care for their baby in a responsible and nurturing manner.

It is hard to disagree with such sentiments.

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