Oldham care baby mother takes battle to European courts

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A mother from Greater Manchester who claims her baby daughter was wrongly taken into care has taken her case to the European Courts.

The 23-year-old, from Oldham, has a two-year-old daughter who was taken into care when she was six months old because of "potential risk of harm".

Oldham Social Services believed her mother was unable to look after her.

The European Court for Human Rights is now trying to find out if the authority was right to take the child.

The mother, who would not be named, was brought up in care and was still under the supervision of Oldham Social Services when she had her baby at the age of 20 in November 2008.

Visits stopped

She said: "I feel I was capable of looking after my daughter with help and support but that was nowhere to be seen.

"If I'd been provided with help and support I wouldn't be in this position."

After her daughter was taken into care, the woman said she was allowed to see her three times a week, but that her visits were stopped in March 2010.

She said she thought her daughter may have been adopted.

"They said my daughter was at potential risk of harm and neglect in the future, which is a crystal ball projection," she said.

"Losing her was the worst possible thing that I could go through. I'd given birth to my child and that child is my blood and she then gets taken into care and I've got no jurisdiction over my own child."

'Best possible support'

The woman said that her own mother had been in care and that she wanted to "break the cycle".

"I don't want to be stood in court in 20 years time fighting for my grandchildren," she said.

Oldham Council refused to comment specifically on the case as it is the subject of an ongoing legal process.

A spokesman said: "Oldham Council takes its responsibilities for the safeguarding and welfare of children and young people extremely seriously and is committed to providing the best possible support to all people who it has a legal responsibility to care for.

"Our children's services are rated 'excellent' by Ofsted and our adult social services are ranked as 'performing well'."

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