Dorset

Children of trafficked couple 'to stay in England', judge rules

Dover Image copyright IAN CAPPER
Image caption The couple had escaped from traffickers after arriving in Dover

Two children born in England to parents who were trafficked from Slovakia should be placed for adoption in England, a High Court judge has ruled.

The couple had escaped from traffickers after arriving in Dover, Kent, and eventually settled in Bournemouth.

The children were placed in foster care over social services' concerns about the family home, domestic violence and the woman's mental health.

The parents were later evicted and returned to Slovakia.

Their current whereabouts are unknown and Mr Justice Baker said it was unrealistic to return the two-year-old girl and one-year-old boy to Slovakia.

'Low IQ'

The judge, who sits in the Family Division of the High Court, described the family's background as "sad and disturbing".

He said the couple, who are both in their 30s, married in Slovakia four years ago.

The woman, who is Hungarian and of "Roma origin", is illiterate, has learning difficulties and was raised on the street in Slovakia as part of a homeless family.

The man is also Hungarian and has a "low IQ", the judge said.

The woman gave birth in May 2013 and May 2014 after arriving in England.

The children were placed in foster care in July 2014 after social services raised a number of worries, including the conditions of their home.

The couple were evicted from the home in early 2015 and returned to Slovakia.

The judge heard evidence from social workers in the country who said the children would probably go into a children's home while efforts were made to place them with relatives.

If that was unsuccessful, they would be fostered or placed for adoption.

Mr Justice Baker said a move to Slovakia would be a "sudden interruption" for the children and deemed that their "cultural needs" were outweighed by their need for security and stability, which were being met by their current foster carers.

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