I have to admit that I initially thought that John Hemming was exaggerating when he talked about babies being removed from their mothers at birth for no good reason and being put up for adoption.
Now, the more I hear about the inhumane treatment doled out to women by various Government agencies (see the Janipher Maseko story below, I am very glad that victims of such injustices have him as a champion.
Yesterday's story about Fran Lyon in the Mail on Sunday made me angry. She has had to flee the country because social services have, against much expert advice, threatened to remove her baby within 10 minutes of birth because of a concern voiced by a doctor who has never met her, that she will harm the baby. This goes back to an episode of mental illness some time ago from which she has fully recovered and has since gone on to study for a neuroscience degree.
Although Fran has never harmed anyone in her life, she is being denied the chance to bond with her baby. She has said that she is happy to go a mother and baby unit where she can be fully supervised to satisfy the concerns of the social services, but they have refused permission for this.
Removing any child from their mother is an extremely serious matter. This step does seem particularly drastic. It's almost that an episode of mental illness is being allowed to stigmatise this young girl for life.
Every liberal instinct demands that she is given a chance to prove herself as able to care for her baby, for Baby Molly to be allowed to have her mother's milk. I was appalled to read in the story that social services were concerened she'd take poison to transmit to the baby via her milk. A far fetched concern which is easily countered should not deny the baby the immunnological, long term health benefits of her mother's milk. The hormones associated with breastfeeding also encourage bonding between mother and baby so it would actually be beneficial.
Please make people aware of this terrible injustice and put pressure on the authorities to reverse their decision and allow Fran and the unborn Molly to stay together.
You can sign a petition and if you are on Facebook, join the group Asking for a Chance - Fran and Molly Lyon.