Monday, June 01, 2015
British social worker evil is hard to believe sometimes
They just aim to hurt respectable people. A mother who had done nothing wrong and desperately wanted custody of her own biological daughter was denied it on the most specious grounds and the baby was given to an adoptive family
Throughout her pregnancy, surrogate mother Wendy Reid had been resolute: she was doing the right thing. After all, what greater gift could she give a childless woman than a baby?
In a world where the rules and players in the process of parenthood are growing ever-more complicated and varied, it’s a line we’re hearing frequently, as women happily ‘rent out’ their bodies to infertile and gay couples.
Recent examples include a mother giving birth to a baby for her gay son, and a daughter carrying her own ‘sister’ for her mother and new husband. The families insisted the arrangements worked brilliantly for all concerned.
Yet no matter how many times one reads these stories, a nagging question always remains: how could any woman hand over a child they gave birth to? And the most uncomfortable question of all: what happens if the woman changes her mind?
Sadly, that is what happened to Wendy. The repercussions were catastrophic, destroying her relationship and leaving an innocent baby — her own biological daughter — to be raised by adoptive parents, with no idea of who she is. Despite the rising popularity of surrogacy — figures from the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service show that there were 167 surrogate babies born in the UK last year, more than triple the 47 born in 2007 — it remains an unregulated practice in this country.
Agreements between couples and their surrogates are made entirely on trust, often between virtual strangers, with obvious potentially disastrous pitfalls.
Two months ago, Wendy, 28, lost an appeal against a court decision to place her now two-year-old daughter with another family. She may never see her again: ‘Losing her has been agony, just traumatic. The thought that she is being brought up by a couple of strangers and not her blood family is torture. I won’t ever come to terms with it.’
Wendy, who already had Lucy, five, decided to become a surrogate in July 2012. A former administrator, she says: ‘I remember reading about a woman who’d had a longed-for child through a surrogate and felt overwhelmed with emotion. I adored having Lucy and began thinking how terrible it must be for couples who can’t have a child.
‘We’d planned to add to our family, but I thought it would be wonderful to have a baby for a couple who couldn’t have children first.’
Wendy broached the subject with her partner, James, 23, and the couple discussed the possible strain on their family life, as well as the health implications for Wendy, before deciding to go ahead.
‘He felt the same way as me,’ Wendy says.
After registering her details with a reputable surrogacy website, where couples can advertise for surrogates and vice versa, Wendy, who lives in the north of England, was delighted when just a few days later she was contacted by Jane and William, a couple in their 40s.
‘They were desperate to have a baby,’ she says. ‘Jane told me health problems meant she’d had to have a hysterectomy and so had missed out on having a family. My heart went out to them.’
Obviously this meant Wendy would have to use her own eggs and would be biologically related to any baby that was born. But after careful thought, and moved by the couple’s apparently desperate situation, she chose to go ahead.
‘Every month, when a woman goes through her cycle, an egg is wasted — I felt I would be giving life to an egg that would otherwise not have life and James agreed,’ she concluded.
Over the next four weeks the couples chatted regularly online and on the phone, eventually deciding to meet.
‘They came to meet us at our home,’ she recalls. ‘I was relieved when I opened the door to see a smartly dressed couple. They said they both had professional jobs in management, and reassured us they had no criminal record or financial worries.
‘We all got on incredibly well and they just seemed so genuine and down-to-earth, it felt as if we’d been friends for years. We even shared the same sense of humour. James and I both felt a connection with them and I couldn’t wait to have their baby.’
While it’s illegal in the UK to pay a woman to have a baby, reasonable expenses are allowed to cover maternity outlays and the couple insisted on paying Wendy £7,000 spread over nine months because she would have to take time off work for midwife appointments and scans, and buy maternity clothes.
At the same time, the couple also agreed to Wendy’s wish to see the child weekly as she grew up.
‘As surrogacy contracts aren’t legally enforceable, we agreed everything verbally on trust,’ she says.
Swept up in the excitement of helping the couple realise their dream, events then moved fast, something Wendy now regrets.
As it was, two weeks later Wendy worked out she was at the most fertile time in her cycle and arranged to meet the couple at a nearby hotel.
She says: ‘Over the next three days I artificially inseminated myself with William’s sperm using a syringe designed for giving a child medicine. I was delighted when I got pregnant immediately and announced the news by sending them a photo of my positive pregnancy test.’
Apart from morning sickness the pregnancy was straightforward.
‘The wife came to all my scans and seemed genuinely thrilled when she saw the baby kicking,’ she says.
‘We spoke every day and I saw them at least once a month. I even went to stay with them for a week so they could spoil me and give me a rest, and I saw nothing that suggested they weren’t genuine.
‘At the time, even though this was biologically my child, I didn’t have any maternal feelings towards it. I always knew I was having a baby for this couple.’
By January 2013 a scan revealed Wendy was having a baby girl. Wendy says: ‘They were both over the moon about having a daughter.’
That May Wendy went into labour. A midwife rang the couple and the woman joined her in the delivery room. After six hours Emily was born weighing a healthy 8lb. Wendy says: ‘I was so proud I’d produced such a bonny baby. As she held her, the look on the woman’s face was incredible and I could see she was overjoyed.
‘I didn’t want to hold Emily as I didn’t want to bond with her. But she kept crying and in the end I said, “Put her on my chest” as I remembered Lucy being comforted by that as a newborn.’
It was then, as the midwife laid Emily onto Wendy, she was hit by an overwhelming feeling of maternal love for the baby girl — and the first pangs of uncertainty about handing her over to her new ‘mum’ began to stir.
‘I looked down at her and she immediately quietened. She seemed so vulnerable and beautiful. The rush of feelings for her came out of the blue. It was a terrible shock and I desperately told myself, “This is not your baby.” I knew I had to leave the hospital and get away as I was bonding with her.’
Within four hours Wendy had discharged herself and, after giving Emily a kiss, left her in the arms of her new ‘mother’. She says: ‘James took me home. I felt upset, but put it down to exhaustion and quickly went to sleep.’
The next day Wendy woke panic-stricken. ‘An enormous feeling of loss immediately struck me. My whole body ached for Emily and I couldn’t wait to see her again.’
She and James went back to the hospital to say their final goodbyes. She recalls: ‘I walked into the side room where the woman was holding Emily. I longed to sweep her into my arms and cuddle her.
‘The only thing that stopped me from wrenching Emily from them was seeing them so besotted with her.’
James carried baby Emily outside where Wendy gave her a final hug and her new parents strapped her into a car seat.
She says: ‘As soon as I got home I felt sick with grief. I rushed to the bathroom where I broke down in huge breathless sobs. Eventually, I allowed James in and he said over and over, “You had this baby for another couple and you will have to live with it.”
‘He wasn’t being cruel. He was simply stating the facts. I knew he was right. I had made my choice. I reassured myself they were great parents, reminding myself how happy they looked at the hospital.’
Over the next few days Wendy expressed milk for Emily. She says: ‘We’d arranged that I would do this for six months and they would pick up the milk every couple of days.’
Two days later the couple arrived with Emily and Wendy couldn’t help herself — rushing out of the house to scoop the baby out of her car seat because she was so desperate to hold her.
The next four weeks were a struggle. Wendy clung onto the pre-arranged weekly meetings, as agreed at the start of the surrogacy process.
‘The meetings when they would bring Emily to see me was all I could think about,’ says Wendy. ‘The longing to see her was painful.’
Far worse was to come, however. Three weeks later, Wendy met the couple to discuss the final adoption arrangements, and was horrified by what she saw.
‘Emily had socks on that were too tight around her ankles,’ she says. ‘Her nappy was dirty and she seemed ravenously hungry — when I gave her a bottle she couldn’t gulp down the milk fast enough. ‘She always seemed to be hungry. I’d pick her up and she’d root around for milk, even though they assured me she’d only just been fed.
‘I began texting, reminding them to ensure she was fed properly. I became obsessed that her nappy wasn’t being changed often enough.’
Then one day, five weeks later, when the couple didn’t reply to a text, Wendy began to panic.
‘I was in such a state I even rang the police to check they were OK — that their car hadn’t been involved in an accident. When the officer asked why I was so concerned, I replied, “Because they have my biological daughter.” ’
The next day she received a text from the couple saying they no longer wanted her to contact them.
By now Wendy had received the legal order she was due to sign, legally transferring parental rights over Emily to them.
But she refused to sign it, instead launching a bid for custody. A social worker was assigned to the case to carry out reports. And what was uncovered about the couple was truly shocking.
Instead of the childless couple they’d pretended to be, social services discovered they were in fact already parents to three children, now grown up, who’d been taken into care more than 20 years ago.
‘They’d lied to us with sob stories,’ Wendy says. ‘She hadn’t even had a hysterectomy. It was an utter bombshell, as we’d trusted them implicitly.
‘We were horrified, but the only upside was that it left James and me certain Emily would be returned to us. Although he wasn’t her biological father, James wanted her back, too.’
Nothing could have prepared Wendy for the court judgment in June 2014; she was denied custody.
She says: ‘Social services claimed that because I’d given up Emily at birth I had a lack of emotional attachment to her.’
They also used the fact that because Wendy had excitedly talked to Lucy about her sister, and put photos up in the house of her, that she had ‘emotionally neglected’ her older daughter — a black mark against her character which ultimately led to her being ruled as unsuitable to raise her new baby.
The other couple were also not judged as suitable and so it was ordered Emily should be adopted by strangers.
Wendy fled from the court in tears. She says: ‘I couldn’t believe their reasoning — especially after I’d done so much to try to get Emily back.’
Wendy has undoubtedly paid a high price for her altruism in trying to help another couple. The custody bid, and the subsequent appeal, cost her thousands, wiping out her savings. And the stress of the legal battle also cost Wendy her relationship with James; this January, they split up. Then, in March, Wendy’s appeal was turned down.
Not surprisingly, Wendy has very strong advice for anyone contemplating becoming a surrogate. ‘While I can never regret bringing such a wonderful baby into the world, I do regret being a surrogate,’ she says. ‘Women should consider it very carefully before they go ahead.
‘Even if you are giving birth to a child that is not biologically yours, there is still likely to be a bond.
‘I now don’t understand how any mother can give up a child she has given birth to whether they are biologically related or not.’
As it is, all Wendy is left with are her memories, a handful of photos and some baby clothes. She is determined that Emily will know how desperately she fought for her.
She says: ‘I have some unwashed clothes that belonged to Emily and find comfort in holding them close to me as they still have her smell. Otherwise I cope by telling myself Emily’s been given to a family who want her very much.
‘And I console myself that I will see her again — when she is 18, she will be able to trace me.
‘Not a day goes by when I don’t think of her.’
St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Mississauga, Ontario - vandalised with a hate crime, Muslim Iqbal Hassan charged!
Three times now, St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Mississauga, bordering on the west of Toronto, has been attacked with vandalism. The most recent included black painted graffiti on the walls and defacement of the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Peel Regional Police have arrested 22 year-old Iqbal Hessan. Congratulations Icky, you got your 15 minutes of fame and you didn't have to go to Syria to earn it.
Hessen, a Moslem, was arrested on the Feast of St. Philip Neri, in the early morning hours on the school grounds next door. He calls himself The Chosen One on his Facebook which is the yields nothing revealing except the dichotomy between Je suis Charlie and an Israeli flag with a red line through it.
Hessan faces five counts of mischief over $5000, and break and enter to commit and indictable offense. According to Peel Regional Police the offenses are considered indictable not minor and the Hate Crime potential is still under investigation. That part may be referred to the Crown Attorney and the Staff Sergeant acknowledged the "high profile" nature of this case.
Will the Crown play politics with the need for Hate Crime charges because he is a Moslem?
Let this serve as a warning to all Catholic Churches in the Toronto area. Invest in security systems including perimeter alarms, digital surveillance and appoint ushers to be on watch during Mass.
The influence of the evils of ISIS will reach these shores.
British Columbia’s Human Rights Tribunal to Consider Eliminating Gender from Birth Certificates
The Human Rights Tribunal in British Columbia will consider completely eliminating gender designations from birth certificates in response to complaints from the Trans Alliance Society (TAS) and other transgender individuals, according to an article in the National Post.
According to the complainants, we need to stop acting as if doctors can tell the sex of a baby just by looking at the baby’s genitals: Birth certificates [may] give false information about people and characterize them in a way that is actually wrong, that assumes to be right, and causes people . . . actual harm,” said transgender woman and TAS chair Morgane Oger. “It’s considered true and infallible when it isn’t,” she added.
The complainant’s lawyer, barbara findlay (no, that’s not a typo — she spells her name in all lowercase letters because who are you to tell her she can’t), said that the current practice of putting “male” or “female” on birth certificates is downright wrong because: 1. Those are not the only two genders and 2. A person’s “gender develops” over time.
“Children are raised ‘as’ the birth-assigned gender, which is a crazy-making experience,” findlay said in an e-mail to the Post. “Instead of living in a social reality that recognizes that gender develops, and does not exist at birth, those children have nothing to work with except that something feels profoundly wrong,” she added.
Cunningham — the parents of Harriette Cunningham, a transgender child who became one of the first in British Columbia to have her birth certificate changed last year — who claim that “Harriette was mistakenly assigned the gender ‘male’ at birth.” “Since it is impossible to tell an individual’s gender at birth it is discriminatory to issue a birth certificate with that information on it,” the complaint stated.
Of course, the tribunal has simply agreed to review the complaints, which does not necessarily mean that the policy will change — especially considering how many people are still holding on to that antiquated view that the designations are helpful for statistical, scientific, and travel purposes.
Ireland abandons its children
Comment from Australia
Ireland has written a social suicide note and we grieve for her. But we will not follow her. More than half the Irish have voted for homosexual marriage, seduced by celebrities to violate something they once held sacred: the life between mother, father and child.
From today, the Irish Constitution assumes a mother does not matter to a baby, and a father is irrelevant to his son. That is madness.
A constitutional right to same-sex marriage means a constitutional right to same-sex adoption and surrogacy, and that means motherless and fatherless families are now enshrined as an ideal in the Irish Constitution.
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said the vote was “Yes to love” -- but there are children who will never know the love of their mother because of Friday’s constitutional amendment. He said it was “Yes to inclusion” -- but it deliberately excludes children of same-sex couples from “the natural and fundamental group unit of society”, which is how the Universal Declaration of Human Rights describes the trinity of mother, father and child.
If equality for gay adults means inequality for kids, where is the justice in that?
If removing spurious discrimination against gay adults means imposing genuine discrimination on children who are deliberately deprived of a mother or a father, what is the reason to celebrate?
Gay Irish celebrity blogger Paddy Manning rejected claims of discrimination against gay couples, saying, “Marriage is, at its heart, about children and providing those children with their biological parents. Recognising difference is not discrimination.”
Here in Australia, there is no unjust discrimination against same-sex couples in any way, be it taxation, superannuation, Medicare, next of kin status or any other matter, since Federal Parliament amended eighty-five laws in 2008. Same sex couples have full relationship equality and are free to live as they choose; they do not have the right to choose a motherless or fatherless existence for a little child.
Here in Australia, we will resist the dementia that is afflicting the decadent West. If we are the last country standing, we will still not abolish a child’s birthright to the love of her mum or her dad just to gratify the demands of homosexual adults.
Nor will we let our children be taught in school, by force of gay marriage law, that the sexual relationship of two men is no different, legally or morally, to a child’s mother and father in marriage.
For serious gay activists the greatest cultural gain of this referendum will be that all Irish children must now be instructed in the constitutional normality, indeed desirability, of homosexual behaviour, and conscientious objectors will be silenced by the big stick of anti-discrimination law.
We have observed many instances of homosexual enforcement in jurisdictions that have legalised gay marriage: parents in Massachusetts have been denied the right to withdraw their child from lessons by gay activists and church adoption agencies in England have had to close rather than adopt babies to homosexual households. A teacher in London was demoted for refusing to read a storybook to her class promoting same-sex marriage, and the former Archbishop of Glasgow, Mario Conti, was reported to police by a Greens Party MP for teaching Christian doctrine on marriage during a sermon.
This is the uncivil future under a gay marriage regime, and yet the good-natured Irish succumbed to the stupidity of nice. They were trying to be kind to the two percent of their neighbours who identify as same-sex attracted, without understanding that gay strategists have despised marriage for decades as a patriarchal repressive institution and only want it now because it brings with it the power to compel social attitudes.
In Australia we will not be that stupid. There are ways of being kind to our gay neighbours that do not involve violating the foundational relationship of human society: mother, father, child.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.