A couple's baby was removed by social services at just a week old in November 2015. Maternity ward medics told a local council in England they had concerns about the couple's long-term ability to care for their baby.
“It was suggested that the mother had no family support, and that the father was expressing unorthodox views about the need for sterilization of bottles, and the benefits of formula milk,” said Mr. Justice Cobb, the High Court judge who recently ruled in favor of the parents.
The separation of a baby from his parents represents a very serious interference with family life.
According to the BBC, the High Court also heard the mom suffered from minor mental health problems and the dad had in the past been aggressive to others, but staff at the special care baby unit, where the baby was cared for after birth, had no child protection concerns.
The baby was placed in the care of relatives and separated from his parents, who cannot be named for legal reasons, for about 10 weeks. This is a seriously long time, considering many studies show bonding between parents and their babies are crucial for babies' development.
Turns out, a family court had initially approved for the baby to be taken, not realizing the local council had misled the family judge and wrongly claimed the parents had been given notice of the hearing and agreed to the child's removal.
Cobb has now ordered the council to pay the family £11,250 (about $14,000) for its serious breach of human rights.
"There is no doubt in my mind, indeed it is admitted, that Kirklees Council breached the human rights of a baby boy and his parents," he said. "The separation of a baby from his parents represents a very serious interference with family life." And the son, who has since been returned to the parents for a year, "has continued to thrive in his parents' care."