Parenting is a challenging job. Some would say the toughest job ever.
A mom in Cambridgeshire had her kids removed from her custody for a practice that a lot of people follow: co-sleeping. She lost custody for “continually ignoring advice” about allowing her children to sleep in her bed.
What went wrong? Don’t a lot of people safely co-sleep with their children?
According to reports, social workers were concerned by brusies the children had and advised the parents to stop co-sleeping.
They didn’t follow the advice and had a supervision order slapped on them by the court, but when the younger child had more severe injuries, social services had to escalate the matter.
While an investigation into the case turned up no intentional wrong-doing, a judge still took the children away from the parents, believing the bruises, though unintentional, were caused by the parents’ rough handling.
This goes beyond small bruises, as the youngest child also had a broken wrist when he was a baby
When the mother suggested the bruises came from the older child, she was deemed not “an honest or reliable witness,” with the judge concluding, “it is more likely, and more likely than not, that the injuries were caused by the mother’s forceful brusque handling.”
After the children were taken from the parents, they were put up for adoption, with the judge finding the parents not fit to care for the children since they didn’t heed the advice of professionals.
While this may sound like extreme punishment, it should be further noted that there was more to this case, as Snopes.com explained. According to Snopes.com, the court transcript pointed to “ongoing concerns over the childrens’ welfare, rather than just co-sleeping activity, had prompted the hearing.”
When the mother tried to blame the older child or father for the youngest child’s injuries, Snopes explains, “A medical expert testified that the injuries were consistent with the boy’s being ‘forcefully put against or slammed against something along those lines with a flat edge the top of a piece of furniture,’ something that the older son could not have done.”
The judge noted that the injuries were “more likely than not to have been caused by careless or negligent handling by the mother.”
Those weighing in with comments on the Daily Mail’s coverage of the story shared their opinions, with one person explaining: “The judge doesn’t just do this you know! There would have been an application by the local Social Services staff who have been visiting and monitoring the family for years. They will have tried everything: parenting classes, hands on guidance and support, weekly visits etc And it will have cost millions on reports from experts. Eventually they concluded that that the children remained in danger and applied to the Family Court for an Adoption Order, having assessed and monitored the prospective adoptive parents over a long period of time.”
Another added: “Put up for adoption for co-sleeping I do not agree with. Being taken away for physical abuse yes. Although the ss did say it wasn’t intentional so couldn’t they have worked with this family and maybe put the children into care so that they could still have a relationship with their parents but under supervision?”