Among the sea of Yea's portrayed in the media over the upcoming Childrens Rights Referendum, which will allow the adoption of children against the wishes of the parents, a substream of genuine opposition is coming through.
How that plays out - one of the main opponents of it is the infantile Independent Political Action Committee - remains to be seen, but a ninteresting case has brewed up in the UK, and today rumors abound of a case in Cork on similar lines.
I am friends with a lot of Slovakian families in Tullamore, and they tell me what their media are saying about Ireland. Whatever, one may say, who cares? Well, a full three weeks before our bailout, they could tell me when our own media denied we were getting a bailout that the EU were giving us "osam milliard" - 8 billion Euro and their nation had to borrow €300,000,000.00 towards it. I laughed, said what does their media know, and had to eat my words a mere three weeks later.
So what has that to do with the Children's Rights referendum you ask? Well, a month ago, one of these Slovaks called me down to the house for coffee. And down I went and was regales with what I believed to be a fanciful tale of UK Social Services forcefully adapting kids from what they deemed to be troubled families, and there were folk making thousands and tens of thousands out of it. Rumors I thought, and said so, but over the coming days I got phonecalls with updates straight from their television station TV Joj - Slovakia's equivalent to RTE.
I still passed no remarks until down in their houses one day (of another Slovak family) it came up while I was there, and the woman interviewed Ivana Boórova outlined what was her case. Far from being troubled, her and her husband were working, there was no alcohol or drugs problems, or problems of prostitution, begging, etc. The family was even white, Id assumed heretofor it involved Slovak Roma families.
A brief outline of the case, mother in 2010 brings kid to doctor for infection in genital area, doctor sees infection in genital area, puts two and two together comes up with five, calls in social services who take the kids to care. So far so good, doctor is alarmed, be he right or wrong to be so, no-one has a problem with that.
Two further doctors examined the children, said infection - which neither the family or the UK governement have outlined exactly what it was - was not from sexual abuse. On interviewing the family, UKSS (UK Social Services) said if the father was divorced by the mother, the mother could have the kids back.
She divorces the father - who now is presumed guilty until proven innocent - and the kids still are not returned to the family. An application from the grandmother to take the kids back to Slovakia fails as she and the daughter don't turn up at the hearing, but an appeal is successful, and awaits judgement. In the meanwhile, instead of the kids been fostered, the UKSS are fast forwarding the adoption process, away from the family altogether.
At the moment, the kids are 100km from the mother, who has been denied access since September 2010.
She thought she was an isolated case, until she finally got her embassy to take heed. It turns out not at all was she alone, but there are another 50 or so Slovakian families directly affected, and over 300 families are repatriated to Slovakia for the Slovakian Social Services to make judgement or otherwise in the allegations from UKSS.
UKSS seem to have escalated child seizures since the Baby P (the Connolly kid) case.
With a few details Ive left out that's basically where that case stands at the moment. Slovakia is taking Britain to the EU courts for legally kidnapping children of its citizens, which the UK refutes.
So wtf says you, has this to do with out referendum?
Well, if we say yes, it will give our Social Services the same powers as the UK Social Services, and will be open to the same abuses.
On the appeal of the Boórova case, the presiding judge said it appears both the UKSS and the previos judges "may have acted in error", hence the allowing of the appeal in a heretofor unprecedented move. Developments await.
What causes concern is that the rate of kids in care from immigrant families is way higher than for British families - exact figures I dont have to hand - the contestable cases are in what we will call premium kids, white, young enough to adapt to a new home, and quite saleable if that was what was going on.
We would like to think that would never happen. But it did already both in the UK and in Ireland. We know about the Magdalene mothers, whose kids were sold to rich families all around the world. The UK had a movement for taking kids from poor families and forcefully adapting them to rich families, of course for their own good. In both of these cases, many made a lot of money from it.
Both the UK and Ireland have checks and balances to prevent the same happening again. The problem in the UK is that there is a quota system to be met, and cases like this come in spates, and ebb and flow, so another scheme of thought is that its overzealotry to meet targets on paper so managers can keep their jobs.
Either way, the UKSS system is not working, and its not something that should be aped here. The Children's Rights Referendum, to bring us in line with some crazy UN law - its not even EU, but a UN one, will bring us with a near identical system to the UK.
As it is, the kids in care in Ireland, as we have seen with the high amount who end up dead, on the run and / or on drugs is clearly not working itself, and further laws will not benefit it.
For the referendum, I personally am voting no, as if in doubt, keep it out is my policy, but to spite having strong opinions on everything else, Im not recommending what others do, or campaigning for either. Just, think about it thoroughly, not just the spin from Bernardos, ISPCC and others who make a career out of "caring for childer"... especially if your not a parent yourself. Ask someone who is, who you know to be sensible.
Latest developments on the Slovak case is that there is one case in Cork where a father is accused of breaking a childs arm, and all the kids are taken into care by Irish social services. I dont have any details in English on this, but for the Boorova case google her.
What in my opinion gives credence to her case is that the Express, Telegraph and the Mail have taken up the issue, all three of whom are of a Rule Brittania mindset and think long and hard before they run down any part of the UK, though the UKSS is a pet hate of all three!!!
And incidentally, what comes on the BBC scedule as this issue takes to the UK media? A distractory programme about Spain, and the kids taken to care under Francos government and right up to 1990. Convenient or what?
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXUxbWkNPqE"]"Childsnatchers No Fairy Tale, But Grim" ::: Ivana Boorova vs UK Social Services - YouTube[/ame] (Verse Ive done on the issue!!!)