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British Court Takes Child of Low IQ Mother

Posted Jun 02 2009 1:01pm

A 24-year single mother faces the loss of her three-year old daughter because a Nottingham court considers her mentally incapable of caring for her child. After her daughter (who can only be identified as "K.") was born prematurely in 2006 with congenital medical problems, social service agencies began to question the mother' s fitness to look after her infant and took K into care. While there was no question of neglect or abuse, the mother,identified only as Rachel, has been diagnosed as being of borderline intelligence (an IQ of 71) and also as having serious learning problems. Despite having family members who have offered to assist Rachel in caring for her daughter, the court has recommended that K be placed for adoption instead. While Rachel has attempted to fight the ruling, her ruled mental incapacity has limited her options. A Court of Appeal has upheld the decision.

Although a psychiatric report has found Rachel to be fully capable of understanding court proceedings (which contradicts a previous court report), the adoption is set to continue. Her only remaining option is a last-ditch appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. The likelihood of her regaining custody following K' s adoption is considered slim.

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