John Waters reads the Supreme Court judgement and highlights some issues ignored by the meeja last week but I think were maybe published in one Sunday paper (can’t remember which one).
“Many disturbing details emerged in the judgments which were left unreported or glossed over in media attempts to use the case as a battering ram against the Constitution. Several of the judges noted the shameful treatment of the parents by some of those organising this botched adoption. Amazingly, it emerges that some of the HSE social workers involved were already acquainted with the couple seeking to adopt.
Does this not amount to a clear conflict of interest? Mr Justice Hardiman pointedly observed: “It was always unfortunate, and became more unfortunate as time and events moved on, that the proposed adopters were not, as I presume they normally would be, strangers to the parents’ social worker. When this fact is viewed in association with some of the language used, an element of alarm on the part of the mother is in my view understandable, not simply on the basis of the emotions which might be attributed to her, but on a wholly objective basis. Equally, she felt that she was being stalled and I cannot find that that feeling was objectively unreasonable either.”
Much media coverage sought to portray the parents as taking advantage of a technicality within the Constitution and enhancing their rights by virtue of what, it was implied, was a bogus marriage. Reading the judgments, the issues that emerge are the parents’ subjection to enormous pressures, unwarranted delays, denial of information about their rights and emotional blackmail as part of the effort to dissuade them from reclaiming their daughter after they decided to do so in September 2005.
The trial judge, Mr Justice MacMenamin, in all material contexts accepted the evidence of social workers rather than the parents.
Mr Justice Geoghegan drily observed: “I think that where there was a conflict of evidence of that kind the evidence must be regarded as inconclusive.” I beg readers to seek out the judgments on the internet (the Court Services website makes this as difficult as possible, so just Google for “baby Ann Supreme Court judgments”). What emerges, with much else, is that, in pursuit of a pseudo-progressive agenda, the media vacated its duty to report the facts.”
I suppose his point is that when the mother sought to take the baby back after one year, that the social workers ganged up on her and persuaded her against it because they knew the adoptive parents and were trying to protect them. The notes in the natural mother’s case file from that point on were apparently very negative towards her. I must do as he suggests and read the rest of the case notes. See the problem with Waters is that because he is so unreasonable people don’t take him seriously. But sometimes he DOES have a point. Maybe the meeja read the judgements, picked out the bits they liked, that’s what we read and thus form our opinions but meanwhile huge chunks which balance the story a bit have been left out.
However, I think everyone is agreed on one thing – the system for adoption is ridiculous. Two consents, the second a year into the child’s life is just cruelty on the prospective adoptive parents. I’ve said it before, adoption is NOT child stealing. If you decide to give up a child, you may regret it, but we all do things we regret. Fixing your mistakes shouldn’t come at the price of inflicting enormous pain on otherwise innnocent people, ie adoptive parents and the child.