Burden of ‘Baby Farming’ Falls on UK Social Services

The pressures placed on UK authorities by so called ‘baby farming’ in Africa were sadly apparent as a woman who ‘hoped against hope’ that she was the mother of a baby placed in her arms after a staged birth in Nigeria failed to convince the Court of Appeal that she should be permitted to care for the child.

The mother was ‘desperate’ for a baby after suffering difficulties with conception and had closed her eyes to the truth when the disabled baby boy was handed to her at a sham clinic. She had been put through a ‘process which resembled a birth’ and hoped that she was the boy’s mother despite having earlier been told by her GP that there was no possibility that she was even pregnant.

A DNA test confirmed that she was not related to the boy; however the woman, of dual British and Nigerian nationality, arranged for him to be brought into Britain under false pretences. He was subsequently taken away by social workers after the alarm was raised by professionals treating him for his medical problems.

He had since been living in foster care and a family judge ruled that the by then four-year-old boy should be placed permanently in care. In refusing to grant the woman permission to appeal against that decision, the Court found that her attack on the judge’s reasoning had no real prospect of success.

Although there had been ‘good features’ of the woman’s care for the child – amongst other things she had always ensured that he received appropriate medical care – she had shown hostility to and a lack of co-operation with social workers. The judge was entitled to find that the child’s welfare demanded a care order.

D (A Child). Case Number: B4/2014/2098