What’s in a name? The right of parents to name their child – when can the state interfere?

I was reminded of the case of C (Children) [2016] EWCA Civ 374 at a recent court hearing where the issue arose about the local authority’s duty to register the birth of a child who is subject to a care order. Hopefully that matter will be subject of some further guidance – my argument being that a failure by a parent to register a birth is an abnegation of parental responsibility, not an exercise of it and therefore the local authority ought to be allowed to register after the required 42 days without needing the court’s permission. 

However the issue of what name a child should be registered with is of much greater significance and It is clear that any argument between parent and local authority must be subject to over sight by the court. But what gives the local authority the right to have an opinion in the first place? To answer this question requires an examination of what happened in C Children.  

How far can the state interfere with a parents wish to register (or not) the birth and name of their baby?

The issue of registering a birth is interesting in the context of care proceedings as there appears to be a view in some quarters that registering a birth makes your baby the ‘property of the state’ and refusing to register means the local authority cannot issue care proceedings. This view has no substance, but of course that doesn’t prevent people from spreading it and believing it.

Registering the birth: the operation of the Birth and Deaths Registration Act 1953

The purpose of the BDRA 1953 is to create a document of public record evidencing all births and deaths in England and Wales. It determines what information is needed to register a child’s brith, who may provide that information and when they must do it.  There is no absolute requirement to register a ‘name’ at the same time as the birth, but provision is made in section 13 BDRA 1953 for the registration of a forename following a delay of up to twelve months or for the alteration of a name during the same period of time:

Section 1(2) BDRA 1953 sets out who is qualified to provide the necessary information to the Registrar; these people are known as “qualified informants”: They are the father and mother, the occupier of the house where the child was born, any person present at the birth or any person having charge of the child.  These ‘qualified informants’ have 42 days from the date of birth to register it

Section 4 BDRA 1953 provides that where, after the expiration of forty-two days, ‘the birth of the child has, owing to the default of the persons required to give information concerning it, not been registered…’, the Registrar can require any qualified informant to attend at a place appointed by the Registrar to give the required information and to sign the register in the presence of the registrar.

So it seems pretty clear from this that the act of registering a birth is an exercise of parental responsibility but is not restricted to actual parents; the focus here is on the proper registration of the birth so that the child can be recognised and identified in the society into which he is born. It is an administrative requirement, not an illustration of something special and particular for parents.

Naming your child – an issue of fundamental significance

if registering a child’s birth is rightly described as a mere administrative act, it is clear that the choice of name for a child is an act of a very different nature and quality and is likely to be of far more emotional importance to most parents.  This exercise of parental responsibility should only be interfered with in exceptional circumstances. As was recognised in C Children at para 40:

One of the first questions asked by friends and relatives following the birth of a child is ‘what is the baby’s name?’ It may be thought that any individual who has had the happy experience of debating with his or her partner possible forenames for their unborn child would be astonished at the proposition that the choice of the name of their child could be regarded as other than their right as the child’s parents, and their first act of parental responsibility. The name given to a child ordinarily evolves over the months of the pregnancy through a bundle of cultural, familial and taste influences. The forename finally chosen forms a critical part of his or her evolving identity….If a baby cannot be brought up by his or her parents, often the forename given to him or her by their mother is the only lasting gift they have from her. It may be the first, and only, act of parental responsibility by his or her mother. It is likely, therefore, to be of infinite value to that child as part of his or her identity….The naming of a child is not however merely a right or privilege, but also a responsibility; people, and particularly children, are capable of great unkindness and often are not accepting of the unusual or bizarre. It does not need expert evidence or academic research to appreciate that a name which attracts ridicule, teasing, bullying or embarrassment will have a deleterious effect on a child’s self-esteem and self-confidence with potentially long term consequences for him or her. The burden of such a name can also cause that child to feel considerable resentment towards the parent who inflicted it upon him or her….

 

Facts of C Children [2016]

So what happened in this case to justify the court refusing to allow a mother to name her children?  This case involved a mother with serious mental health issues. She had a long standing diagnosis of a psychotic disorder and of schizophrenia of an “undifferentiated type with an underlying personality disorder”. She did not accept the diagnosis and thus would not accept any treatment but she was found to have capacity to give instructions in the care proceedings.

Her three elder children had been removed from her care. She then had twin children who were subject to ICOs shortly after birth. Their father was not known; the children were conceived after the mother was raped. She told the midwife she wanted to call the twins ‘Preacher’ and ‘Cyanide’. The local authority tried to persuade her against this but failed – the mother argued that it was a ‘lovely, pretty name’ and that because Hitler killed himself with cyanide, this was a positive connotation.

After some weeks of attempts to change the mother’s mind, the local authority first asked the court to exercise its inherent jurisdiction under s.100 Children Act 1989 to prevent the children being so named but the court did not agree that this was the right route. However, as registering a birth and naming a child were ‘aspects of parental responsibility’, they were actions of a parent which could be limited by the local authority under s.33(3)(b) Children Act 1989. The court then declared that the local authority were allowed to prevent the mother from registering the children with those names.

The mother appealed on the basis that that the judge was wrong in concluding that the naming of the child and the registration of the child’s birth were each an exercise of parental responsibility and that the judge erred in concluding that a local authority has power under section 33(3)(b) CA 1989 to determine that the mother should not register her children’s births with her chosen names. Therefore, it was her human right to choose their names and register them without the interference of the local authority.

The Court of Appeal rejected the mother’s grounds and agreed that the registration of the births and naming of children were acts of parental responsibility, but also that a court could, under its inherent jurisdiction intervene in these circumstances and that the appropriate statutory route was therefore s.100 Children Act 1989.

The first court had not been happy to consider use of the inherent jurisdiction because it did not consider that the test of significant harm was met but King LJ in the Court of Appeal held that some names – such as Cyanide – were so awful that they gave rise to reasonable cause to believe that any child given that name was likely to suffer significant emotional harm. The Court did not have the same objections to ‘Preacher’ but did not think it right for one child to be named by the mother and the other not, so agreed that this name should not be registered either.

Happily in October 2015 the twins moved permanently to live with the foster family caring for their two eldest half siblings live, who chose names that they would like their brother and sister to be called

The limits to what a parent may do to a child under heading of “parental responsibility”.

This case is a useful illustration of the fact that PR while very important and worthy of protection, is not a green light for a parent to do whatever they want.  The Children Act defines “parental responsibility” as “all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property.”

In Re H-B (Contact) [2015] EWCA Civ 389, the then President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby P, quoted with approval the judgment of McFarlane LJ in Re W (Direct Contact) [2012] EWCA Civ 999 at para 72: i:

I wish to emphasise this, parental responsibility is more, much more than a mere lawyer’s concept or a principle of law. It is a fundamentally important reflection of the realities of the human condition, of the very essence of the relationship of parent and child. Parental responsibility exists outside and anterior to the law. Parental responsibility involves duties owed by the parent not just to the court. First and foremost, and even more importantly, parental responsibility involves duties owed by each parent to the child.

The foundation of the exercise of PR is therefore those acts which contribute to or secure the welfare of the child. Refusing to register your child’s birth or giving a child a name that many others are likely to find offensive or ludicrous is an abnegation of PR, not an exercise of it and parents have no ‘right’ to do harm to their child.

 

 

25 thoughts on “What’s in a name? The right of parents to name their child – when can the state interfere?

  1. Angelo Granda

    A Parent’s View.

    It is a human right for parents to choose the name of their own children. When can the state interfere?

    The general principle is that the Authorities can interfere at any time ,supposedly in the name of the state ,on the premise that they do so either ‘to protect children from significant harm’ or in what professionals see as ‘ the child’s best interests’.

    Those two premises are cited whenever and wherever the Authorities choose to take away the human rights of citizens and to ABNEGATE their own responsibilities.
    In truth, the authorities do not withdraw human rights in the best interests of children ; that is false, they withdraw them in their own interests and those of the state care-providers, for the convenience of foster-carers etc. A good example is when they withdraw a child’s right to their cultural and religious heritage as they do very,veryoften.They often make seriously disproportionate decisions at their own whim and caprice.

    Another example ,they often act criminally when removing children into care at birth,for example, without a Court Order or by obtaining one by false representation.

    The case above regarding the naming of the two children is an excellent example of what can happen when human rights are contravened DISPROPORTIONATELY. A family court judge , using a combination of the Law and his own ‘moral authority’ has withdrawn the right of a Mum to give a perfectly good name to her child.Her human rights were trampled on.

    It cannot be said Mum has not been persecuted due to her medical condition or targeted by the LA for it and it cannot be said with any measure of certainty that the child concerned has been protected from future significant harm.The decision was made at the whim and caprice of the Judge in private.
    Had twelve peers of the accused taken decisions in a PUBLIC courtroom it is highly likely the outcome would have been entirely different.
    Why? It would have been more proportion to the circumstances. Obviously proportionality is a very important principle applying to all Courts which is too often ignored . In all circumstances and all types of case not only the unusual one described in the post.

    The Law is okay except when the principle is abandoned. As it was here. It seems proportionate to me to disbar the name ‘Cyanide’ although i would not grant myself the ‘moral authority’ to decide, i would leave it to a Jury.
    However, I think most reasonable,rationable folk would count ‘Preacher’ acceptable. It was not proportionate to disallow Mum from adopting that name for her other child.
    This is how easily the Law can be abused.

    Reply
    1. Mark C

      Angelo – to respond to a few of your points:

      They don’t “withdraw a child’s right to their cultural and religious heritage”. The child’s safety and the need to remove the child from abusive/neglectful surroundings supercedes it. Social Workers have a duty to try and match children with a similar cultural/religious background, but there are shortages of foster carers from some religious backgrounds. They also try to place children for adoption with parents of a similar background/culture, but if they can’t they only have the word of the adoptive parents that they will promote and respect the child’s background after the order has been granted and social worker involvement ceases.

      you say “It cannot be said Mum has not been persecuted due to her medical condition or targeted by the LA for it and it cannot be said with any measure of certainty that the child concerned has been protected from future significant harm.”

      It is heartbreaking that the mother has had her children taken away due to an illness she cannot control (though the article does say she won’t accept treatment, so she does have some responsibility for what happened), but what do you think a “psychotic disorder and schizophrenia of an undifferentiated type with an underlying personality disorder” actually means? – delusions, hallucinations, inability to carry out day to day tasks, catatonia, extremely disorganised behaviour, impulsive behaviour (such as binges of drinking and drug use, leaping into risky relationships etc) and difficulty controlling emotions

      Can’t you see how this might make it impossible to care for two tiny babies who may cry all night, not sleep or feed well and who require constant attention. Itis exhauisting and stressful even for peopel who can control their emotions! You only talk about the mother being “targeted” but have no concern as to how the babies would be treated by her.

      Fimnally you say “I think most reasonable,rationable folk would count ‘Preacher’ acceptable. It was not proportionate to disallow Mum from adopting that name for her other child.”

      The judge did say the name was fine but you’re missing the point. How do you think the children will feel growing up to know that one was named by the mother and one wasn’t? If they have a good future realtionship with her, the child who was renamed will feel as though they have been been punished in some way or lost some precious thing compared to the sibling. If they have a bad relationship to her the child who kept the name will feel punished. Surely it is best for both childrne to either be named by her or not named by her (and having them being named by their siblings is a great compromise)

      but, as before, you don’t seem to care about the children and just worry about the mother.

      Reply
      1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

        This is often the difficulty – that children get lost in over emphasis on the parents’ rights. It’s a difficult balance sometimes but I agree that any parent with a really serious mental illness who will not accept that diagnosis and will not accept treatment, is going to struggle to parent and the children are therefore at risk of significant harm.

        Reply
      2. Angelo Granda

        Mark C., Thank you very much for your response and please listen to my reply which is one of an ordinary parent. It is very interesting what you say and theoretically what you say sounds right. Yet in reality. it holds no water.

        Firstly , may i ask you a question. Moral Authority. Can you explain why you think that by supporting a child’s human rights to recognition of his or her cultural and religious heritage ( in full and complete accordance with the Human RIghts Act) that I care only about the mother not the child’s rights?
        Having asked that question , may I point out that when you say i ‘don’t care about the children only the mother’ that is one of the stock phrases to which i have become used to on the CPR from those who disagree with what I write. In my opinion, the welfare rights of the children are paramount even above parents. So it is with any ordinary parent.

        Secondly,I appreciate your comment that the safety of a child comes above a child’s human rights. No, it does not, in my opinion. A child is entitled to his or her cultural and religious heritage by birth and this is detailed in the Human Rights Act unless i am very much mistaken.
        Thirdly,I recognise that the C.S. should try to place children with a family of the same cultural and religious background. So they should, in theory. The reality,i’m afraid to say, is that the C.S. and the child-protection system as a whole is not fit for purpose; correct procedures are too often ignored and NO effort at all is made to do it in many,many cases. Just as an example, can i mention a case where they did not even bother to ask the parents what religion their children had been baptised into they were in such a rush to remove them. 13 years later the children’s religion is still stated as UNKNOWN in LAC Review documents despite certificates of baptism having been shown and the repeated protests from parents.In realityt there were Roman Catholic placements available but the children were sent to the first available foster-carers at the convenience of the L.A.
        Please try and understand my reply to your final point.I believe it is normal for a mum to name her own child. The rights of this Mum ( whether allegedly crazy or not) were contravened at the caprice of the Judge from what I can gather. It can always be argued that it is in the ‘ best interests of children’ until the cows come home that human rights can be ‘compromised’ but ,in my opinion those rights should be sacrosanct. There are lots of unusual names given to children these days.

        Thanks again for your response but we must adhere to the ECHR convention.

        Reply
        1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

          I take serious issue with this point

          Secondly,I appreciate your comment that the safety of a child comes above a child’s human rights. No, it does not, in my opinion.

          Article 2 – the right to life – and Article 3 – freedom from torture – are ABSOlUTE rights
          Article 8 is a QUALIFIED right

          I don’t think your understanding of human rights law is sufficiently clear to allow you to make authoritative statements about its interpretation or impact.

          Reply
          1. Angelo Granda

            I don’t think your comment is quite fair . I merely stated a personal opinion and made no attempt at an authoritative statement.I am no authority and have never pretended to be.
            Readers, don’t lose the plot of what I wrote.
            I expressed my opinion,as an ordinary parent that ‘safety’ does not trump a child’s human rights or a mother’s. Or anyone’s for that matter. No-one can ever be 100% safe ( and that includes being safe from potential risk of emotional harm from having an odd name) at any time. Too many times these days extremist child-recuers cum extremist risk-assessors cum predicators grant themselves the ‘moral authority’ to abuse the human rights we hold so dear. Health and ‘SAFETY’ obsession is a big cause of injustice and inhumanity. I say again ,in my opinion ‘safety’ issues do not come above human rights. Otherwise, it would be possible for the authorities to abuse the rights of citizens at any time they wanted just by identifying some element of potential so-called danger.
            Sorry to take issue with you,Sarah but i think Mark C’s comment misled you.l did not make any remark about the judgment as regards placing this Mum’s children in care; if she is so mentally ill the children need support,in my view.
            However i pointed out that it was disproportionate to take away her right to name her own child in the case of ‘Preacher’. I also used cultural and religious heritage as an example of how human rights can be interfered with disproportionately in other cases aswell.

          2. Sarah Phillimore Post author

            But you do seem to be offering authoritative statements? For e.g. you say it was ‘disproportionate’ not to let the child be called ‘Preacher’. but the court gave clear reasons why not. That it would be upsetting for one of the twins to be named by their mother and the other not. The best compromise, which is what happened here, was to let the older siblings name the twins.

          3. Angelo Granda

            My comments are opinion and I have no power or authority .As I come on quite often ,i try to remember to remind readers I am an ordinary layperson passing my own views only. I endeavour to be as honest as i can.
            The truth carries its own authority , so that will explain why I ‘seem’to be offering authoritative statements. I can’t help that.

            Sarah, the Court gave reasons but ,in my opinion, they were not clear,factual ones based on any reality. They were propositions made on conjecture. That one of the twins might potentially be upset that the other was named by Mum when he was not. To me, that is not good reason to withdraw a child’s right to be named by his natural parent nor Mum’s right to do so.
            I make the point again that human rights should ot be subject to a balancing act and compromised in such a way; tnhey should be held sacrosanct because,using fear-led ,extreme risk-assessments and conjecture it is always possible to come up with a convincing argument to walk over our rights.
            In just the same way, families are denied fair hearings in the shape of open justice and transparency. It is said that children might ‘potentially’ be harmed by identification. Likewise ,parents can be commanded not to take photos of their children at school events because they might potentially be seen on the internet and that paedophiles might get pleasure at looking at them. Again , the right to free speech is often withdrawn at the caprice of carers because it is feared that the truth being spoken might cause an element of ’emotional harm’.
            It is preposterous ,in my opinion, to overturn guidelines and rights in such a willy-nilly fashion . Such serious decisions should be decided by an impartial jury.

          4. Sarah Phillimore Post author

            It would be helpful if you would qualify all your assertions with the reminder that this is only your opinion. You are offering some very strong views in your comments which to the casual reader look as if you are purporting to state a fact.

  2. John

    When a child is adopted, Do the adoptive parents apply for a new birth certificate to re-place the original birth registered certificate that the child already had in place??

    Reply
    1. Mark C

      Yes, and they can change the child’s name at that time.

      Social workers try to persuade adopters to keep the child’s first name as it is such an important part of the child’s identity (if it is very distinctive and easy to find by google they might suggest changing the spelling to make it less distinctive).

      It is expected that the child wil take the adoptive parent’s surname though, and they will often change the middle names too.

      Reply
  3. John

    If the childs birth certificate is not included in FPC’s as stated, there is nothing to stop what happened in my grand childs case ie his birth certified name was changed to the name of a child that has never existed in law, not a court order could be implemented, ie hospital medical records refused, stating no child in the name of court order existed within the hospital records, every paper evidence within his case was fraudulent, paid for by Redcar & Cleveland Childrens department, every judge involved knew they were caught Red Handed for their involvement, yet nothing has changed children still have no protection against the state

    Reply
  4. Angelo Granda

    John and all other readers, what Mark C wrote is right. They can change a child’s name at that time.
    I think it is known as IMPOSING A NEW IDENTITY UPON A CHILD. It seems the aim is to completely sever any connection or bond with natural family,to eradicate any attachment the children have. Inhumane in my view because of the lifelong, immense trauma and degradation it causes children.
    Please see :-

    http://childprotectionresource.online/happy-families-the-conversations-we-are-not-having-about-adoption-feedback-from-london-event/#comments

    Reply
    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Can you please dial down the hyperbole. Adoption does NOT cause ‘lifelong immense trauma and degradation’ to children and if you are asserting it does, please provide the statistical back up for such a strong assertion or make it clear that it is simply your opinion.

      Reply
    2. John

      Not at the beginning, without good reason and a Judges permission, a child’s birth certified name is NOT allowed to be changed by public sector workers,Social Service employees or anyone else within these court proceedings, it is illegal to do so
      My Grandson has patiently waited 4yrs to meet his birth family
      Obviously he will have questions, I his Birth grandmother have QC Focke’s full Court file, his medical file from Oxygen starved, breech birth all covered up by use of a false name.
      How do I explain why?

      Reply
      1. Angelo Granda

        John, I don’t know your case ,of course,so cannot comment with any authority.I am just an ordinary parent giving an opinion . The professionals often break the Law but even when parents can prove it in a Family Court, it will be swept under the carpet and covered up. No action will be taken and an excuse given. The only way to tackle such lawbreaking would be through the criminal justice system,i think,if the Police would only apply the Law and uphold it.
        A question for you . Do you know if your grandchild’s G.P. was changed without the informed consent of the parents? If so, did the new doctor contact the parents or were they removed from the equation?

        Reply
    3. John

      Not at the beginning, without good reason and a Judges permission, a child’s birth certified name is NOT allowed to be changed by public sector workers,Social Service employees or anyone else within these court proceedings, it is illegal to do so
      My Grandson has patiently waited 4yrs to meet his birth family
      Obviously he will have questions, I his Birth grandmother have QC Focke’s full Court file, his medical file from Oxygen starved, breech birth all covered up by use of a false name.
      How do I explain why?

      Reply
  5. Angelo Granda

    Oh,Sarah,please………., take another look.
    1. I did not assert that adoption causes trauma and degradation.
    2. I merely wrote that, IN MY VIEW, imposing a new identity upon a child thus severing all connections with natural family does so.
    3. I provided a digital link for use by readers to a professional post on this resource where the matter of identity was called into question and discussed.
    4. I am not a trained professional , i am an ordinary parent but i do the best i can.

    Reply
  6. Angelo Granda

    I would like to add that were I ever to adopt a child, I would expect him or her to adopt my name . However,for the child’s sake so as not to remove his birthright completely, i would recommend that original names and natural mother’s name and maiden name, father’s name etc. should be included on any new birth certificates.That’s just my opinion!
    Then,at least when the adopted person is old enough and feels inclined as they so often do, they can contact natural family.
    Obviously, no lies should be told by Social Workers as has happened in the past; it would be a crime to tell children their parents are dead ,for example.

    Reply
  7. John

    The whole Birth Family were removed from the equation
    Secret anonymous telephone calls to our home were received pertaining to the area our grandson was removed to (kidnapped from my sisters home by Guardian & Soliicitor)
    The whole case was finally aired in Middlesbrough OPEN Court self representation Judge Gillian Matthews Suing Redcar & Cleveland LA ended No Cause of Action, stated but we did get the chance to air all our side of what happened (that was covered up throughout the case) by using a false childs name

    Reply
    1. Angelo Granda

      John, Please :-
      1. Was it an ordinary civil court not a family proceedings court?
      2. What did you sue the LA for?
      3. Was it for malpractice or what?
      4. You say it ended ‘no cause for action’. What action could have been taken?
      5. Despite no cause for action to be taken, were the LA found guilty of any thing.

      Sorry for asking all these questions,John , but I think it will be interesting to other readers not only me,in fact i know it will.

      Reply
      1. JOHN

        1. Civil Court
        2,&3 We did not state
        4. We did not want monetary, We expected the Judge, the court, the whole abuse of the illegal tactics of changing a childs’ name to a name of a child that had never existed, to be investigated by the state
        employees and police NOT COVER IT UP
        5. No

        Reply
  8. Angelo Granda

    John, I understand your consternation and ,of course, you are right to be outraged when the Authorities resort to illegal tactics by breaking the law. Unfortunately, in child-protection circles, such behaviour is widespread (commonplace) the reason being that the Family Courts allow for it. I know you and other readers are shocked by this but please let me explain the full truth to you in the best way i can.
    Any official contravention of the law is swept underneath the carpet and covered-up even when parents prove in Court it has happened. Complete honesty is not ensured as it should be , dishonest and criminal behaviour is granted pardon when committed by the authorities; it is not reported to the Police for action and investigation ; it comes very low on the agenda of lawyers and the Judge.
    Readers will be speechless and will rightfully
    question such seeming hypocrisy in a Court of Law and wonder ‘ what in heaven’s name is going on here? ‘

    The lawyers rationalise the allowances made on these grounds: That the Authorities collectively break the Law and act illegally but they do not necessarily act with any malice.
    In other words ,it is said they break the law with good intentions.
    This seems wrong to the average person obviously but not to lawyers who ,i propose, owe a certain level of comity and obeissance to the Authorities.
    Alas,the attitude prevailing leads to inhumanity and much mental torture and degradation for any child involved.
    An analogy,in the interests of discussion, would be that the Islamic state (ISIS) and the Taliban will unlawfully take children from their families into state care to be exploited at will and to be brainwashed. They don’t get a Court order to remove and they don’t follow the medical laws ; they also rename the children. They act extremely as the political extremists they are but not always with malice.They do it because they think they are right.They are convinced their actions are legitimate even when in contravention of the law and that there is a pressing social need.
    The same applies to our Family Court lawyers; they are convinced they are doing right too. They ‘know not what they do’so they can be forgiven for it to an extent. They are wrongly go along with authoritarianism even when the Law is broken. Hardly fair but they do it because they think there is a pressing social need to rescue children which transcends all. Just as the extremists in the Middle East think their illegitimate aims do!
    It may seem that family court lawyers are a little soft in the head when they don’t question blatant dishonesty and lawbreaking and there is a lot to be said for such a view.Yet we should always remember they think they are doing right!
    Historically,when human rights have been contravened it has always been due to false ideology ,arrogance and dogma on the side of the perpetrators. In the child-protection system, the monolithic false dogma is that children are taken for their own good. I am afraid it just is not true .When taken,they suffer immense trauma; they suffer lifelong mental torture and degradation; they are brainwashed and the authorities deliberately alienate them from natural family; they are exploited financially by carers; they may be exploited sexually; they are exposed to all kinds of predators; they are neglected medically; they are thrown out onto the scrapheap alone at eighteen IF THEY ARE LUCKY. If they have autism or some other disability ,they sometimes face a lifetime in care.
    The lawyers , of course, read about all the abuse in the papers and see and hear the complaints and public revelations made by victims after public inquiries. Yet they seem to say nothing and insist that children benefit. Quite amazing!
    I am pleased to say that partly because of the good work done by Sarah on this resource reforms are in the offing. More openness is needed. Dishonesty and lawbreaking passes under the radar in secret courts but when reporting is allowed, the Public will be able to see what happens hopefully.

    Reply

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