UK & World News
Forced C-Section Mother Tells Of Her Ordeal
An Italian woman who was forced to have a caesarean and then ordered to have her baby adopted has told how she is "suffering like an animal".
The 35-year-old, who is now battling to get her daughter back from the UK, described her ordeal in an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
The mother-of-three, who suffers bipolar disorder, was on a visit to Britain in July 2012 for a training course at Stansted with Ryanair when she had a mental breakdown.
Heavily pregnant, she was detained in a psychiatric hospital under the Mental Health Act and a court order obtained which said her baby should be delivered by c-section.
She said: ''I was sedated and deceived to give birth - that's how they took my daughter. I want my daughter back - I am suffering like an animal. They forced me to have a caesarean without telling me anything.
''The day of the birth I thought they were just moving me from one room to another - I was telling them I wanted to go back to Italy. Then I was sedated. Then when I woke up she wasn't with me. They took her away from me.''
The woman, who is from the Tuscany area of central Italy, has started legal proceedings to try and get her daughter back from Essex County Council and has hired lawyers in Rome, specialised in international family matters, to help fight her case.
She added: ''The caesarean was forced upon me, I wasn't even told about it. I did not give my consent either verbally or written, for my child to be adopted.
''The baby's natural father, who is Senegalese and an American relative were both happy to take care of her but the English social services ignored me. Why ? Why did nobody help me ?''
The woman has two other children aged 11 and four, by separate fathers and they are being looked after by her mother in Tuscany, after social services in Italy ruled she was not able to look after them.
Her father, who runs a restaurant, said: ''I don't understand why she was forced to go through what she did. She is not mad, she is receiving treatment for her bipolar disorder. I haven't seen her for a few days but I know she will be very upset.''
Her lawyers Stefano Oliva and Luana Izzo are trying to get her child back to her through the court system.
Speaking from Rome, Mr Oliva said: ''It sounds like something from a Hitler regime. We have been in touch with the Italian Ministry of Justice and we are also pursuing a legal path in England."
The interview comes as the judge who ruled her child, now 15 months old, should be adopted released full details of the judgment made in February at Chelmsford Crown Court.
In it Judge Roderick Newton is highly critical of doctors for their treatment of the woman.
He said: "I am critical of the doctors because it appears to me that she was despatched (in deed escorted) from the UK with undue haste simply because she wished to go back to Italy.
"I was led to believe that the mother was in a good state and a good frame of mind but frankly nothing could have been further from the truth, because if one looks at the reports of the admitting doctors in Italy, it is clear that the mother when she arrived in Italy was in a very poor state."
And he said that the court order, made by Mr Justice Mostyn in August 2012, which "gave permission for the birth by way of caesarean section" was "unusual".
He said he found the mother, who begged for the return of her daugther, highly articulate but added that considering her history of mental illness the baby, named only as P, should be adopted.
In a heart-rending conclusion summing up his decision Judge Newton told the mother: "If in later life P reads this judgment, as she may well do, I hope that she will appreciate that her mother in particular loved her and wished for her to return to live with her and to bring her up."
The case of the woman came to public attention at the weekend and has been championed by the MP John Hemming and it is now being overseen by the President of the Family Division.
Last night an Italian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said: ''We are aware of this woman's case and the consulate in London is monitoring the situation. It's very complicated and involves both the Italian and British legal system and the situation is ongoing so it would not be right to say anything else.
"The consulate in London is doing what it needs to do.''