Family fears Olivia could be taken away

A SUFFOLK mother who fled to Spain to ensure her new-born baby was not taken by social services is now fearful that Spanish authorities are poised to remove the child from her care.

Megan Coote fled to Alicante on February 7 with her mother Lorraine, after a string of assessments and IQ tests deemed her as being incapable of looking after her baby.

Suffolk Social Services expressed concerns that the child could possibly be “emotionally neglected” in the future due to Miss Coote’s mild learning difficulties and problems showing her emotions.

However, Lorraine Coote said the family had never doubted Megan’s capabilities as a mother.

She said: “She is such a happy mother, she just keeps kissing the baby and she said that she always just wants to cuddle her – and they say that she can’t show emotion.”

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The 21-year-old, who gave birth to Olivia Rose in hospital in Spain on February 15, has now been asked to attend a meeting with Spanish social services today .

Megan’s father, Dale Coote, told the EADT he now feared the baby would be taken away from the family.

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He said: “I’m fearing the worst and that is that the Spanish social services will take Olivia away.

“So far the Spanish authorities have been great with us, but we have to expect the worse at the meeting on Wednesday.

“I hope that the meeting is just to work alongside us further, my wife and me would also be willing to look after Olivia, if they tell us that something needs to be done.’’

The Coote family previously said that if Suffolk Social Services failed to work alongside them, they would leave the region and move to Spain for good.

Mr Coote, of Kesgrave, near Ipswich, who travelled to Spain yesterday, said: “We were told that they would work with us, but as far as I’m concerned that hasn’t happened. We don’t really have a choice but to move to Spain – that way the family can be together.”

A Sudbury couple, who are known only as Jim and Carissa for legal reasons, had their baby removed from their care by the Spanish authorities in March.

The couple, originally from Sudbury before fleeing to Spain in December, had their second child removed from their care after their first child, Poppy, a false name to protect the baby’s identity, was taken away more than 18 months ago.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “We are in regular dialogue with the Coote family.

“We are liaising with the Spanish authorities and sharing relevant information as appropriate in this case, but cannot comment further on the individual circumstances.”

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