Fleeing couple's baby taken in Spain

A COUPLE who fled Suffolk to ensure their unborn baby was not taken away by social services have had the child removed from their care by the Spanish authorities.

Russell Claydon

A COUPLE who fled Suffolk to ensure their unborn baby was not taken away by social services have had the child removed from their care by the Spanish authorities.

The child was removed from the couple, who are known only as Jim and Carissa for legal reasons, following the intervention of Suffolk County Council.

Now the couple have spoken to the EADT of their hopes their newborn son will soon be returned to them after concerns put to the Spanish authorities by social services in Suffolk are resolved.

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

It came after South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo used parliamentary privilege in November to highlight Poppy's case. He said the situation surrounding her withdrawal from her parent's care was “tantamount to child kidnapping”.

Most Read

Speaking from their new home in Spain yesterday Jim, 41, remained upbeat despite the clearly traumatic events taking place.

“The social services in Spain here are fantastic,” he said. “They are working with us, we have a solicitor, and they are not involving the courts. Hopefully, all is going to be well.

“They only put a child to adoption if the parents request and there is no way our son is going back (to Suffolk). They always work with families to keep families together - which is the opposite of what happens in the UK.

“It is a shame. This should be a precious time when we are bringing our child home.”

He claimed the information supplied to the Spanish authorities by Suffolk County Council has changed from the possibility of emotional harm - as cited as the reason for taking Poppy away from them - to the possibility of physical harm (more recognised in the Spanish system).

He also made a number of strongly-worded remarks about what he felt was happening at Suffolk Social Services, which cannot be printed for legal reasons.

But he said: “They are very strong allegations and I will back those to the hilt with the information I have.”

He added of the latest twist in their situation: “This is a very sad thing for us but is not something we cannot get past. We intend to work with the Spanish authorities and they are fantastic. They, I know, are honest and trustworthy.”

His comments come days after the EADT revealed how Jim and Carissa are now living next door to 21-year-old mother Megan Coote, of Kesgrave, near Ipswich, who also fled Suffolk in apparently similar circumstances.

Her baby, Olivia, delivered in Spain two days apart from Jim and Carissa's son, was threatened with being taken into care due to the possibility of the child being emotionally harmed in the future.

Miss Coote suffers from mild learning difficulties and has problems showing her emotions.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said they had no comment to make until it had received confirmation that the baby had been taken into care in Spain.

The couple's daughter is currently the subject of legal proceedings to see whether she will be adopted.