Second mother flees Suffolk to keep baby

A SECOND mother has fled Suffolk fearful that social services were poised to take her newborn baby away.

Russell Claydon

A SECOND mother has fled Suffolk fearful that social services were poised to take her newborn baby away.

Megan Coote fled to Spain where she gave birth to baby Olivia Rose in a hospital in Alicante, Spain, last month.

The 21-year-old, a former student at Thurleston High School, Ipswich, suffers from mild learning difficulties and has problems showing her emotions.

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Miss Coote, of Kesgrave, near Ipswich, left Suffolk after social services deemed her unable to look after her baby concerned that the child could be “emotionally neglected''.

She and her mother now live next door to a Sudbury family who left the county in similar circumstances last year.

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South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo, who used his parliamentary privilege to accuse Suffolk County Council of “child kidnapping'' in relation to the Sudbury family, said it was “scandalous'' that mothers were having to go abroad to be able to keep their babies.

Of the latest case, he said: “It reinforces my concern about the way Suffolk County Council's Social Services are, I think, much too keen in intervening in trying to take babies away from their natural parents. I am very shocked.''

Simon White, director of children and young people's services at Suffolk County Council, said he could not comment on individual cases, but said: “In all cases children's services work hard to support parents and families so that children can remain in their own families.

“No decisions can be made before extensive assessments have been undertaken which determine whether the child in question can be adequately cared for by the natural parents or within the extended family.

“In the vast majority of cases, children remain with their families but where this is not possible an application must be made to the court together with all relevant information.

“It is then for the court to decide what is in the child's best interest.”

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