Social services and family courts have ruined a family in the U.K. after a couple’s baby was taken away on false charges of child cruelty.
Karrissa Cox and Richard Carter were acquitted more than three years after they took the then six-week-old infant to the hospital because the child was bleeding from the mouth.
The problem began when doctors there also found bruising on the baby's body and "healing fractures" on an X-ray, leading them to suspect that it was a case of abuse.
The child – whose gender has not been disclosed – was subsequently taken into care by social services and then later adopted.
However, during the course of the trial it was discovered that the child was suffering from a blood disorder, Von Willebrands II, which causes a person to bruise easily. And the suspected fractures were actually caused by a deficiency in Vitamin D that causes infantile rickets.
Despite being innocent, the couple’s ordeal is far from over. Since the adoption was made legal by a Family Court and such rulings are usually considered final, lawyers doubt if they will ever see the child again.
“I broke down in tears. I couldn’t believe it. I was thinking, ‘Why us, what have we done?’ We hadn’t done anything different to normal parents but we were being punished for something we hadn’t done,” Coz told BBC.
Cox and Carter’s account has raised questions if changes should be made in the legal framework pertaining to child custody in such cases. Since they are not guilty of any mistreatment, why should they be deprived of their own baby?
Here are some online reactions to the story:
Watching the news about a couple who had their baby adopted even though the family court was completely wrong? What century is this?— Boy George (@BoyGeorge) October 9, 2015
I'm sorry but there needs to be something done about Karrissa Cox and Richard Carter's baby should be given back! #notcriminals !!— Hanss (@Hanss_18) October 8, 2015
“These innocent parents have been spared a criminal conviction and a prison sentence for a crime they never committed,” Michael Turner QC, of Garden Court Chambers in London, told Daily Mail. “Their life sentence is that they are likely never to see their baby again.”
“This tragic case highlights the real dangers of the government’s drive to increase adoption and speed up family proceedings at all costs,” added defense lawyer Emma Fenn.
The couple is reportedly planning to campaign for the return of their child.