Couple campaigning for the return of baby ‘unlikely to succeed’

fostering and adoption

A couple in their mid-20s whose baby was adopted after they were wrongfully accused of abuse have been told that they unlikely to have the child returned.

Karrissa Cox and Richard Carter, both aged 25, live in Guildford, Surrey. In 2012, they noticed bleeding in their baby’s mouth after feeding the infant, and went to the local A&E. Doctors found minor bruising and crucially, what appeared to bone fractures in the process of healing when the baby was X-rayed. The couple were arrested and charged with child cruelty.

Their baby, meanwhile, was taken into care and formally adopted against their wishes earlier this year. The couple were refused legal aid to fight their case.

But when the criminal charges against them finally came before a judge at Guildford Crown Court, Ms Cox and Mr Carter were acquitted. Previously unavailable medical evidence demonstrated that no abuse had in fact taken place. Their baby – whose gender cannot be revealed by court order – actually had a blood condition which causes abnormal bruising, along with a vitamin D deficiency and the resulting bone disorder rickets.

The couple now plan to campaign for the return of their child, The Independent reports. Karrissa Cox explained:

“We took our child to the hospital seeking help and they stole our baby from us.”

She added:

“I feel completely let down by the system, well and truly let down. It’s been a long three years trying to battle this and we’re going to fight to try to get our child back.”

The couple were allowed limited periods of supervised contact until last year. Ms Cox claims the toddler would call her and her partner Mummy and Daddy and was reluctant to leave at the end of the visits.

They are reluctant to have any further children. “It’s really put me off having more children in case this happens again,” said Ms Cox.

But the couple’s lawyers have warned the couple that they are unlikely to succeed because adoption is by definition intended to be a permanent event and is rarely overturned. Barrister Michael Turner QC told the Independent:

“These innocent parents have been spared a criminal conviction and a prison sentence for a crime they never committed. Their life sentence is that they are likely never to see their baby again.”

Defence lawyer Emma Fenn, meanwhile, described the case as “tragic” and an example of “the real dangers of the Government’s drive  to increase adoption and speed up family proceedings at all costs”.

If their campaign ultimately fails the couple plan to lobby for a change in the law to try and prevent a similar fate befalling another family.

Photo by Naddsy via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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25 comments

Jan - October 9, 2015 at 12:18am

Disgusting turns my stomach this country is a total disgrace being accused of something you havent done is awful especially of this nature a cry for help and get treated like criminals and the best thing ever to happen to you taken away from you, the social services seriously need looked at all over the country because they are jumping the gun far to often and innocent people are suffering and having there hearts ripped out

PETER POWELL - October 9, 2015 at 12:37pm

THIS FAMILY HAVE A BETTER CHANCE OF GETTING THEIR CHILD BACK THAN THE m
MCCANNS HAD.
iT IS VERY NOBLE TO GIVE MONEY TO HELD THE FAMILY OF A DROWNED SYRIAN CHILD- LET’S MAKE SURE THAT THIS CHILD IS RETURNED.

Agario Skins - October 9, 2015 at 6:13am

I think this is how you get everyone to hate you. If I were them, I’d sue.

Stephanie - October 9, 2015 at 8:44am

This is absolutely appalling, it’s unreal – I can not even imagine what these people feel!! I’m enraged , I have no other words really.. all just profanities that are inappropriate for a public comment. I’m simply disgusted. Why the F#@k does this even happen. How!?!?

stitchedup - October 9, 2015 at 9:47am

The system clearly failed… Why the hell our senior judiciary cannot accept this and right a wrong is beyond comprehension!!!!

H Mirhadi - October 9, 2015 at 10:12am

best approach is not give up
1.Take “local authorities to the court law “for negligence & crultely and breach &violated human right act and & invading privacy & tampering evidence
2.take them to European court to get your child back

C - October 9, 2015 at 5:33pm

Have you any idea the cost involved in your recommendation, Have you any idea of the injustice and red tape hurdles they have to face, Have you any idea of the persecution, the job application, public sector no smoke without fire, lose of family right, friends, neighbours oppinons, they have already suffered, or try having to sign a promisary by a judge involved in the mis-carriage of justice not to seek any form of redress until the child reaches the age of 18yrs

David - October 9, 2015 at 10:48am

That’s their child that they created and she birthed. How can it just be treated like property and them be told they can’t have their CHILD back. Furthermore, who are these awful people that adopted this child, understand the situation, and won’t give it back?! Wtf?!

Anonymous Thanks - October 9, 2015 at 11:04am

I would contact whoever adopted the child and I’m sure in the circumstances they would hand the child over.

Buck Futter - October 9, 2015 at 11:26am

They had supervised visits, so it’s likely they are already in contact.

Carol Bird - October 9, 2015 at 4:57pm

Where did you get this information from, Adoption and contact, usually just means a development letter, not personal contact

Ben Rosenthal - October 9, 2015 at 12:34pm

Is there a fund we can donate towards legal costs on this?

As a new parent myself this sounds like a living nightmare, I feel sick just thinking about something like that happening.

C - October 9, 2015 at 4:45pm

@ H. Mirhadi
As a family also been through the family courts falsely accussed of injuries which my grandson/son has no evidence of in his birth certified name, we relied on the 1989 Childrens Act which the LA used to present the case to court to ensure that change of his name could not legally happen.
Now we rely on the same 1989 Childrens Act (Changing of Childs Name) As Cause of Action for persuing a Suing Case against the LA, the recent Judicial Review QC Lavender agrees with the Local Authority that children of unmarried parents name can be changed to Christian name followed by Fathers Surname followed by mothers Surname, is legal and obviously just, while the Law of the land states with warnings on all court orders the Childs birth certified name cannot be changed, putting it bluntly there is no law within family law, parents are powerless

C - October 9, 2015 at 5:06pm

I would also like to make it public knowledge that whilst my comment is C
The case I refer to has been aired in Open Court Middlesbrough, Judge Gillian Matthews, who also agrees with Redcar & Cleveland LA that change of childs name is not a Cause of Action for suing the authority, Whilst stating in her judgement, a childs birth certified name can only be changed AFTER adoption, so where was the protection of the 1989 Childrens Act against the false injury accussations we as a family were accussed of?

Michelle - October 9, 2015 at 7:45pm

There are no words to express the injustice what these parents must be going through on a daily torturous basis. Something must be done it has to it needs to in order to restore balance n faith in a very failing system.my heart as does the heart of many parents go out to the mam and dad and also the little one who had been denied the right to grow up in blood family. Sick

onlyme - October 10, 2015 at 9:11am

Had first hand experience of this 17 years ago, our daughter ended up having rickets too, but this was deliberately concealed by the hospital (so they could not be sued) and the state stepped in to steal our daughter. 17 years of research always leads to these facts:
– Children are deliberately stolen by the state for profit (fostering/adoption).
– Children are deliberately stolen by the state to feed the prolific paedophiles withing the judiciary, police force, parliament and otehr gangs protected by local authorities (see Roetherham, islington etc).

We managed to keep our daughter but it has meant fighting them off for 17 years (yes they still come after her now and again, with freshly invented lies – which we have fortunately fended off by winning every court case). We prayed for the day all this would come out and thanks to the internet and the ‘jimmy savile’ thing, and allegations against MP’s, it is all coming out despite the BBC’s best attempts to cover it all up again.

Karen - October 10, 2015 at 12:48pm

As a grandmother whose grandson is at the moment in care for the same reasons as this couple I totally understand how they are feeling. These people have no consideration to mother,father,child or immediate family’s feelings but just to get their results. I hope with all my heart that they can get their child back and the people who have put them in this position get their just rewards!!!

Governed By Pedophiles - October 10, 2015 at 7:25pm

Sorry but everybody keeps saying “something must be done” Yes, but this is the “well I vote for government so I can sit back and do buggerall whilst watching my taxes pay for S**tlike this” mentality!
We need to organise a protest, give up your pub, carboot sale, allotment, window shopping, restaurant for one saturday and we all get to the gates opposite #10 and let people know including tourists that “legal” child abduction takes place in the so called first world civilised UK.
Make an online petition and a massive protest, groups like occupy and anonymous will definitely attend …. your kid/s could easily be next. I Will be there !!

Winston Smith - October 10, 2015 at 10:16pm

Marilyn,

the “new evidence” WAS AVAILABLE for the last three and a half years.

I repeat

the “new evidence” WAS AVAILABLE for the last three and a half years

It’s just a medic from the opposing professional school of opinion had not been allowed to submit evidence till then.

The CFS commission one. He says we don’t accept these shadows are healed fractures, we say they are growth marks in the bones”.

Exit the CPS.

Parents cleared.

This is the Metaphyseal Fractures theory, which had been discredited.

This is the Metaphysical Fractures Theory battle with the “arring Professionals” as it isreferred to.

Th MF Theory had been discredited, but someof ir
ts supporters who are radiologists have raced forward to defend the research and their theory in a Relaunch.

At the Family Court Care and Placement Order hearings there was only a single Jointly Instructed expert witness. They were from the Metaphysical Fractures Relaunch supporters and said “these arethe lines of healed fractures”.

Placement orderi ssued, child fast-tracked to adoption.

That is what has happened.

Marilyn Stowe - October 11, 2015 at 9:04am

Dear Winston
I do not know the facts of this case, but I have read Webster, the leading case on setting aside adoption orders.
An adoption order cannot be set aside for mistake or misrepresentation but can be set aside on other grounds eg if there was a fraud or the party concerned did not have notice of the hearing.
When this case was heard in 2009 legal aid was still fully available. Today it is not and I am wondering if the basis on which this order was made, without legal aid/funding for other medical evidence etc might be sufficient to set it aside. I don’t know enough about the case.
It seems to me however that the baby is going to have to know the truth at some point and in those circumstances I am wondering also what is the lesser of the evils for that child. Is it better to do something now based on how the case went ahead without legal aid for the adoption or in the future? Or has too much time gone by? Would it be wrong to disturb the baby now? Without knowledge of the facts this is only speculation.
It’s a catastrophic case, and a very tough decision will have to be made in the Court of Appeal.
Regards,
Marilyn

Nordic - October 11, 2015 at 11:02pm

Dear Marilyn
We may not know all the details, but surely what we do know raises some pretty fundamental questions:
.
I) Why were the family courts allowed to preempt the outcome of criminal proceedings?
.
II) Why did we empower a family judge, who is not competent to assess such allegations, to meter out the closest we have to capital punishment on the basis the “balance of probabilities” rather than “beyond reasonable doubt”?
.
III) Irrespective of the legal aid issue, why was it not the duty of that judge to ensure due process and insist on hearing more than one “expert”?
.
IV) Why was the judge not “struck off”? If a doctor or pilot makes a, in your words, catastrophic mistake, it has consequences. Why do we grant immunity to family court judges?
.
V) Why do we accept a family court system which refuses to correct gross miscarriages of justice simply on the grounds of a judge’s unsubstantiated view of what constitutes “acting in the best interest of children” (they clearly have no clue)?
.
The issue confronting the Appeals Court could not be more straight forward. This catastrophic adoption order cannot be allowed to stand. It must fall or the last remnants of respect and confidence in the family court institution will. Return the child to its real parents and rein in our out-of-control family courts before they create more chaos.

Marilyn Stowe - October 12, 2015 at 8:06am

Dear Nordic
The law and medical evidence. Tightening up the position on medical reports might have triggered the problem. Take a look at this:- familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed114450
If it’s the case that the critical medical evidence did exist and wasn’t allowed in, as per one of the correspondents to the blog, perhaps this is another line of attack. Or if it was sought but refused again another possibility.
I’ve never read however as strong a critique of the process these parents under went as has been issued by their barristers at Garden Court. It could well be in each and every point they make (and they do refer to the lack of legal aid all the way through and the issue over the medical report) they are setting the scene for the appeal.
The more you consider what very probably went wrong the more you wonder if despite the Webster case and all the other authorities before then, it won’t be put right. Hard to say. The test in law for adoption is nothing else will do :- presumably the court was satisfied that was the case and now its all about what’s best for this baby.
Regards
Marilyn

Yvie - October 11, 2015 at 9:43am

None of us will know the full details of the case, but to allow adoption to go forward before the case was finally resolved seems a dangerous precedent.

anonymous - October 11, 2015 at 7:31pm

We live in a horrible world .. I had social services at my door when I was only 12 week pregnant .. and had to have ‘government permission’ to take my child home 6 month later they want to put my child on a supervision order after isolating me from friends telling me that my family arent safe enough to be around as I was ‘vulnerable’ as far as they were concerned .. its wrong .. you will get ur child back !. Never ever loose hope .. Love and light ♥

pamela - May 22, 2016 at 11:54am

children should be protected as much as possible. thanks for these article.

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