- From: The Australian
- May 30, 2010
- Baby seized from Chinese parents
- Girl was 'wrongly taken,' judge
- Baby adopted by Australian couple
THE New South Wales Government's welfare agency seized a baby girl from her Chinese immigrant parents and, against their wishes, adopted her out to an Australian-born couple, prompting a judge to observe that the infant may have been "wrongly taken away".
The girl, who was born in NSW in March 2005, spent less than a day with her mother before being taken into custody by the NSW Department of Community Services on medical grounds.
Last month, the NSW Supreme Court awarded custody of the child to her adoptive parents, saying "even if the baby was wrongly taken away, that is not enough on its own" to warrant her return to her birth mother.
Court documents say the girl was born to a Chinese immigrant mother who speaks no English, and was described as "fearful of government and court processes".
Her baby was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a potentially life-threatening condition colloquially known as water on the brain.
The mother initially consented to an operation to insert a shunt to drain fluid, but then withdrew her permission.
The court heard the medical team had "great difficulty" communicating with the baby's mother, "not only because of the language problem but from an attitude of severe mistrust".
"(She) took the view that immediate surgery was unnecessary and that the doctor should wait and see how the baby's condition developed," the court heard.
DOCS then intervened, taking the baby into its care so the operation could go ahead.
Four months later, when the baby was discharged from hospital, she was sent to live not with her mother but with foster parents. They have cared for her since.
The court heard the girl has "various medical problems", including a developmental delay, but she "has thrived and is making very good progress" and has formed a close bond with her foster parents and their son, who was also adopted.
The couple applied to the NSW Supreme Court last month to adopt the girl, who has not seen her mother since the day after she was born.
Read more about the baby girl wrongfully put up for adoption at birth at The Australian.