To think not looking like you parents

(215 Posts)
DevonLodger Wed 23-Oct-13 20:59:48

Is not a good reason to take a child into care and carry out a DNA test.

I look nothing like my daughters. Should I be worried?

NeedlesCuties Wed 23-Oct-13 21:07:39

I'm assuming you mean the Roma cases that have been in the media?

It isn't that they didn't look similar that is the issue.... but the general suspicion of Roma people.

I look like a copy of my parents, and my kids look just like me and DH, but I know plenty of people who look nothing like their parents. Not Roma though, so they can rest easy.


Hmm, not looking like your DCs may not be such an issue as being of a different race, (supposedly) having umpteen children registered within a few months and fake birth certificates. What would you like the police to do?

JackNoneReacher Wed 23-Oct-13 21:19:34

Justforlaughs - I think the OP is referring to the Irish case which is totally different to the Greek one.

A 7 year old was removed from her family cos she didn't look like her siblings. I'm pretty horrified at this. I can think of loads of families with kids that don't look like their siblings. Not a reason in itself to remove them.


JackNoneReacher Wed 23-Oct-13 21:20:57
MrsDeVere Wed 23-Oct-13 21:21:55

If you are white and not part of a minority group you should be ok.

Otherwise, be worried.

LimitedEditionLady Wed 23-Oct-13 21:23:18

Did you see the photo of the child with the parents?Would you not think it unusual if you were the police?there are child abduction cases and you see a child who looks nothing like any of the people that are around them and nothing like the other children said to be siblings in a place were this is a known activity and you would walk away and say and do nothing?how are they to know the situation without taking steps?they were right werent they.

wizardofearthsea Wed 23-Oct-13 21:23:41

motherinferior Wed 23-Oct-13 21:24:04

I am of a different 'race' to my mother, in that she is Indian and I am white.

I have been avoiding all those fucking discussions of the Roma stories because I find them, frankly, far too upsetting.

wizardofearthsea Wed 23-Oct-13 21:24:19
stella69x Wed 23-Oct-13 21:24:29

I best watch out, I'm part Roma but fair and my DS is dark, guess i would get to keep DD thou as she is fair like me.

motherinferior Wed 23-Oct-13 21:24:58

I can absolutely assure you that the police would have removed me - a white, red-haired, Celtic-looking child - from the woman who gave birth to me, under comparable circumstances.

FreudiansSlipper Wed 23-Oct-13 21:25:05

it is worrying

ds at first glance looks nothing like me

Shit. That's terrible. Removing a child is very extreme and should only be done when absolutely necessary. Couldn't they have swiftly done blood group tests in situ if they were worried?

I lived in Italy and dated a 6 foot, blonde, blue eyed Italian. His family (and everyone else) was shorter and darker. It was just a throw back to the Vikings. It happens.

JackNoneReacher Wed 23-Oct-13 21:26:38

Not in the Irish case limited a child was removed from her family and put in care because she doesn't look like them - before DNA confirmed they were her family. What an awful trauma for a 7 year old.

True MrsDV

lolarose2591 Wed 23-Oct-13 21:27:11

jeez my daughter is the spitting image of me but my ds well his dad is dark Spanish and i am brown haired and olive skinned ..... his bright ginger lol

motherinferior Wed 23-Oct-13 21:28:58

I have spent my entire life trying to explain to people that my mother is, in fact, my mother. And I'm a nice middle-class gurl with an Oxford degree.

LimitedEditionLady Wed 23-Oct-13 21:30:54

Op didnt say which case was being referred to at first so i could only guess

But you also have to think about all the cases where SS/ the police mess up by missing something. We've all seen the stories in the media, where a child is hurt/ dies because "police didn't act" "signs were missed" "lessons need to be learned" etc, etc. Imagine, if in 3 years time it transpired that that child was NOT who the parents claimed? If they HAD been an abducted child. There would be an outcry. What were the police doing? How did they miss that? It was obvious that they weren't the real parents. Look at them, they don't look anything like the child. The birth certificate wasn't authentic. etc, etc. Yes, they need to be careful how they react to their suspicion, but I would prefer to ere on the side of caution with regards to the DNA testing at least. Not so sure about removing a child before those tests were done.

JackNoneReacher Wed 23-Oct-13 21:32:15

Loads of families have weird genetic throwbacks in them. I recently discovered that my white friend has a black parent (and one white) you just wouldn't believe it to see him though.

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 23-Oct-13 21:33:07

It's horrendous.

I would love there to be a report from the Irish authorities that explains how this has happened twice in a week to Roma families. Because it all looks really ignorant of basic genetics (and racist) from here.

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 23-Oct-13 21:34:42

It's fine that they checked - it's not okay that children were removed. It's very traumatic for then.

rhetorician Wed 23-Oct-13 21:35:13

Um, not all children have a genetic link of any kind to their parents. I have two daughters, but they are my partner's biological children. They are still my children, although the law does not recognise them as such (DP just written letter in case dd1 and I get stopped at passport control when we travel together tomorrow).

GobbolinoCat Wed 23-Oct-13 21:35:46

I don't think it was just the not looking like, but also the lack of documentation.

If someone asked me where my DC is, I would have a hard to job to find it in this shit chaos however I could refer them to the hospitals where I had them.

I am sure I read that they said the baby was born in a certain hospital which had no records of it, and it was then the child was removed.

I would rather they erred on the side of caution if there was doubt, but one has to be very very careful, telling a small child they are going into care for one night can be damaging for life.

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 23-Oct-13 21:36:39

Yup, that's also true rhetoric. Families are complicated.

friday16 Wed 23-Oct-13 21:37:48

I would love there to be a report from the Irish authorities that explains how this has happened

The police are (a) stupid and (b) racist. Next question?

PenelopePipPop Wed 23-Oct-13 21:39:23

There are two questions surely? Should parents who do not look like their children expect to have to prove their children are theirs with DNA testing?

There are obviously occasions when that is OK - when another parent turns up saying the child is theirs, or something else places the index of suspicion very high. But not just 'being a different colour' because that misunderstands the whole of genetics and indeed evolution.

The other more alarming question is why does the child need to be removed from the parent's care whilst the tests take place? Again unless they have extraordinary evidence the parents will flee (which can be managed by asking to surrender passports) they do not need to take the child out of her home.

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 23-Oct-13 21:39:39

There was a record of the child at the hospital though, this is one if the reason's child was returned.

I find the idea that things are believed or not based on hospital records quite scary though! I regularly see it on here that someone has requested hospital records only to be told they are lost. I know some of mine are missing.

Why do you think the police are stupid? friday
I admit that the media stories may not be completely accurate, but as I read it, they gave false information and refused to give DNA samples. Is that not enough to raise suspicion?

rhetorician Wed 23-Oct-13 21:42:14

Well I'd be fucked if they asked for documentation. I could produce their birth certs and give time of birth etc, but i have nothing that would prove my relationship to them. I think it's outrageous and needs to be investigated thoroughly. Anyone who wants to get a sense of how ingrained these attitudes are should look at and the thread opened on this. Absolutely shocking attitudes.

JackNoneReacher Wed 23-Oct-13 21:42:20

I think 'lack of documentation' may be wishful thinking gobbolino. If this was the case the police would be shouting about it but its not even mentioned in the report.

More like racist police act on vindictive report.

harticus Wed 23-Oct-13 21:42:30

There was another Roma child too - a 2 year old boy who was removed from his parents in Athlone for 2 days.

It is a witch-hunt of Roma people.

kangarooshoes Wed 23-Oct-13 21:42:38

Hospital records are very fallible.

I am terrified by this. It smacks of "rescuing pretty blonde kids from those darkies".

It is racism, and particularly nasty racism. I thought this was awful before the DNA test result.

If the child was well cared for, they should have awaited the DNA result. Disgusting.

rhetorician Wed 23-Oct-13 21:44:31

Agree with jack absolute bullshit from the gardai. In this part of Dublin 9 times out of 10 when a motorist is pulled over they turn out to be (in that wonderfully evasive term) a non national. At least that's what I've observed.

JackNoneReacher Wed 23-Oct-13 21:45:45

I agree with friday the police are stupid. To believe that it is acceptable to remove a child from their family because they don't look like their siblings. wtf?

There was no other issue here - such as a suggestion that the child wasn't being cared for properly - or she wouldn't have been returned.

friday16 Wed 23-Oct-13 21:46:03

I admit that the media stories may not be completely accurate, but as I read it, they gave false information and refused to give DNA samples.

Do you think that the police should be able to demand that people prove that they are the parents of their child, just by saying so?

And (whisper it), a lot of children are not the genetic offspring of their parents. That fact may be unknown to the parties involved, too. Are we going to see a general programme of going around demanding DNA samples from parents who children look a bit different, or will this just be the Roma? Oh yes, it's just the Roma.

Fortunately, no other group in Ireland has a nasty habit of taking children and selling them for adoption oh yes, apart from the massively large church in every town.

givemeaboost Wed 23-Oct-13 21:56:36

It doesn't look good, but I prefer them taking the child first and asking questions later- its a pity English SS don't do the same, plenty of kids are "surviving" in abusive homes whilst the "professionals" dither about what to do, if anything.

If they had waited, or dna tested whilst leaving the child there, there's a strong possibility that the family would've disappeared, then they would've got flak for that, I think they acted responsibly and in the best interests of the child.
The main thing is the child has been promptly returned since the dna test.

And to the poster above saying a day in care will scar the individual for life(?!) thlbiscuit give over

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 23-Oct-13 22:03:35

Seriously? Of course it's traumatic. Imagine being seven (or two, like the little boy) and being forcibly removed from your family, and not knowing if you will be able to go back.

There's a reason it's not generally and shouldn't be done casually.

friday16 Wed 23-Oct-13 22:08:19

I prefer them taking the child first and asking questions later

Yeah, that worked well on Orkney.

JackNoneReacher Wed 23-Oct-13 22:12:10

I'm totally in favour of removing children from abusive homes.

But not on the basis of not looking like their siblings/parents.

I presume the people who are happy for this to take place would be happy for their own children to be removed for a couple of nights to be on the safe side, perhaps on the basis of having different coloured eyes/hair?

harticus Wed 23-Oct-13 22:16:05

The main thing is the child has been promptly returned since the dna test

Er no.
The main thing is that there seems to be some systematic targeting of the Roma community based on some hysterical premise and this is what is known as racism.

archieplacid Wed 23-Oct-13 22:16:09

May I wade in with Cleveland too for that matter. It is racist and reflects the belief of a few members of my own Irish family. One in particular who looked forward to the day these poor children, begging on the street (not true) were returned to their rightful families. And the country flooded with them, claiming benefits...shocingI took a moment to remind her that this sort of prejudice led to many many ROmas being murdered in Auschwitz.

archieplacid Wed 23-Oct-13 22:17:24

By the by my youngest daughter has red hairei and brown eyes. I have neither. When my eldest was born (her father is Spanish) my Irish extended family wanted to know if the baby was black....seriously

MrsDeVere Wed 23-Oct-13 22:20:05

The fact is, in this country, you could NOT remove a child from a family based on it not looking like its parents.
Even if they couldn't provide the documents you wanted immediately.

To remove a child in an emergency there needs to be evidence of significant risk.

Not looking like your dad and your birth certificate looking a bit dodgy does not meet this criteria.

Dress it up whatever way you want, these cases have stunk from the off.

The Roma have not been afford the same protection as you and I.

Because they are Roma.

Who is next I wonder?

BrianTheMole Wed 23-Oct-13 22:22:33

It is a witch hunt. Its not bloody on. Imagine some one coming to your house and taking your child because they don't look like you. That poor kid, utterly terrifying.

Jossysgiants Wed 23-Oct-13 22:23:16

It is truly chilling. Those poor children. I think about my 6 year old - I cannot imagine the impact of being removed from her home for two days for not looking like her parents. It makes me feel quite sick. I find it troubling that this type of action is justified by the 'on the safe side' argument. This is how freedom is dismantled bit by bit.

On the documentation... I have a different last name and nationality to my DD and have traveled with her internationally extensively (she has been on about 20 flights). I am almost never asked to prove anything. She looks NOTHING like her passport picture. I have had no issues.

Anyone care to guess my hair and skin colour? Yep, blonde and white. I waltz through immigration. If I was Roma, do you think I would? I don't.

archieplacid Wed 23-Oct-13 22:25:15

May I also point out there was no signs of neglect or abuse. A neighbor rang the authorities with a spurious opinion that a kid was unlike its siblings.
If it also needs pointing out, the Irish have not been particularly sympathetic to the Travelling community that already exists in their country. I witnessed a mob of people (all present at mass the following SUnday mor yah) heading out to a traveler encampment to move them on. This included children and the entire event occurred in the middle of the night. Women, children and old people forced onto the road by nice people who felt they had a god given right to do so, no qualms.

JackNoneReacher Wed 23-Oct-13 22:26:03

I wonder if the same is true in Ireland MrsDV but the police decided to take the children anyway.

Hard to believe you can lawfully remove children on this premise.

DevonLodger Wed 23-Oct-13 22:27:15

Interesting comments and reassuring that generally people think I'm not BU. No legitimate parent about whom no other concerns have been raised should be required to produce evidence that a child is theirs based on lack of resemblance alone. My lovely white friends in London who have adopted 2 Chinese girls have never had been visited by the police. Funny that.

givemeaboost Wed 23-Oct-13 22:27:51

But in the greek case, they have video evidence of the girl stood on the street dancing for money from strangers.
I don't think its racist at all, travelling communities are notoriously hard to keep tabs on (from my experience at work) and where there have been suspicions in the past eg ben needham reportedly said to have been seen in a traveller camp shortly after his disappearance, the little girl in Greece found in a traveller camp, then they obviously need to investigate.

I don't think being taken away for 24 hrs is necessarily going to traumatise her for life, she will have been taken by people used to dealing with scared children, to a safe place.

harticus Wed 23-Oct-13 22:33:45

there have been suspicions in the past

And you can add whatever you like to that phrase - suspicions about gypsies, Jews, Blacks, Asians ...... take your pick.
What are these suspicions founded on?
Couldn't be racism by any chance could it?

ILoveNoodles Wed 23-Oct-13 22:34:31

I really, really am glad this wouldn't happen here.
We'd be fucked.
I am black as in full black from the West Indies. And I look black.
My son is mixed. His dad is white.
My son looks white and has blue eyes.
We have different surnames.
To just look at him you would think I was either babysitting or the nanny.
I have been asked if I was his nanny angry angry
It is damn right out of order.

friday16 Wed 23-Oct-13 22:36:31

where there have been suspicions in the past eg ben needham reportedly said to have been seen in a traveller camp shortly after his disappearance

"reportedly said to have been seen".

This, presumably, is child protection by people who think that what went wrong during the Satanic Abuse debacle was that not enough children were taken into care?

archieplacid Wed 23-Oct-13 22:36:38

giveme so a missing child allegedly seen in a camp proves what? scared is scared love. you try it sometime to be taken away from everyone you know, with no explanation possibly in a scene of chaos and hysterics and then give a little shrug and think know what, we will look back at this and laugh in years to come.
Go on, have a go

MrsDeVere Wed 23-Oct-13 22:36:58

So the video evidence tell us that the girl danced in the street for money.
And nothing else.

If you called the Duty Team in the UK and said 'my neighbours are dark and they have a blonde kid' you would be told that SS could not make a visit based on that.

Its not like these children appeared out of nowhere.

Even if you said 'my neighbours are dark and now they have a blonde kid who didn't live there last week' I think it highly unlikely even an initial inquirer would be made.

Even if it was it wouldn't be done by the police. It just wouldn't happen.

jacks365 Wed 23-Oct-13 22:43:24

I'm dark haired with green eyes my ex is very dark haired, brown eyes and very dark olive skinned. We both take after our fathers side of the families our daughter however has very fair skin blue eyes and ginger hair, that colouring comes from our mothers, one being Scottish the other Irish. You wouldn't pick us as her parents from a line up but she is very definitely ours.

Strumpetron Wed 23-Oct-13 22:46:31

It's ridiculous because it's all down to perception anyway

Me and my dad used to get 'aw she's the spits of you'. Little did they know he wasn't my biological dad, he'd brought me up from me being 2.

giveme based on two or three things, one of which is a rumour, you think a child should be taken away from its parents if someone calls and says they don't look alike?

I worked for SS next door to the children's team. I sometimes saw children being led or carried through our office because they had been removed. They were crying, sobbing, clinging to the SWs. Yes traumatised.

BrianTheMole Wed 23-Oct-13 22:58:35

You can't tar a whole community with that though gimmeaboast. Otherwise the same would be for everyone who has a child that doesn't look like them. It is racist, what else can you call it?

BrianTheMole Wed 23-Oct-13 23:00:25

My child looks nothing like me. Would it be ok for the police to come to my house and take her away until it can be proven she is my daughter?

sydlexic Wed 23-Oct-13 23:03:27

My DF is Italian, I am olive skinned, dark haired, dark eyes and short. My DD is very tall, blonde, blue eyed. Should I be worried.

friday16 Wed 23-Oct-13 23:04:01

Would it be ok for the police to come to my house and take her away until it can be proven she is my daughter?

What's the generally accepted rate of people turning out not to be the children of their acknowledged parents? About 5%?

BrianTheMole Wed 23-Oct-13 23:06:21

No idea mate.

DontGiveAwayTheHomeworld Thu 24-Oct-13 08:05:08

DP and DS aren't biologically related, but DS looks a lot like him, and has picked up most of his little quirks and mannerisms. He's also blond as anything, so doesn't look much like me. But I was blond as a kid, proper golden hair, and it had gone mousey brown by the time I hit my teens.

It's bloody ridiculous. There has to be a better way to investigate this sort of thing.

motherinferior Thu 24-Oct-13 10:48:24

It is actually quite traumatic - not in a majorly damaging but in a day to day v wearing and distressing way - to explain, again and again, that yes this is your parent/child - as I'm sure other people on this thread will attest.

I can very, very vividly imagine being taken away from my mother when I was small. (When I say I am white, I don't mean the sort of white you associate with being mixed-race, but white as a sheet. Irish-style white. My mother, on the other hand, is fully Indian.)

I really don't think it would have been a very good 24 hours.

jellyboatsandpirates Thu 24-Oct-13 11:16:08

After the Greek Roma case, I'm far more comfortable with the fact that police are more willing to check, just in case.
If it all turns out to be innocent, it will be found to be like the Irish girl.
Better safe than sorry.

NotYoMomma Thu 24-Oct-13 11:23:31

im adopted so obviously look fuck all like my parents

however MY dd looks like nobody! not me, not dh, im adsuming she may look like some of my extended biological family (maybe/ maybe not)

I would like to think dh and bil werent related thoughas they look and act so differently lol. I got the nice one wink

Imsosorryalan Thu 24-Oct-13 11:24:12

I think its frankly disgusting that they can turn up and take away a child as young as 2 from the only parents it's ever known, regardless of the fact of true heritage. I just keep thinking of all these poor children, probably taken while distressed and put in a 'care' facility it seems as long as 2-3 days!

Imagine your child being taken away for that long with no explanation and no idea when you'd see your parents again. I understand the need to investigate but why can't the child stay at home while it is investigated? If necessary post a police officer there if they're worried about the family absconding. I can't imagine a few nights in a care facility costs anymore than an officer.

Willemdefoeismine Thu 24-Oct-13 11:27:10

I pondered the same thing myself OP! DD is entirely different to look at from me and I often get looks as if to say "you're not her Mummy" but I most certainly am and she never left my side in hospital so I know she's not been switched!

Kewcumber Thu 24-Oct-13 11:31:00

Yes Devon - DS was adopted from Central Asia - so we will be fine because they aren't trying to rescue beige children from white people only the other way around.

Properly investigate if there are suspicions (more substantial than "but she's blonde") but unless the child is being abused or neglected then leave well alone whilst investigation happens.

BrianTheMole Thu 24-Oct-13 11:32:41

After the Greek Roma case, I'm far more comfortable with the fact that police are more willing to check, just in case.
If it all turns out to be innocent, it will be found to be like the Irish girl
Better safe than sorry.

Then answer this honestly. Would you really be happy if the police turned up on your doorstep and took your child away, until it could be proven that the child is yours? Imagine the trauma to your family and your child? Would you really be ok with this?

Kewcumber Thu 24-Oct-13 11:38:04

Apparently some white middle aged English woman once stole a child so I think its perfectly reasonable to expect all white middle class english women to have their child removed whilst we establish whether child is really hers.

Venushasrisen Thu 24-Oct-13 11:38:58

The police don't act because they think a situation looks suspicious. They act because someone has reported something and they are then obliged to follow it up. They can't sit on their behinds saying 'Aww, this looks like a load of nonsense.' They have a job to do (presuming the laws in Ireland are the same as the UK).

So far we don't know who reported their suspicions about the child to the police, how many reported it, if they were in a position of authority, like the child's teacher or just their next door neighbour.

Shame they didn't do dna test first but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

BrianTheMole Thu 24-Oct-13 11:40:58

Apparently some white middle aged English woman once stole a child so I think its perfectly reasonable to expect all white middle class english women to have their child removed whilst we establish whether child is really hers.

Well yes, quite!

Kewcumber Thu 24-Oct-13 11:42:03

Even if they are obliged to follow it up becuase someone else has reported it... can you seriously imagine someone removing a white child from a white middle class family whilst they wait for DNA results.

No-one can possibly can given the police convincing evidence that the child wasn't theirs except "she really doesn't look like them" - they can't have, because she is.

Kewcumber Thu 24-Oct-13 11:45:42

I look nothing like DS. WE are different races. We recently moved so no neighbours know us. Do you really think that if someone rang the police to say "we are very suspicious of the woman next door because she and her child are obviously different races and we have no idea where he appeared from" that their first reaction would be to remove DS from my care.

FlapJackOLantern Thu 24-Oct-13 11:54:54

And if they found Maddie McCann by this method, what would you all say then?

Venushasrisen Thu 24-Oct-13 11:56:30

Well Baby P's mother was always given the benefit of the doubt. Sadly.

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 24-Oct-13 11:56:33

It's wrong to remove children based on looks. Ends don't justify means.

NotYoMomma Thu 24-Oct-13 11:59:51

so you have to fuck over the lives of thousands of families just to fond one missing child?

what if they just tested every kid in the world?

what if they demanded to test your child?

no I dont agree with it 'just in case they find Maddy' its ridiculous.

NotYoMomma Thu 24-Oct-13 12:02:06

Maddy McCann might not evem be blonde anymore. my hair went from her colour to Brown at 10 shock

stupid idea.

fuck me Ronnie off eastenders stole a baby - lets test everyone on Albert square and their babies

(Probs not the best solution given tge bed hopping tbf)

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Thu 24-Oct-13 12:02:50

There is no way the police would have removed the child if the parents hadn't been Roma. That poor family. It's incredibly heavy handed even if there were legitimate concerns over the child's origins.

Kewcumber Thu 24-Oct-13 12:03:11

In what way is the baby P case similar to this?

Any one single tiny thing would be helpful for me to understand why that tragic case has been trotted out.

Kewcumber Thu 24-Oct-13 12:06:40

Even if they had suspicions, unless they had some grounds to fear for the childs safety then teh child would normally be left in situ whilst testing wouldn;t they? confused

There was a great deal of evidence in teh case in Greece - multiple children "born" to the same mother in the same year - it was perfectly clear that some of teh children were not biologically theirs. There were additionally suspicions of neglect.

I really hope the police have more than "they tried to get a birth certificate without hospital records" as a reason to remove a 7 year old child.

MintyChops Thu 24-Oct-13 12:54:00

Two words for you archie; Dale Farm. It's not just the Irish who don't want travellers beside them.....

JackNoneReacher Thu 24-Oct-13 13:06:52

How is baby P relelvant here?

Surely its even more worrying that some children are being removed from their families where there is no sign or suspicion of harm whilst the abuse of other children is systematically ignored.

EldritchCleavage Thu 24-Oct-13 13:12:59

they aren't trying to rescue beige children from white people only the other way around

In a nutshell. I'd better not let my black father out on his own with my white daughter until the fuss dies down.

friday16 Thu 24-Oct-13 13:17:13

They act because someone has reported something and they are then obliged to follow it up. They can't sit on their behinds saying 'Aww, this looks like a load of nonsense.'

Seriously? So I could, for example, phone up the police and report all of my neighbours as child abductors, and the police would then have no choice but to take all the children into care and DNA test their parents? You don't think that might end quite badly? It would certainly up the stakes in custody disputes: phone up the police, have them go around and take a child being cared for my one parent and the parent's new partner, demand DNA tests, etc, etc.

GobbolinoCat Thu 24-Oct-13 13:44:35

Is the problem here rather than a race issue one of documentation?

I assume if I adopt a baby there will be paper work, people handling it in the SS or wherever? If someone said that baby doesn't look like you, i would be able to say immediately, no your right we adopted her from X and here is the paper work, ask so and so from x place.

It seems babies get passed round a bit sometimes, there is no documentation or ability to clarify where the baby was born or came from, surely , that does need following up?

friday16 Thu 24-Oct-13 14:06:42

It seems babies get passed round a bit sometimes,

Based on what evidence? So far, a rather fact-free account of a case in Greece which has not yet reached court, and...?

WithRedWine Thu 24-Oct-13 14:13:21

over the years i've endured countless comments abput how different dd1 looks. she'z the same age as the girl in the irish case, & the thought she could be removed due to basic ignorance about how genetics actually works is really scary.

kawliga Thu 24-Oct-13 14:24:20

"The Irish child’s parents, who are in their thirties, produced a birth certificate and passport for their child, but neither was accepted as conclusive proof of her identity and police could find no relevant records at the hospital where she was born."

That is from the Telegraph. Why are some posters saying that there was no documentation or that the documentation was dodgy? The police didn't say the documents were dodgy, they just said that they were not conclusive as the hospital had no records.

I have never produced DD's birth cert or passport and been told that it's not enough without hospital records, maybe because I'm not Roma? Also, it is lawful to be born at home, it is not compulsory to give birth in hospital so hospital records cannot be better documentation than birth certificates and passports.

friday16 Thu 24-Oct-13 14:36:14

produced a birth certificate and passport for their child but neither was accepted as conclusive proof

If the Irish police are concerned that their passport office is issuing passports for fake IDs, that is a deeper problem than hassling one family.

If the Irish policy are concerned that poor Roma families are able to obtain plausible fake passports that detectives, who will be experienced in handling such documents, cannot reasonably accurately as fake, that is a deeper problem than hassling one family.

Obtaining fake passports, whether by forgery or by playing with the enrolment process, is hard. It's not impossible, by any means, but it's neither cheap nor straightforward. If Ireland has lost control of its issuing of identity documents to the point that Roma families living on the margins of society are able to construct plausible fake identities that require DNA testing to confirm or deny, then Irish passports cannot be trusted for even the most basic of purposes. If the Irish government doesn't regard them as good for identifying poor children, why should other governments accept them at their borders?

MrsDeVere Thu 24-Oct-13 14:39:25

They act because someone has reported something and they are then obliged to follow it up. They can't sit on their behinds saying 'Aww, this looks like a load of nonsense.'

NOT true.
SS do NOT have to follow up every report they get.
They have 24 hours (in the UK) to decide if they need to take a report further.
If they DO think things need to be investigated they can do an initial investigation that can take the form of a telephone call or a visit.

It is very unusual to go from a vague, unsubstantiated call to removal of a child.

Not on the grounds that the kid looks different.

The only circumstances in which I can imagine this happening to a non minority family is if a baby had been snatched and a baby suddenly turned up with a family where there had been no signs of pregnancy.

Even then I think it very unlikely they would turn up mob handed on the off chance.

They would need proper intelligence before they went in like this.

I cannot believe anyone thinks this is ok. Using Baby P and MM as justification is scraping the barrel to say the least.

Why are we not DNAing EVERY blonde girl of a certain age then?

Because, lets face it, the best place to hide a white, blonde, blue eyed kid is with a white, blonde, blue eyed family.

It is wrong to take children away on the basis that they don't look quite like their parents. That's important.

I can see how the thinking went though. If you suspect that someone without a fixed address has a kidnapped child then making an appointment to discuss it another day isn't going to work is it. If they were kidnappers they'd be gone.

Just to turn it around. Suppose the police said "We took a blood sample and when we went back they had gone and the DNA matched that of an abducted child (perhaps maddie?)". There'd be calls for the officers to be sacked or lynched now.

We need to make it clear that you can't take a child away even if you suspect it is maddie. But we also need to think of a fast way to make sure one way or another without causing distress.

DuckToWater Thu 24-Oct-13 14:55:51

I don't think kids should be taken away from parents if they haven't gone through the proper channels of adoption as long as they haven't been stolen or trafficked, and as long as the kids are reasonably well cared for.

kawliga Thu 24-Oct-13 14:59:22

Backonlybriefly that's a problem police have to deal with all the time. They go round making inquiries. Sometimes they even tell the people they are questioning not to leave the area as they might want to question them further. They don't arrest everybody just in case they do a runner before the inquiries are complete.

If you're saying Roma people should be treated differently by police because Roma people are travellers and more likely to move on then that's a bit racist I think. Anybody who doesn't fancy being interrogated is a flight risk when police are investigating crimes. Not just Roma.

MrsDeVere Thu 24-Oct-13 15:05:34

The flight risk is an important issue but there are other ways of dealing with it.
If the child had been abducted the family were still a flight risk even if the child was removed.

And then what of the other children in the family?

What happened was very, very, very wrong.

If this can happen when we have the HRA in place what do you think is going to happen when it no longer exists?

kawliga Thu 24-Oct-13 15:22:35

Yes, and also this particular family have been in Ireland for 12 years since they moved from Romania, so they were no more of a flight risk than any non-Roma person would be.

And the police kept the girl for three DAYS to do their DNA tests. Three whole days, must have felt like a lifetime.

I think this is the face of modern racism, the fact that there are some posters here who don't see the seriousness of this issue because they are not Roma, they will never be Roma, and so they think this problem will never affect them. Some people even saying it wouldn't be traumatic for the child, when the news report states clearly the trauma suffered by the girl and her family.

MintyChops Thu 24-Oct-13 15:36:51

Apparently they gave the police a name for the girl which was different to that on her birth cert and passport, then said they had given her pet name when it was queried, hence the confusion/suspicion. Also explains the hospital not having the girl's birth recorded as it was presumably under her "official" name.

Kewcumber Thu 24-Oct-13 15:53:31

DS is 7 - he would be hugely traumatised by being placed with total strangers for three days.

EldritchCleavage Thu 24-Oct-13 16:06:45

That's interesting, Minty, because I would say that's a commonplace situation. My DD and sister are both known within the family by pet names not reflected on any official document. No one my sister works with, for example, would have any idea of her nickname, it's family only. So in my view, that isn't a particularly strong reason (to put it mildly) for the removal of a child.

MrsDeVere Thu 24-Oct-13 16:10:47

It is clear to me that this situation would not have arisen if the family had not been Roma.

I can only imagine it happening to them or perhaps an asylum seeking family.

MrsDeVere Thu 24-Oct-13 16:11:50

I am not sure DS2 would ever recover from such an experience.

Kewcumber Thu 24-Oct-13 16:16:53

No neither would DS MrsDV - it took a year for him to recover from staying with my mum whilst I was in hospital for a week and he saw me every day.

Mind you I guess they have more reasons than most.

But it won;t happen to me - cos I speak posh.

Lamu Thu 24-Oct-13 16:18:45

I think the police will fail in situations like this, no matter what they do. They had to prove one way or the other who these children belong to because as I understand it there were discrepancies in their documents.

On one hand I feel very uneasy at how easy it is for the police to rock up and take a child away. At the same time I feel it's our duty as a society to protect our children and if it means a child like Maria is found living with a family under suspect conditions then maybe it's a small price to pay.

MrsDeVere Thu 24-Oct-13 16:20:50

Its not a small price to pay.

It is a fucking HUGE price to pay.

Lamu Thu 24-Oct-13 16:23:19

Would you be saying that if it was your child found living with strangers?

EldritchCleavage Thu 24-Oct-13 16:23:22

Traumatising a small child and her family is not a small price to pay. It is not proportionate to the information they received to act in this way. None of these stories make any sense at all unless, of course, you start from a prejudiced position regarding what Roma people are like.

MrsDeVere Thu 24-Oct-13 16:26:42

Would you be saying it if it was your child removed from you whilst your others looked on, not knowing if you were ever going to get them back again?

I suspect you are certain that this could never happen to you though.

What about that child? How do you think she will deal with this?
The child, the child, the child, let us think of the child!

But only if she turns out to be a white, non Roma child. Otherwise who gives a toss what happens to her?

Lamu Thu 24-Oct-13 16:26:57

Sorry I think there are countless children like Maria out there. How else can they be found without the police being tipped off? And once that's happened the authorities need to prove who the child belongs to. I agree 3 days is too long for a child to be taken away from it's family. What else should the police do in a situation like this?

friday16 Thu 24-Oct-13 16:27:01

At the same time I feel it's our duty as a society to protect our children and if it means a child like Maria is found living with a family under suspect conditions then maybe it's a small price to pay.

Easy to say when it's neither you nor your child paying that price.

Suppose the police started randomly taking children into care whose parents couldn't immediately provide documentary evidence of their identity? For the middle-classes it's easy: they get the child's birth certificate out of the filing cabinet, present their (ninety quid) passport and it's all good. Now, back in more marginalised communities, or people engaged in custody disputes which means that they don't have the passport and birth certificate, or those that can't afford passports, or those that are just a bit shit with paperwork and don't have the birth certificate in their rented house but think it's at their own parents' but they're not sure, it all gets more complex. And the actual chances of such random investigations yielding useful results are close to zero anyway.

Prediction: the "Maria" case in Greece will not be an innocent child rent from their parents, bit will turn out to be rather more complex, with the child probably being no worse off with the family that were looking after her than she would have been with her birth parents.

MrsDeVere Thu 24-Oct-13 16:28:38

I think that it is important that ALL white girls who are around the same age as MM should be taken away from their parents until they can be DNA'd.

Its a small price to pay.

Are you willing to pay it?

It won't affect me. I only have brown boys.

So why should I care?

friday16 Thu 24-Oct-13 16:29:40

Sorry I think there are countless children like Maria out there.

Seriously? Seriously? You think that in the British Isles, there are "countless" children who have been abducted and are being raised by their kidnappers? Even though there hasn't been a recorded case ever?

Would you be saying that if it was your child found living with strangers?

Has a child ever been found living with strangers in the British Isles? Is this, like, a real problem? Or is this Satanic Abuse, all over again, in which hideous over-reactions traumatise children to "deal with" a problem which never existed in the first place?

MrsDeVere Thu 24-Oct-13 16:29:50

It is perfectly possible to take a DNA test and have it tested within hours.
Without removing a child from its home.

How about they did that?

Lamu Thu 24-Oct-13 16:31:36

Oh FGS. My Dd doesn't look like me. But I would want the authorities to investigate if she happened to be living with a family that doesn't look like her.

Lamu Thu 24-Oct-13 16:33:14

Countless of children WORLDWIDE. This issue doesn't begin and end in the UK.

EldritchCleavage Thu 24-Oct-13 16:34:18

Let's bear in mind that none of these cases appears to concern a specific welfare concern, only an apparent lack of familial similarity.

Is that really the best focus of official action? People have spuriously referred to Baby P on here-well, wouldn't you rather attention focused on children like him already known to social services and at genuine risk than fairly well cared for children who might but might not have been the subject of informal adoption or fostering arrangements?

Maria is poor, but not necessarily mistreated (and at any rate, no more or less mistreated than her brown siblings who attracted no concern or intervention whatsoever). She ought not to be an emergency priority for police or social services given we know there are many children known to be at risk of neglect and abuse (quite a few, according to a link posted on another thread, being Roma or asylum-seeker children incarcerated, badly treated and ultimately abducted from appalling Greek detention camps). But she was.

kawliga Thu 24-Oct-13 16:34:40

Lamu your understanding is wrong. There were no "discrepancies" in the documents hmm

The only reason people are assuming the documents were dodgy or contained "discrepancies" is that the family is Roma. Finding no hospital records is not proof of a discrepancy in the birth certificate/passport. It could be proof that the hospital does not have very efficient filing systems, for example?

motherinferior Thu 24-Oct-13 16:37:22

Yes, I agree, ALL white girls with black or brown mums should be removed instantly. Because of course no non-white woman ever gave birth to a fair-skinned child.

Please see my point about it being low-level traumatic every fucking day to have to assert this in the first place...

friday16 Thu 24-Oct-13 16:38:10

I also think, by the way, that part of the problem with all the endless claims that there are children being kidnapped and raised by strangers is that too many people aren't willing to face up to the cold hard fact that Madeline McCann was probably dead within a few hours of her being abducted. There are a tiny, tiny number of cases of abductions by serial killers being more protracted, perhaps up to a week or so, but there is simply no evidence to support claims that there is a pattern of abductions of children then being sold into quasi-adoption or raised by their abductors.

There are endless rumours, stereotypes, "no smoke without fire" and so on, but what there isn't is cold, hard evidence that child abduction by stranger is a thing at all. Comparisons with the appalling behaviour of the Irish, Spanish, Australian, Swedish and other governments using bad laws to remove children and give them to adoptive parents, or even the shocking events of children stolen during the Dirty War in Argentina, are just not relevant: there the theft happened with the power of the state behind it, and the parents could tell themselves that it was legal, in large part because it was legal. If the claim is that children are being abducted and then raised by people seeking benefits (or whatever), before we start smashing families up to find the "victims", let's actually see whether there are any crimes to start with, eh?

Kewcumber Thu 24-Oct-13 16:39:34

Are there any social workers on this thread?

Because you might want to gird your loins at the amount of work heading your way as it seems acceptable now to remove children for 3 days pending DNA results if they don;t look like their parents.

Fosters carers should also start building extensions.

MAybe we could DNA tests paretns and children at birth then microchip them like cats so they can just be run through a scanner.

Will save loads of time.

Or we could save money by only doing it to Roma. Or maybe we should vote on which groups get to have to be chipped?

motherinferior Thu 24-Oct-13 16:39:48

Friday, I totally agree re McCann. And wish I'd had the courage to point this out on the many threads about her.

Annagramma Thu 24-Oct-13 16:40:24

I am not Roma (my husband is half Roma and has faced discrimination all his life) but I was also taken into care as a child for child abuse allegations (all unfounded and untrue). It was completely traumatising and I was constantly told that I was safe now etc; which confused and terrified me when all I wanted was to be with my parents. I was told I couldn't go home, and I didn't know whether it was like school and only be for a few hours,or whether it would be forever. It was very damaging for me as a child, the fear and the tension was very high and afterwards I had nightmares about having my parents taken away forever- for months after, I was very clingy and nervous about being away, in case we got separated secretly. Procedures will have changed and the child being placed in care will undoubtedly be supported a lot better, but I think to do such abig thing to a small child is completely wrong. They should have handled and dealt with it better rather than risking traumatising an innocent child, almost certainly creating more discrimination against Roma families and acting on stereotypes, assumptions and prejudice.

Kewcumber Thu 24-Oct-13 16:43:23

It only costs about £20 to microchip a cat - its not that expensive... it might be viable.

friday16 Thu 24-Oct-13 16:45:23

Countless of children WORLDWIDE. This issue doesn't begin and end in the UK.

But for the Irish police to be taking action, it kind of helps if it's taking place in Ireland, yes?

And in any event, I dispute your claim that it's "countless children WORLDWIDE", too. Evidence would be nice. This is what might be described as truthiness: it sounds like it ought to be true, it might even be true, but there's absolutely no evidence that it is true.

kawliga Thu 24-Oct-13 16:50:57

Nobody is saying police should not investigate apparent crimes. They should. Just this: having a child who looks different is not an apparent crime, not even if you are Roma. This is the point of this thread. There is nothing to investigate if the only allegation is that the child looks different. Those saying "I would like the police to investigate" are being racist about this.

Obviously if there is more than simply looking different that's another matter, e.g. if there has been a kidnap. There was no kidnap in this case, no suspicious circs, the family had not just moved in, the child was in school, etc.

MrsDeVere Thu 24-Oct-13 16:51:39

Is it not ironic that the actual children who are most likely to be abducted are not the little blonde moppets that everyone seems most concerned about.

They are the thin, brown, diseased ones being raped daily in hovels, hidden from the world.

Lamu Thu 24-Oct-13 16:59:12

I stand corrected about the passports etc.

I still stand by what I've said. I have no prejudice against anyone. MrsTerry I too have travelled with Dd. We have different names, she looks nothing like me and certainly doesn't look like her passport photo. I too have been stopped on three occasions at immigration for an hour once whilst they verified if Dd was my daughter. Was I pissed off? Of course I was. I was stopped because of the colour of my skin. But I also recognised the reasons for it. If I have to be "interrogated" every time I travel to the US or Canada fine, if it means they prevent one child from being trafficked or whatever.

friday16 Thu 24-Oct-13 17:05:25

If I have to be "interrogated" every time I travel to the US or Canada fine, if it means they prevent one child from being trafficked or whatever.

What if it prevents no children being trafficked?

Do you have reason to believe that children are, in fact, being "trafficked" into the USA on commercial transatlantic flights? Ever? It seems awfully complicated, with passports and tickets and shit, when there's a porous land border into Mexico.

There are children who are the subject of custody disputes being moved over borders, and the Hague Convention exists to deal with that. Children are checked at borders because of that, particularly if there is reason to believe they might not be the children of the people they are travelling with. But that's not trafficking, and there's no suggestion that the Irish police were worried about the Hague Convention (aside from anything, a DNA test would prove nothing, as in most custody disputes the child would match the parent with whom they were travelling).

But the claim here is about dastardly (dark-skinned, of course, a generally a little bit foreign) abductors taking innocent white children for nefarious purposes. It's essentially 1950s tropes about innocent women being lured into the white slave trade by West Indian men with their devilish jungle music. And about as convincing.

kawliga Thu 24-Oct-13 17:06:20

Lamu it's one thing to be interrogated every time you travel to the US or Canada (lucky you, great countries to visit!) It's another thing if the police were to come to your house, seize your DD, and hold her for three days running DNA tests. You really can't see the difference between what you experience at airports and what Roma people experience? You think being stopped on your holidays at airport security is the same thing as having your child removed from your home? Did you see that the child went back to school traumatized and angry? I'm guessing your DD does not become traumatized and angry when you are stopped at immigration.

Lamu Thu 24-Oct-13 17:19:15

friday Thanks for clearing that up. I needed to know why I kept getting stopped. I thought it was just my face. I wasn't insinuating that this has anything to do with The Hague convention. I know little about it to make comment.

Having a child that looks different to you isn't a crime. No. If police have been tipped off and have reason to believe that a child does not belong to you. They have a duty to investigate. They did. They were mistaken. The person reported it was mistaken. It was unfortunate. Authorities use racial profiling its nothing new.

Lamu Thu 24-Oct-13 17:20:45

I didn't say it was the same thing. Of course it isn't! I referenced it because someone else mentioned it up thread.

friday16 Thu 24-Oct-13 17:25:12

And as if by magic...

I wrote at 1627:

Prediction: the "Maria" case in Greece will not be an innocent child rent from their parents, bit will turn out to be rather more complex, with the child probably being no worse off with the family that were looking after her than she would have been with her birth parents.

And the Guardian put up the latest installment at 1650.

Lamu Thu 24-Oct-13 17:27:20

Lets face it. The Police are damned if they do and damned if they don't. They were wrong on this occasion because of the information they were given. The child was being called by a nickname which didn't match her documents. The hospital had no record of a child with that particular name. DNA proved otherwise.

What should they Police have done? Please I really want know your thoughts. It's all well saying it was wrong. DNA could have been done in a day etc. I wonder how many of you think it's a bad idea to have a DNA database from birth?

ColderThanAWitchsTitty Thu 24-Oct-13 17:27:49

I wondered about that too! I am glad they found the girl, but I was wondering on what basis can you take a blonde child away from their dark parents.

hides ds!

friday16 Thu 24-Oct-13 17:33:41

What should they Police have done?

Figured out if a crime had occurred, because they started looking for victims and suspects.

I wonder how many of you think it's a bad idea to have a DNA database from birth?

Almost everyone who's thought about it for more than about ten minutes.

friday16 Thu 24-Oct-13 17:33:49

before, not because.

kawliga Thu 24-Oct-13 17:38:56

lamu you are asking what should the police have done? If I call the police and say I think my neighbour is a serial killer, he is a Roma guy and he just looks like somebody who would kill people serially, what do you think the police should do?

I guess you would say well, serial killing is a bit serious the police had better investigate you never know it might be true and what if the police do nothing and then the neighbour turns out to be Jack the Ripper and kills hundreds of people the police would be vilified for doing nothing. They should arrest him and lock him up in case he does a runner while they investigate. No harm done if he turns out to be innocent. They'll just hold him for three days while they investigate and then send him back home. I'm sure his family won't mind, they'll be happy the police are investigating crimes. And he won't mind, if he's innocent they'll release him what's the problem.

Just one problem with that reasoning: this is not how free societies work, where civil liberties and fundamental freedoms matter.

ColderThanAWitchsTitty Thu 24-Oct-13 17:41:08

Lots of reasons to give a DNA sample if you are part of a cmmunity that has been targeted by the police in the past and don't trust them!

Also family lines have not always been straight forward people taking on a younger sister's child as their own.. A dad not realizing he isn't the dad.

ColderThanAWitchsTitty Thu 24-Oct-13 17:42:49

* to NOT give a DNA sample!

Lamu Thu 24-Oct-13 17:55:54

Hypothetically the child is not theirs and they've just been rumbled. Don't you think it would be unwise to leave said child with he supposed parents whilst investigations take place?

friday16 Thu 24-Oct-13 18:02:15

Hypothetically, my neighbours have buried six victims under the patio. Don't you think it's unwise for the police not to dig it up?

kawliga Thu 24-Oct-13 18:03:13

Ok, hypothetically every citizen has committed a crime. After all, crimes happen and somebody must have committed them. Crimes don't commit themselves. It could be YOU, Lamu, that has done those crimes for all I know. No, I don't think the police should pick you up from your house and hold you until you prove that it wasn't you. Not even if you were Roma, that still wouldn't be ok.

friday16 Thu 24-Oct-13 18:10:15

Perhaps we should all have our houses searched once a week, just in case we happen to have abducted a child and hidden her in the cellar. After all, if only one victim were found, it'd be worth it, wouldn't it? And it's not as though such crimes don't happen, either.

Venushasrisen Thu 24-Oct-13 18:13:11

OP said No legitimate parent about whom no other concerns have been raised should be required to produce evidence that a child is theirs based on lack of resemblance alone

From what I can see everyone would agree with that. On the limited info we have that is probably the case in Ireland. We don't know what info the police were working on.

In Greece the authorities were searching for weapons and drugs but also might have had other info.

Everyone is making assumptions that they removed the child on looks alone.

JackNoneReacher Thu 24-Oct-13 18:43:39

Venus - if the police (in Ireland) had evidence or suspicions that the girl was being abused or at risk they wouldn't have returned her so quickly.

They removed her based on her looks.

kawliga Thu 24-Oct-13 18:47:27

Um, we do know what info the police were working on, because the police said they received a phone call from the neighbour saying that there was a blonde child living with Roma people who were not her parents. Given the Maddie case and the Greek case the police thought they should investigate.

I'm prepared to concede, so far so good, but the investigation found that the parents had a birth certificate and passport so the matter should have ended there and the nosy neighbour would have done her civic duty.

Removing the child from the family for three days is where the police erred.

JackNoneReacher Thu 24-Oct-13 18:48:33

Lamu here are some ideas about what the police could have done.

Investigated properly - the way police are supposed to do when given a piece of totally subjective (?anonymous) information before removing a child from her parents.

The following are ridiculously extreme and heavy handed but still not as bad as removing a 7 year old from her family for 3 days for no reason.

Done the DNA in an afternoon while the whole family sat in the waiting room.

Removed passports and sat an officer outside the house while waiting for DNA results if they thought the family were a 'flight risk'.

MrsDeVere Thu 24-Oct-13 18:51:50

All reports so far say the police were on site for a reason not connected to child abduction.

Someone spotted a blonde child.

So the obvious thing to do was to remove the child from its family and arrest the parents and charge them with abduction.

It took a few hours to track down the biological mother and ascertain that no money had changed hands and that she had left the child willingly with the family.

So what was the crime again?

kawliga Thu 24-Oct-13 18:56:55

Mrs De Vere, is that the Irish case or the Greek case? We are talking about the Irish case.

kawliga Thu 24-Oct-13 18:58:46

By the way to be fair to the parents, they are not angry because the police followed up the neighbour's call and asked to see their DDs documents. That would be bad, but probably in context it is not so outrageous. They are angry because their daughter was taken away. Having her returned after three days doesn't make it better in any way.

friday16 Thu 24-Oct-13 19:12:17

Given the Maddie case

What relevance does a likely murder, more than six years ago, in Portugal, of a child who would in any event now be about ten years old, have to a seven year old child in Ireland?

MrsDeVere Thu 24-Oct-13 19:16:09

I believe we are discussing all of the cases?

MrsDeVere Thu 24-Oct-13 19:18:07

They seem remarkably similar apart from the fact the Greek case involves a non bio child.

Vague tip offs
No evidence
draconian measures
no crime discovered.

kawliga you said to me If you're saying Roma people should be treated differently by police because Roma people are travellers and more likely to move on then that's a bit racist

Thank you for that. I am not in fact racist. The reason you thought so was that you are too stupid to read the post properly.

I was going to put it more delicately, but it's been a long day and I'm tired of dealing with fools.

Kewcumber Thu 24-Oct-13 19:34:51

The particular Roma in the Irish case live in a house I believe. Did the police think they were going to dismantle it brick by brick and run off into the night on their stolen horses confused

lifehasafunnywayofhelpinguout Thu 24-Oct-13 20:04:50

Surely a D.N.A test would or if not should have been carried out on the children prior to them being removed. xx

friday16 Fri 25-Oct-13 19:09:37

So, in the case in Greek, it wasn't an abduction either.

So would the people who are quick to talk about "cases like these" and the "countless" numbers of abductions please like to cite what it is that they are talking about, as so far the police appear to be batting nought for three? Three arrests, three rounds of DNA testing, no crimes so far (or least, no crimes committed by the people who were arrested). You'd have thought that with all the countless "cases like these" the police would be able to find, you know, just one case, wouldn't you?

lifehasafunnywayofhelpinguout Fri 25-Oct-13 19:25:15

Notyomamma. I agree. Madeline might have a different hair color in fact she may look completely different. She was 3 when she went missing and she is now 10. If you saw a picture or me at 3 then at 10 you honestly would not have thought I was the same child. xx

raisah Fri 25-Oct-13 19:57:05

Goodness knows what will happen in my family, we are a mix of Irish, English, S Asian & SE Asian. When my siblings have kids they will look nothing like their kids. It is a worry, I can understand the need to protect kids but its got to be thought through carefully otherwise it will turn out to be a witch hunt.

"I have no prejudice against anyone". Really? Because you are probably not a human being then. We all have prejudices, it's all about whether we challenge them, examine them and learn from the world enough to live in it.

I feel so sorry for the child, being taken away from her parents and the parents, having their child removed for three days. There is a nasty habit of white authorities to treat children from certain racial groups as their property not a member of a family.

friday16 Fri 25-Oct-13 20:23:49

Madeline might have a different hair color in fact she may look completely different.

It's about 99.99% certain that she's dead. Nothing that's happened this week changes that.

SeaSickSal Fri 25-Oct-13 20:29:29

I think the Athlone case was probably a bit racist. But the one in Tallaght apparently a specific allegation was made anonymously to a journalist via Facebook so they had to investigate. The problem was then compounded because when they tried to confirm the birth certificates validity with the hospital the hospital said that there was no record of such a birth. They were wrong and the press in Ireland actually managed to track down her official record before the hospital did. But with the allegation and the hospital error there was enough doubt to mean that they had to remove her.

But there is a problem with child trafficking by Roma, particularly in regarding to begging gangs. It's just not reported on like this case because it doesn't involve pretty blonde girls.

26 roma were arrested for child trafficking in Romania by a British/Romanian operation in 2011. They were accused of trafficking 200 children to London to beg.

One of the men involved was jailed for a £800,000 benefit fraud.

When children have been taken into care in England from these gangs they have often been taken again from care.

In 2007 a gang was uncovered exploiting 50 children for pickpocketing and theft in Milan.

I do think the cases in Ireland were dodgy and at least one motivated by racism. But at the same time I think that if the cries of 'racism' about Roma child trafficking are too loud this risks turning into a situation like the sexual abuse in Oxford and Rotherham where fear of accusations of racism could lead to some nasty crimes being overlooked.

SeaSickSal Fri 25-Oct-13 20:31:20

MrsDeVere it seems very likely that this child was sold and trafficked and exploited.

The mother has been arrested twice in the past for trying to sell children but absconded before she could be prosecuted both times.

SeaSickSal Fri 25-Oct-13 20:32:27

Article from the BBC with comments from the NSPCC about children being exploited and trafficked in the UK by Roma gangs:

MrsDeVere Fri 25-Oct-13 20:42:31

I heard the news earlier.
There is some dispute about whether any money changed hands.
The little girl's adoptive sister is very angry that her sister has been removed and her parents kept in custody.

From what I have gathered so far there still doesn't seem to be proof of anything much.
That doesn't mean she wasn't trafficked but I haven't heard anything to say that it is likely either.

SeaSickSal Fri 25-Oct-13 20:46:59

If the mother was arrested for trying to sell a child around the time she was born it does make it seem fairly likely that when that child turns up with other people a few years later she was sold.

friday16 Fri 25-Oct-13 20:49:58

That's the NSPCC that published an entirely fictional list of "Satanic Indicators" and whipped up an entirely bogus storm about an entirely bogus problem, yes?

SeaSickSal Fri 25-Oct-13 21:05:30

And the European Romani Rights Centre?

Romani organisations themselves say trafficking is a problem.

And the BBC?

The EU?;jsessionid=qkS0SwmWNmLldS7PWtQynV2dRWFpLRp2Dl4GJ3TKzd5gkY8VHyxP!525702270

And British, Romanian and Italian police who've had successful prosecutions?

I think to say that there isn't a problem with trafficking involving and committed by Roma flies in the face of evidence. The victims are usually Romani themselves though, so it's not attractive to the press as a story about a pretty blonde child.

I do find this depressing though. This willingness to deny problems exist simply because it's labelled 'racist' to point them out. This is something that is even acknowledged and combatted by Romani organisations.

friday16 Fri 25-Oct-13 21:14:01

I think to say that there isn't a problem with trafficking involving and committed by Roma flies in the face of evidence.

I don't think anyone is saying there isn't a problem. What there isn't, however, is a problem of blonde European children being kidnapped by the foreign "other".

SeaSickSal Fri 25-Oct-13 21:18:37

No I agree with you on that Friday16. I think it's really depressing that people are paying attention to this case because it's a pretty western European looking child. Yet they don't get worked up about the 100s of Romani women & children who are trafficked and exploited.

EldritchCleavage Fri 25-Oct-13 21:47:09

This case may or may not be trafficking. The birth mother is so desperately poor that she may genuinely have felt her child was better off going to Greece with the couple with whom she was found. And so far, I haven't read anything to suggest she wasn't being cared for, and cared about..

MrsDeVere Fri 25-Oct-13 22:26:38

I have no interest in denying that Roma and other children are exploited and trafficked.

I think it is the opposite of racist to admit it and examine the issue.

I don't think that all Roma people are noble tribes people who can do no wrong. I don't think they should get away with raping and pimping children.

What concerns me about these recent cases is the way the abduction theory was accepted without question by the media and society in general. The lack of outrage at the removal of these children and the demonisation of Roma people.

That is racist.

I have not denied the possibility of wrong doing but nor have I seen enough evidence to convince me. That is the at the core of these stories. It would take SO much more if these families were not Roma. It is inconceivable that this could have happened in almost any other circumstances.

Kewcumber Fri 25-Oct-13 22:46:30

I think laws should be applied even handedly to all people based on the evidence or reasonable suspicions and appropriate action should be taken regardless off the colour or ethnicity of either parents or child.

I am amazed that so many people are so resistant to the idea that this family (in Ireland) were treated differently just because they were ethnically Roma rather than white Irish.

SeaSickSal Fri 25-Oct-13 23:06:04

MrsDeVere, I am not outraged because in Maria and the Tallaght case they were quite right to remove them until they had ascertained who the children were and whether or not they should be with the people they were with.

In Tallaght the hospital cocked up and said that they couldn't confirm the details of the girls birth when in fact they should have been able to. But when they couldn't verify it, again they needed to ascertain who she was. Could you imagine the outrage if she had been an abducted child, somebody had reported their suspicions and her ID couldn't be verified but they returned her?

In Maria's case it was absolutely right, it still hasn't been ascertained if she was sold or exploited and until it is she absolutely should be removed to a safe place and the case investigated.

I would expect in any case, no matter what the race of the people involved if a report is made that a child is living with people who have abducted them that child should be removed and kept safe until it can be confirmed that they are not. I'm not going to get outraged that sensible course of action was taken.

The press response was racist whipping people up into a frenzy about roma kidnapping white kids. And it's also highly likely that the removals in Ireland were as a result of reports prompted by the same frenzy. But the removal of the children was right until they found out who they were.

friday16 Fri 25-Oct-13 23:12:51

I would expect in any case, no matter what the race of the people involved if a report is made that a child is living with people who have abducted them that child should be removed and kept safe until it can be confirmed that they are not.

Seriously? So if I phone up my local social services, randomly nominate a child from my street and say I'm not sure that are their "parent's" child, they should be removed to place of safety on my say-so alone, and no other evidence? Have you thought that through? Did you miss out the word "credible" or "plausible" perhaps?

SeaSickSal Fri 25-Oct-13 23:19:47

Kewcumber, the girl in Tallaght was removed because claims were made to a journalist that she was an abducted child. I assume the boy in Athlone was similar.

If the police receive reports like this about anybody claiming they have an abducted child with them they are always going to do exactly the same thing. And that is put the child in temporary care while the parents provide identification for the children and they verify that the ID is genuine.

In the Athlone case he was only away from his family for a matter of hours while they did this. In the Tallaght case she was away for a few days but only because the hospital cocked up and claimed the birth hadn't taken place there when it had.

It's a straight forward procedure, they would do it to anybody if claims like this were made.

It was the people who rang up and made the reports were probably racist and whipped into a frenzy by the media. But the investigation wasn't.

friday16 Fri 25-Oct-13 23:25:24

If the police receive reports like this about anybody claiming they have an abducted child with them they are always going to do exactly the same thing.

Let's try this out.

If I phone the police up and say that I believe that Kate Middleton has abducted a child and is passing him off as her own, do you seriously believe that the police either would or should remove Prince George to a place of safety pending DNA testing?

Or is it more likely that I would, depending on how convincingly I made the case, either be arrested for wasting police time or end up sectioned?

So that's not anybody, then, is it? There's some threshold of plausibility required, isn't there?

SeaSickSal Fri 25-Oct-13 23:32:59

Well Friday what do you think the police or social services should do if someone reports to them that they suspect a child is abducted? Ignore it? Chuck it in the bin?

More often than not if police are informed of the whereabouts of an abducted child it's going to be a child abducted by one of their parents but they will still follow it up and check a child is who they say they are and are with who they're meant to be if an allegation is made.

Honestly, what do you think they do if an allegation of abduction is made concerning people who are not Roma?

Kewcumber Fri 25-Oct-13 23:33:17

In the tallaght case - they produced a birth certificate and a passport. And they still removed her for three days.

If you produced a birth certificate and a passport for your child (even one who doesn't look like you) do you really think the most appropriate response would be for the police/SS to take your child away for days?

Exactly what suspicions were reported to the police apart from "she doesn't look like them" - I'd really love to know because on the basis that she is actually their birth child no-one can possibly have had any credible information.

If what was reported in the Guardian is true...

"An unnamed female member of the public tipped off television channel TV3 about the presence of a blonde-haired, blue-eyed child at the house on Monday morning.

A researcher at the station passed on the Facebook message to an investigative TV3 reporter, who then contacted the gardai at the station in Tallaght."

then there was no basis whatsoever to remove this child except that she was blonde and they were not.

If more information comes to light I will eat my words but its a nice easy way to bait your Roma neighbours isn't it, dob them in anonymously to the media/police.

People are very naive if they think the fate of the vast majority of abducted children is to be living with a family in the same house for a number of years, attending school, in good health and happy (and thats according to the authorities).

SeaSickSal Fri 25-Oct-13 23:37:06

Friday that is a completely facetious example as you well know.

But if you were to ring the police and say that you had information that Mrs Bloggs who lived on your road had a child with her who you believed was abducted then they would follow it up.

Kewcumber Fri 25-Oct-13 23:39:09

and I think you are kidding yourself if you think that DS (who is a different race to me) was reported to SS as not looking like me, would be removed. Because I am white and I talk posh and he is brown.

Social services are going to be very busy - because its a lovely way to piss off people you have an issue with if SS are going to take every child away who's reported as not looking like their parents even if you can produce a birth certificate and passport.

Kewcumber Fri 25-Oct-13 23:42:18

They would follow it up.

I have had extensive experiences with social services.

They wouldn't remove my child on the basis of this kind of anonymous tip off with no actual credible information at all. I am almost convinced of it. As convinced as I can be. And I have been involved on the sharp end of an unpleasant unfounded accusation which was way more serious than "he doesn't look like you" and the child still wasn't removed whilst investigations were taking place.

SeaSickSal Fri 25-Oct-13 23:45:15

Kewcumber I completely agree with you about the woman who made the allegations to the reporter.

But what you're missing in your account is the fuck up that the hospital made in that case. The police called the hospital to verify the document was genuine and the hospital told them that nobody of that name had given birth on that date at that hospital.

Because the hospital fucked up the police were left in a situation where they had a child who was alleged to be abducted. They could only go on the information the hospital was giving them and that information indicated that the document was forged.

Do you honestly think in a case like that, where an allegation of abduction has been made and there are strong indications that the documents given as ID are forged. Just give the child back and hope everything turns out okay?

You're saying all his with the benefit of hindsight, but the police genuinely didn't know. What do you think the police would have done if they had an allegation, doubts over the ID but let her go home and then it turned out she was abducted and she had either disappeared or been harmed? They would have been absolutely crucified.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Fri 25-Oct-13 23:55:06

Here is a screenshot of the "tip off" that led the Gardai to snatch a child from her home and family for three days.

A poorly written racist rant. And TV3 bloody knew it, because they tried to blur out the racist slur while still claiming "credit" for the scoop.

Paul fucking Connolly considered this bullshit to be a "very very specific" allegation of child abduction. Look at him salivating over it, the utter moron. When the phrase "The Romas are robing [sic] babies all over Europe" crosses someone's lips, that's a safe sign you can ignore whatever else they say. Not pass it along to the Garda Press Office (Press Office, you'll note. Not the specialist unit that protects children. Says it all about Connolly's motivations.)

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Fri 25-Oct-13 23:57:08

Oh and that toddler in Athlone was not only away from his parents for a couple of hours (not that that would be acceptable even if it was the case).

He was taken from his parents at 10pm at night and not returned until lunchtime the next day.

He is TWO.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Fri 25-Oct-13 23:58:07

They left his four year old sister at home, though. In the company of suspected child abductors. She looks Roma, though, so fuck her, right?

SeaSickSal Fri 25-Oct-13 23:58:42

But Kewcumber, the woman who reported it didn't say she was just reporting it because she didn't look like them, she said she had information that she was abducted as part of a child benefit scam.

Again, you are saying this with hindsight, because we now know that these children DID belong to the people they were with so we know that the caller can't have genuinely had this information and must have been ringing up purely because she looked different.

But the police didn't know this at the time. The claim could have been genuine. They may have suspected that it was only being reported because she looked different but they couldn't just assume that was the case.

I honestly cannot believe what I'm reading. On what planet is it not reasonable for the police to check the identity of a child who is reported abducted? It's not just Roma, there was a girl in New Zealand who was reported to be Madeleine McCann who had to be ID'd and DNA tested. It's highly likely that in that case they did exactly the same thing. Took her ID and verified it was genuine with the issuing authority. Job done.

Nobody has explained to me what exactly should be done as an alternative to checking the child's ID and verifying it when a child is alleged to be abducted. It's just common sense.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Sat 26-Oct-13 00:03:22

The hospital did not fuck up! The guards fucked up by giving the wrong name (the mothers maiden name and the child's name in use, not her given name) and the wrong address.

The Irish Idependent sent a reporter straight to the hospital to check the records directly and immediately found the correct record. The fucking Indo!

It is totally reasonable to expect the gardai to be capable of conducting the same level of investigation as the bloody Indo. It is totally unacceptable to let bigotry and incompetence lead to removing children from their homes.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Sat 26-Oct-13 00:04:40

They can check the child's ID without separating her from her family for three bloody days!!

SeaSickSal Sat 26-Oct-13 00:04:47

So the child in Athlone, it might have been longer than a couple of hours but as soon as the places that could verify his ID were open he was returned to his parents.

I'm not arguing this anymore but I still think it's absolute nonsense that the police shouldn't make sure a child is safe and is who they're supposed to be when an allegation of abduction is made.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Sat 26-Oct-13 00:08:02

Did you read the FB screenshot, Sal?

Do you think that person looked credible enough to have a child removed from their parents on nothing but their say-so?

friday16 Sat 26-Oct-13 08:01:04

Took her ID and verified it was genuine with the issuing authority. Job done.

Indeed. Which is exactly what the Irish didn't do. They started a hare running of checking whether the ID was genuine but mis-issued, which is a whole other world of fraud.

It's trivially easy to check if a passport is genuine if you are the police of the issuing country: you quote the passport number, and you are shown the passport office's copy of the photograph. You might even be able to do this yourself for a passport with a chip in it with the right equipment: I don't know when Ireland started issuing them, but not all current UK passports have chips in.

But here the police went all Frederick Forsythe and, starting from the assumption that the passport was the result of a fraudulent issuing process, asked for evidence stronger than you need to produce to obtain a passport in the first place. And they did that without the slightest evidence, other than a racist tip-off on Facebook.

So here's what you think is "reasonable". A racist reports a family, anonymously, on Facebook, for having an abducted child. Not a particular abducted child, but just "oh, that doesn't look right". The police rock up and are shown a passport and some other ID (let's put aside that a lot of children in the UK don't have passports, or any other form of photo ID, particularly children in marginalised communities who don't have the twenty quid a year it costs to maintain a passport). The police immediately say that the passport is not sufficient, and start to perform a primary background check.

You still have answered why any of this requires removal of the child. The child was not in physical danger. There was no suggestion that the child was being abused, or, at least, abused to any extent which would of itself provide grounds for removal. We're always told that removal is incredibly hard, and children being beaten black and blue can't be removed because of that. But here, with no substantive abuse allegations, with valid ID documents, but merely on the say so of a racist rant and the police suddenly deciding that passports can't be trusted, a child was removed.

My neighbours have adopted a child from Vietnam. Suppose I phone the police up and report them (your Mrs Bloggs example). Hospital records? Good luck with that. DNA testing? Obviously not. What evidence could they produce to prevent their child being removed for as long as it took to re-check the entire adoption process? And then, for fun, what happens if I report them again the following month? And the month after that? After all, they might be killing Chinese children and getting a fresh one shipped in each month, and we can't be too careful, can we?

DevonLodger Sat 26-Oct-13 08:21:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Sat 26-Oct-13 08:24:14

Great post Friday. This is institutional racism at its worst. waits for police to take DD because she is olive-skinned and black-haired and we are pale and pasty realises they won't as we are white British and middle-class

DevonLodger Sat 26-Oct-13 08:45:39

I've asked mumsnet to withdraw my last post which I posted without reflecting on and I went too far. Actually, I don't think that about the police at all I think they were just trying to do their job in a frenzy of hysteria. Sorry. I do stand by what I said about needing corroboration to investigate though.

Venushasrisen Sat 26-Oct-13 09:13:54

The child was not in physical danger

How can we know this? If SS had had previous dealings with this family or the extended family because of suspected child abuse, or a member of the family or extended family is a known paedophile, or a dozen other reasons to behave cautiously, the police might err on the side of caution. SS info is surely not available to the general public or press. We just don't know.

friday16 Sat 26-Oct-13 09:38:41

If SS had had previous dealings with this family or the extended family because of suspected child abuse, or a member of the family or extended family is a known paedophile

Then why would "they're blond and their parents aren't" be either new information, or sufficient to tip any balance? If social workers were already involved, what, precisely, would a report that the parents look a bit foreign and the child doesn't add to the available information, such that previously the child did not need to be taken into care, but now they do? And if there were such concerns, why would a DNA test or other identifying checks be sufficient to return a child to such a potentially abusive situation?

Sorry, you're grasping at straws. Are you say that there could be a situation where social services had been engaged, up to but not at the point of removal, but an anonymous tip off that the child's hair was a different colour to the parents' would be sufficient to move that balance to the other side?

MrsDeVere Sat 26-Oct-13 09:42:07

Seasick you are wrong when you say that this would have happened to other children and that there was nothing else that could be done.

Malicious and mistaken reports are made to SS every single day. They are NOT all followed up.

If someone made a call declaring that a child was living next door (and had been for some time) with a family but they looked different, SS wouldn't do a thing about it.

If they did it would be a phone call or in the extreme an initial visit without the police.

The idea that a child would be removed form a 'normal' family based on a FB message to a tv show is utterly ridiculous.

It just wouldn't happen. Because if it did do you not think that a million suspected MMs would have been whipped from homes all over the world?

How many calls do you think have been made by people convinced that a child is MM?

Thank God my children are brown. No-one is going to give a toss about them.

Just as well because if they did a DNA test on DS2 they would find no connection to me whatsoever AND his birth hospital wouldn't have a record of his name.

Or what about my others? They were not even born in hospital. They might be taken until a DNA test came back.

But that won't happen will it? Because they don't look like MM and we are not Roma.

A new born baby appeared in my house with no evidence of pregnancy. Out of the blue he came. But this was pre-MM hysteria and he was brown so no one batted an eyelid.

Because let us face it. These cases are racist but they are also fueled by the fire of that poor little girl going missing.

Venushasrisen Sat 26-Oct-13 09:51:01

Then why would "they're blond and their parents aren't" be either new information, or sufficient to tip any balance

I am saying that we don't know that that is the actual facts of the matter or the issue that tipped the balance.
But as my reasonable suggestions deflate your opportunity to rant hysterically about racism and pour opprobrium on the police please just ignore them.

I am not influenced by rants on the DM nor am I influenced by hysteria on MN.

Jossysgiants Sat 26-Oct-13 10:02:37

Because let us face it. These cases are racist but they are also fueled by the fire of that poor little girl going missing.

So many things worry me about this - the racism and the justification of it, the iconography of the blonde child, the 'on the safe side' way in which people are prepared to give away all of our freedoms. Unless as was pointed out up thread that we think this cannot happen to PLU?
On another note, but I think it is relevant - there was a horrible hoax poster going round FB a couple of nights ago. Again, playing off the imagery of a blonde child being taken by an ethnic group. It was frightening how willingly people would share this damaging stuff without any attempt to look into the veracity of it. Hysteria abounds.

MrsDeVere Sat 26-Oct-13 11:10:32

My 'ranting' is influenced by a knowledge of how Safeguarding works.

It is also based on the same information as you have.
I am quite certain that if these authorities had information that made these heinous acts seem less heinous they would release it.

But they haven't.
And I think it very unlikely that they will.

cory Sat 26-Oct-13 12:52:34

What is worrying is that there was nothing that set this family or the Irish families apart from thousands of other families except that they were Roma.

Many, many of us have children who do not look in the least like their parents. Yet we never get challenged, even if people suspect there is no biological relationship their minds do not jump to the illegal solution.

I am blond and blue eyed, my dd is brown eyed, dark and olive skinned. Her brother is blond and blue eyed. Have the authorities ever worried that she might be stolen? Certainly not.

My dn is very clearly South American in looks: my brother and ex-SIL are blond and blue eyed. And while ex-SIL was occasionally stopped by passers-by and asked if dn was adopted the question was always a positive one, with the subtext "how lovely that you are giving this child a family" - never "you must have stolen this child from her much better family".

(and then ex-SIL had to explain that, well actually, she hadn't, she had just DTD with somebody from a different ethnicity...).

My own db is of a different ethnicity to his siblings: he is very obviously East Asian and we are Scandinavian. Nobody could believe for a moment that he was biologically related to our parents. That's because he isn't. He doesn't carry his adoption certificate stamped to his forehead, there would be nothing at all to show that his adoption was legal and above board. Yet somehow nobody ever challenged my parents, no neighbours reported them to the police, no policemen appeared to take him into care.

There are many, many adopted children in the West, Asian and African children adopted by white parents. How often do you think those parents are challenged?

At least one of the Irish families did show the passport and the police wouldn't accept it because the passport photo did not resemble the passport photo of the child. That strikes me as utterly bizarre!!!

Surely that happens to all children's passports: they all grow and change and if you travel with a baby you will end up with a passport photograph that does not resemble the 4yo. So how come we are not all challenged on this one?

I have travelled backwards and forwards across the continent for years with a child who a) does not resemble me in the slightest b) did not as a 3yo, 4yo, 5yo look at all like her passport picture of a 6mo baby.

Again, the fact that the hospital couldn't instantly locate a birth record that matched his birth certificate was seen as almost proof that the parents were lying. As if none of us had ever had a nurse bustle up to us, all flustered, and stammer "oh we are so sorry, mrs X, but we don't seem to be able to get hold of your medical records". Nobody tends to suggest that I must be lying about my identity because they can't find my records.

That is the definition of racial profiling: when people are suspected of crime when other people of a different ethnicity would not be suspected of crime under the same circumstances.

cory Sat 26-Oct-13 13:04:27

How come the outrage doesn't focus on the way that poor girl in Greece is being treated now?

This is a child old enough to be at school, she has been taken from her family, nobody has explained to her why she has been taken because they can't be arsed to get an interpreter. So she is shoved into a hospital, surrounded by people who speak a language she doesn't understand, nobody has explained to her if she is mortally ill or is being punished for something she has done, she can only communicate in sign language.

How can you expect a child that age not to become traumatised under those circumstances?

Even if the parents were known murderers, paedohpiles, what have you- what excuse can there possibly be for treating a child like that?

The eyes of the world press are on that hospital and on that charity- how come nobody has suggested the first measure might be to pay for an interpreter? Can you imagine that wouldn't be done for a French or German child under those circumstances? And it's not as if a Roma interpreter would be hard to find: there are very substantial Roma communities in Greece and there are organisations who no doubt could provide.

I can only see two possible motivations on the part of the authorities, either:

all Roma lie so we couldn't possibly find a reliable interpreter


this poor blond child must be sheltered from further Roma contamination

friday16 Sat 26-Oct-13 18:53:06

how come nobody has suggested the first measure might be to pay for an interpreter?

Because none of them, including the "charity" involved, give a shit about the child. They're grandstanding, not protecting children.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Sat 26-Oct-13 19:40:38

The charity seems very dodgy all right.

Although they insist that they received her willingly from a Bulgarian Roma couple shortly after her birth, the couple Maria knew as her parents are now in custody accused of child abduction, while she has been placed in the care of one of Greece’s most prominent children’s charities.
Since receiving her, the charity’s director has painted an idyllic image of the life she now leads compared with what he says was the environment of neglect she experienced under her supposed Roma parents.
“She’s happy because probably for the first time she’s got the care and tenderness that a child needs in this age. She has toys to play with and people to take care for her,” says Costas Yannopoulos of Smile of the Child. But when pressed if evidence exists that she was mistreated by her purported parents, Yannopoulos avoids going into detail, saying that his charity has received reports of sightings and photographs, which he says he has passed on to the police, of Maria being “exposed to begging” in various parts of Greece.
After her Roma relatives released videos of the girl dancing at community festivals and ceremonies, in a way that children of her age in Greece and elsewhere are prone to do, Yannopoulos, in comments to the Daily Mail, interpreted the footage as showing “her dancing, going round and round like a little trained bear” for money.
“This argument is now coming up that they took care of her. But whatever they did, it was against the law, was against the child’s protection and the child’s dignity,” he says, adding he believes Maria’s case to be part of a much wider European problem.

“In Dublin, you have a similar situation with Romanian and Bulgarian women that expose children in the streets. It should be tackled like this because these children are exposed like Maria to a form of slavery. It’s a whole system, a business system, that is exploiting children,” he says, arguing that only some “gypsies”, as he refers to Roma, are engaged in this.
“We have gypsies who are working in the fields, who have families and love their children. But there some gypsies who are following another track. They see the camps as a closed circuit where they can deal drugs and other illegal activities.”
To underline that she’s happier now than before, Yannopoulos points out that, unlike other children taken into care, she has not asked for her “so-called parents”. But Maria only speaks the Roma language of her adoptive parents. When asked if an interpreter has been engaged to help her communicate, Yannopoulos says: “No, because we didn’t risk it. But she has managed to learn a lot of Greek in these days and to communicate through paintings and her dolls.”

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Sat 26-Oct-13 19:41:23

That's from here

Kewcumber Sat 26-Oct-13 21:31:13

As for whether there was any evidence of abuse/paedophilia/neglect etc I'm sure you aren't saying that the blonde blue eyed child needed to be 'saved' from this but not the brown children? Because that's what happened.

The fact that the justice minister so quickly ordered an inquiry implies to me quite strongly that there are no mitigating factors and that the police, whilst they might have meant well were heavily influenced by local prejudice and media hysteria.

There should be a procedure which is followed regardless of race or colour and production of a birth certificate and passport in the absence of any credible evidence of a crime. Just how many low income families do you think have access to forged birth certificates and passports so convincing that could fool the police?

The sad reality is that trafficked children are almost darker skinned and from poor countries and they aren't discovered happy and healthy enrolled at school and a doctor in a decent house amongst a family.

friday16 Sun 27-Oct-13 07:57:32

I'm sure you aren't saying that the blonde blue eyed child needed to be 'saved' from this but not the brown children?

Well, we should get down off our high moral horse. I suspect that if parents were to take a rusty razor blade to their blonde blue eyed daughter's genitals, even Birmingham social workers might be stirred into action. But mutilating brown children's genitals isn't even worth investigating, paragraph 5.3, or bothering to remove them, 5.6. So in Birmingham social services land, you don't remove children from the risk of genital mutilation, because the parents are "otherwise" loving and brown girls don't matter.

So the idea that blonde girls should be protected, but brown families can abuse their brown daughters with impunity, is the way social workers operate.

JackNoneReacher Sun 27-Oct-13 17:58:54

Venushasrisen The police were very quick to remove the child in Ireland. If they had any evidence of abuse or risk of abuse, you can be sure they would not have returned her so quickly.

JackNoneReacher Sun 27-Oct-13 18:09:51


The idea that the police would remove a child from a white family based on an allegation of abduction via the internet is ludicrous.

Can you imagine all the neighbour disputes, malicious/racist pranks, and family feuds that would conclude with someone phoning the police and alleging that a child has been abducted?

In the normal scheme of things the police take statements/gather evidence and in this case I can see why they may do a DNA test/check records but to remove a child for three day based on a nasty accusation...

This would not have happened to a white family.

JackNoneReacher Sun 27-Oct-13 18:19:20

Friday thank you for the link even though it made my blood run cold.

So - even when SS and the police are aware of a girl who is at risk or has already had parts of her cut off they wont remove her from her family - if she's brown.

But so much as a groundless allegation about a white girl and she's in care.

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