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Is it unreasonable to report this?

(73 Posts)
starlightmagic Fri 31-Jan-14 11:54:27

Someone I know fairly well is pregnant. She is due in August.
Is it unreasonable/interfering to inform social services of this? She had a child 4 years ago, who was taken away from her due to neglect and placed in permanent full custody of her grandmother.
She is planning to change her name by deed poll to try and get under the radar from authorities.
So would I be unreasonable to call SS to inform them she has had another child when the time comes? Even if just so they could offer support and keep a close eye on the situation?

cees Fri 31-Jan-14 13:50:30


I'd report her and let the authorities deal with the situation. It could go either way maybe she treats this child well or maybe she abuses it. I would rather live with knowing I did something then read about another child neglected and scarred for life because I didn't.

Topaz25 Fri 31-Jan-14 13:50:37

I can see why cases of neglect are sometimes tragically missed when I see some of the attitudes on here! Being concerned about a child does not make someone a nasty piece of work!

Topaz25 Fri 31-Jan-14 13:51:03

Do you know if this person has c

Topaz25 Fri 31-Jan-14 13:54:12

Sorry, phone posted too soon. Do you know if this person has contact with her mother or if she is receiving medical care for the pregnancy? If so they will probably flag it up. The baby's safety has to be the priority and by concealing the pregnancy from the authorities it sounds like she is not taking responsibility.

hippo123 Fri 31-Jan-14 14:41:36

It concerns me that she us trying to avoid ss. If she has changed then ss and other agencies will be supporting her throughout her pregnancy and post natally. Does she see a mw? Could you ring her with your concerns or her gp?

volvocowgirl Fri 31-Jan-14 14:45:59


You are being a responsible human being. Do it.

RandyRudolf Fri 31-Jan-14 14:47:51

I think you should report the situation too. Despite her having the same medical records, NHS numbers etc etc., some things do slip through the net.

Wuxiapian Fri 31-Jan-14 14:51:23

I think you should mind your own business.

DoJo Fri 31-Jan-14 15:43:37

From what you've posted you sound smug and officious and I wonder what you are doing to support the woman - or is she someone you despise and want to see punished?

Surely contacting SS is a great way to get the woman professional care and support from those who have experience dealing with difficult situations such as this. Why should the OP take on a caring role for this woman rather than referring it to those whose job it is? And how on earth is she supposed to assess this woman's suitability for becoming a parent, as opposed to experienced professionals who will have heaps of options to offer her if she is inclined to take them up?
I simply don't understand why people think that not being seen as a busy body is more important that reporting genuine concerns about a baby's care. Even if the OP hated this woman with a passion, it wouldn't change the fact that her concerns are potentially legitimate, and it sounds like the OP is genuinely worried about how the situation will pan out if the women in question is left to her own devices.

lottieandmia Fri 31-Jan-14 15:44:35

YANBU - I agree the child's welfare should come first.

TheXxed Fri 31-Jan-14 15:48:29

Thank you Dojo I am in complete agreement.

nosleeptillbedtime Fri 31-Jan-14 15:51:03

Wuxia, it is your definition of people minding their own business that contributes to neglected and abused children continuing to be neglected and abused.
Op I think it is your business to report if you are concerned. It will be up to ss, with their fuller understanding of the situation, to decide what action to take, if any.

lottieandmia Fri 31-Jan-14 15:51:30

Generally I would say mind your own business. But there are too many cases of children coming to harm because somehow they slipped through the net. Reporting someone is a big deal but in this case I would say necessary.

The thing is though, even if she's totally and utterly changed her life she may still feel a strong urge to protect her child yet by changing her name and trying to escape their notice she is doing the very worst thing possible.

Whether you personally report it or they find out another way the consequences if they find out could be devastating. Her best chance at keeping her baby would be to engage with them and prove that she is a fit mother.

There's a thread about this kind of thing in the Site Stuff section at the moment where MNers are setting up a website aimed at helping and supporting parents in this position which you could perhaps pass on to her?

Look at it from her point of view. She has two options - be open and honest, or hide.

If she's open and honest, worst case scenario is that they don't give her a chance and remove the child at birth. Without knowing her history or particularly knowing how SS judge these things we have no idea how likely this is.

Best case scenario is that they give her a chance but then she has to prove everything all the time and be monitored and there's always that thought hanging over her "If I fail, this child will get taken away too." What parent doesn't have moments where they feel they've failed or aren't cut out for this? And since she has experienced SS removing a child before that fear is all the more amplified. It might be the right choice, but it's not a nice one to make.

If she hides, worst case scenario is SS find out and she loses the child. No second chances. But there may be hope there that it gives her time and space to make the normal parenting mistakes any parent would and, over time, prove she is an adequate parent in the hope that if SS find out later down the line she can say "But look - I've coped fine for the last X years"

Best case scenario, of course, is that they never find out and she gets to live her life with no SS interference unless she fucks up REALLY badly.

Of course, this is all from the mother's perspective, from the "welfare of the child" perspective it could look quite different.

blahblahblah2014 Fri 31-Jan-14 16:14:47

Yeah let's just condone someone for their past....It's got nothing to do with you, she has NOT done ANYTHING wrong! I'm sure having SS breathing down her neck is the last thing she wants after her previous experiences. Poor girl has spoken to you in confidence and YOU are not planning to support and befriend her but shit stir for no reason!

I think people who actually believe that SS can help ANYONE in ANY way are either a penny short of a shiling of just very naive!

TheXxed Fri 31-Jan-14 16:21:16

Or condone or condemn blah? Nothing you say makes sense. She is actively trying to hide a pregnancy and avoid detection. THAT IS WRONG

She has a proven history of neglect THAT IS WRONG

nosleeptillbedtime Fri 31-Jan-14 16:22:40

Blah, this woman has previously had a child removed from her as she neglected it, so it is hardly reasonable to accuse op of stirring for no reason. There clearly is a reason, even if it is one you don't think is good enough.

nosleeptillbedtime Fri 31-Jan-14 16:24:30

And to say that ss have never helped anyone in anyway is clearly OTT and not true.

TheXxed Fri 31-Jan-14 16:28:20

bertiebotts children are not an exam you can't keep taking retakes until you get it right.

OpalQuartz Fri 31-Jan-14 16:32:12

Please report her. Social services will do a pre birth conference and, if no concerns at present, will monitor the baby after birth. It is pretty hard to get a baby removed, the neglect must have been serious and the comments about name changing suggest that she doesn't accept any responsibility.

This. Surely better for her to be monitored and supported than to wait to see if the baby is seriously neglected before doing anything. Serious neglect will cause the baby to suffer and may have lifelong consequences for it.

WooWooOwl Fri 31-Jan-14 16:36:35

Blah, how can you say she hasn't done anything wrong when the only information you have is that she had had children removed permanently from her care in her past, and that she is actively trying to hide from social services?

People don't have their children taken away from them when they haven't done anything wrong except in very rare and extreme circumstances.

Reporting that a child is about to be born to someone who has been proven incapable of caring for their children in the past is not shot stirring for no reason.

Maybe SS aren't always that great at helping, but I believe they do the best they can with the resources available to them. They may have failings that have led to tragedy occasionally, but they have saved the lives and the health of many many children.

expatinscotland Fri 31-Jan-14 16:40:01

FFS, what is with all these people reporting?

anastaisia Fri 31-Jan-14 16:42:26

We had contact with SS last year. The concern was not me. The social worker had no regard for the relationship my daughter had with the person and would have been perfectly happy for her to be 'taken away' from them without even actually speaking to that person to make a proper assessment of the situation.

I would in future try and avoid any contact with them ever again, so if I actually did need support I would seek it from other places.

I would not report this pre-birth for them to monitor on a wait and see basis, but I would if after the baby was born I saw or heard things that concerned me.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Fri 31-Jan-14 16:43:27

Yes you should tell SS. The welfare of the baby is the important thing here, and the fact that she's trying hide it is concerning.

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