"Дело Лайлы Брице": «Мать девочки согласилась на то, чтобы отдать ребенка соцслужбе, и малышка попала в приемную семью»
Депутат «Согласия» Игорь Пименов и латвийский национал-большевик Владимир Линдерман долгое время пытались представить жертвой бывшую журналистку еженедельника «Московский комсомолец» (МК Латвия) Лайлу Брице. СМИ Великобритании выяснили подробности этого громкого дела.
Пять лет назад гражданка Латвии Лайла Брице была лишена родительских прав в Великобритании. С тех пор бывшая журналистка стала для определенных сил символом борьбы с западными ценностями.
Как известно, Лайла Брице требовала суд позволить ей встречаться с дочерью, а также передать дело в латвийский суд. Однако получила отказ.
Апелляционный суд признал решение отнять ребенка у матери законным и принял решение отдать девочку на удочерение той семье из Великобритании, в которой ребенок живет уже несколько лет.
До сих пор в латвийской прессе история Лайлы Брице была представлена как жуткая несправедливость, однако журналисту THE DAILY MAIL Клэйр Элликот удалось выяснить нюансы судебного разбирательства, которые проливают свет на обстоятельства этого громкого дела.
Что важно, случай, когда девочку забрали из семьи, не был первым столкновением Брице с работниками социальной службы.
4 сентября 2009 года ее впервые задержала полиция, так как женщина, будучи в алкогольном опьянении, катила по улице коляску. Тогда для матери все обошлось замечанием, несмотря на то, что социальные службы отреагировали на инцидент и проверили обстоятельства, в которых жил ребенок.
В следующий раз семья попала в поле зрения полиции 5 марта 2010 года. Стражей правопорядка вызвал сосед, который услышал непрекращающийся детский плач и оперативно среагировал на происходящее.
Приехавшие полицейские нашли ребенка 22 месяцев от роду в квартире одного.
Вот выдержка из заявления одного из них, сделанного для суда:
«Из-за двери я услышал плач. (..) По полу были разбросаны игрушки, у окна стояла кровать, которая выглядела очень грязной. Стена у кровати была мокрой, с нее сползали обои. В комнате царил очень специфических запах мочи и фекалий. В кровати, на подушке, в позе эмбриона лежал ребенок. Когда мы вошли, она села, в руках держала пустую розовую бутылочку. Я подошел, и она встала мне навстречу. Я увидел, что ее одежда мокрая и с нее сполз памперс. Сняв памперс, я нашел старые фекалии и еще свежие сверху. Он был так переполнен мочой, что ребенок даже не мог нормально ходить. На ее теле были найдены засохшие фекалии, и кожа прела от мочи», - свидетельствовал полицейский в суде. Полицейские доставили девочку в больницу, где у той обнаружили контактный дерматит, который вызвал долгий контакт с мочой. Мать девочки согласилась на то, чтобы отдать ребенка соцслужбе, и малышка попала в приемную семью.
В 2010 году, когда ребенок проходил проверку здоровья, выяснилось, что девочка отстает в развитии, поскольку не получает достаточной заботы. Тогда соцслужба опять проверила обстоятельства жизни матери и установила, что женщина может заботиться о своем ребенке. Однако Брице, сославшись на то, что ей нужно найти новое жилье, ребенка тогда не взяла.
И в том же году Брице задерживают за мелкое хулиганство и нахождение в нетрезвом виде в общественном месте.
В 2011 году установлено, что жилье матери все еще не готово к тому, чтобы в нем жил ребенок, и она продолжает искать новое. А ребенок тем временем прошел еще одну проверку, которая констатировала значительные улучшения здоровья.
В мае 2011 года мать выразила желание вернуть девочку. Но в июне Суд по делам семьи решает передать девочку потенциальным усыновителям. Еще через год суд опять выносит решение не в пользу матери. Череда судебных разбирательств продолжается до сих пор.
Далее приводим две статьи британских СМИ, которые публикуем без каких-либо купюр.
Latvian child who was found home alone in London flat will be adopted in UK - despite mother`s claims social services had "stolen" her daughter
By Claire Ellicott for the Daily Mail
A Latvian girl will be put up for adoption in the UK despite objections from the country`s prime minister, a judge has ruled.
In a case which has reached the highest international levels, the girl`s Latvian mother appealed against the judgment, accusing social services of "stealing" her child.
But Court of Appeal judges have now for the second time upheld the decision to remove the child after she was found alone in dirty conditions in a London flat aged just 21 months.
The mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, challenged the decision to put her daughter, now seven, up for adoption and denied neglecting the child.
Earlier this year, Latvia`s parliament formally complained to the House of Commons that children of Latvian descent were being illegally and forcibly adopted by British families.
The mother and her supporters claim it was a "forced adoption" and is arguing that the case should be decided in Latvia rather than in the UK.
The mother, who moved to the UK in 2008, has been fighting for five years to try to get her daughter back and has support from the highest levels of government in Latvia.
The girl was found by a police officer in early 2010, alone in the family flat in south west London wearing a nappy that was falling off and surrounded by urine and faeces.
She was taken into care the same day by the local authority, the London borough of Merton, and a family court judge found she had been subjected to "significant neglect". They later ordered that she should be adopted in the UK.
Despite the mother`s objections the decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal in May 2013, but the Latvian authorities tried to intervene in the case.
They said that they were only contacted two-and-a-half years after the child was taken into care, even though they should have been alerted when the case started.
In the hearing, the mother argued the case should be transferred to Latvia, as both she and her daughter are Latvian citizens.
She said: "If this case had been heard in another European jurisdiction, then a different solution would have been found."
The mother claimed other European countries have a greater understanding of familial ties, whereas in this country "too little weight is attached to the child`s biological, national, ethnic and cultural inheritance".
However in a judgement published last week, presiding judge Sir James Munby dismissed the claim.
"The fact that the law in this country permits adoption in circumstances where it would not be permitted in many European countries is neither here nor there," he said.
He added: "The number of care cases involving children from other European countries has risen sharply in recent years and significant numbers of care cases now involve such children".
The mother and the Latvian authorities now plan to approach the Supreme Court and the European Court.
She told the Mail that social services had "stolen" her daughter and vowed to "fight the state with everything I have" until they were reunited.
Latvian MP Ignor Pimenov told the BBC that he found it hard to understand how a country "with high moral standards" could act in this way.
He added: "I can see there is something behind it... but families have been ruined."
Mr Pimenov also said that it was "necessary to safeguard the rights of citizens, ethnic identity, native ties and connection to the cultural and historical heritage of the country of the origin of her parents".
He added: "The reaction of social services and the court was disproportionate."
Earlier this year, a Slovakian mother living in Britain caused controversy after her child was deported to her home country when she decided not to keep it.
«When keeping a child from their mother is in their best interests»
The court of appeal has decided that a Latvian girl should continue to live with her adoptive parents in the UK, contrary to the wishes of her mother and the Latvian authorities.
Taking a child away from a parent is one of the most profound and far-reaching powers a court can exercise. Can it ever be in the best interests of a child to lose not only a parent but also a nationality and family heritage?
These questions are prompted by the decision of the court of appeal last week that a Latvian girl, known only as CB, should be brought up by adoptive parents in the UK.
Cases such as these are always fact-specific and so it is important to understand CB`s background. Not surprisingly, her mother, referred to as LB, contests many of the findings made by judges who have considered the case.
CB`s mother, who is now aged 49 or 50, came to England in 2008 when she was pregnant. Her baby was born in April of that year and is now seven. CB`s father has had no involvement in her life. When CB was nearly 18 months old, her mother was found drunk in the middle of the road at one o`clock in the morning, pushing CB in a buggy. Social services were called but CB was allowed to remain in the care of CB`s mother and her half-sister.
In March 2010, when CB was aged 22 months, she was found alone at home after the landlord had called the police. The little girl was wet and shivering. She had not been changed or cleaned all day.
There were dried faeces on her body and her skin was soaked in urine that had leaked from her nappy and gone through her clothes, causing dermatitis.
CB`s mother agreed that CB should stay in local authority care. It was more than a year later that CB`s mother asked the London borough of Merton for the return of her child. By then, though, the local authority had decided to place CB for adoption. A district judge concluded in July 2012 that “CB has been subjected to significant neglect, both physical and emotional, causing her physical harm, emotional harm in respect of her primary attachment and causing her to be developmentally delayed in all areas”. The judge found that “her mother is in no better position now to prevent harm to CB than she was when CB was removed from her care”.
District judge McPhee`s decision to make a placement order was upheld by a circuit judge and in May 2013 by the court of appeal. CB was then placed with prospective adopters and has been with them ever since. Adoption proceedings in 2014 were opposed by CB`s mother on the grounds that her circumstances had changed. She was also supported by the Latvian authorities.
In December 2014, Mr Justice Moylan found that nothing of substance had changed. The judge continued:
The evidence establishes that CB is a particularly vulnerable child who has a compelling need for long-term security and stability. The only outcome in this case which can provide that long-term stability and security is adoption. Every other option introduces instability and uncertainty which would, inevitably, destabilise CB in a way which would be likely to cause her significant emotional harm.
Contact with her natural mother would also be contrary to CB’s best interests, the judge added.
In April, three senior judges headed by Sir James Munby heard a further appeal by LB, the mother. One of her complaints was that other European countries did not have what LB called a policy of “forced adoption”. In England and Wales, she said, “too little weight is attached to the child’s biological, national, ethnic and cultural inheritance”. That approach was supported by the Latvian authorities. They proposed that CB should be assessed in Latvia, where a decision could be taken on whether she should be returned to her mother or placed for adoption with a Latvian family.
Munby acknowledged that what he called non-consensual adoption was permitted in England and Wales in circumstances where it would not be permitted in other European countries. But the courts had to follow the law as laid down by parliament. And there was no suggestion that English law on this point was incompatible with European human rights law. LB`s appeal was dismissed.
But there were lessons to be learned. Local authorities should alert relevant consular officials at the earliest possible opportunity. That had not been done here but would not have made any difference. Courts should also consider at the outset whether a case should be transferred to a foreign jurisdiction. And they should take a rigorous approach to considering the cultural, linguistic, ethnic and religious effects of adoption. That should be ordered only when “nothing else will do”.
Were the courts right? Should CB be taken from her prospective adopters, with whom she has lived for more than two years, and returned to a mother she has not seen during that period? Should she be sent to a country she has apparently never visited and whose language she presumably does not speak? Should she be returned to a mother who wanted her to be born in England or placed for adoption with a family with whom she will have little in common apart from ethnic origin?
Or should CB be brought up by loving adoptive parents in England, told about her background when she is old enough to understand and offered the opportunity to meet her birth mother and enjoy her Latvian heritage when she reaches an appropriate age?
This is not a case about whether the Latvians have been denied jurisdiction over one of their citizens. This is a case about what is in the best interests of a seven-year-old girl who was born in England and rescued from what a judge described as “appalling” neglect. Until she grows up, it must surely be better for CB to stay just where she is.