This Mother to-be Is Not Allowed To Keep Her Baby *JUST* In Case She Harms Her

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    Cry for help: Fran Lyon insists she will not hurt her

    A mother-to-be faces losing her baby within minutes of its birth because social workers fear she will harm the child.

    Fran Lyon, 22, has been told she cannot be trusted with a newborn because she is likely to suffer from Munchausen's syndrome by proxy.
    The condition is said to lead mothers to seek attention by harming their child or claiming it is ill.

    Miss Lyon insisted yesterday that the mental health problems she had as a teenager were behind her. She also appealed for a place in a mother and baby unit so that she could look after her child under supervision.

    "I would be happy to stay for as long as it takes," she said. "At the end of the day I have nothing to hide so why would I have a problem going? I know there is nothing wrong.

    "I'm not depressed, although I have every right to be. I'm not struggling to cope."
    Miss Lyon's child - a girl to be called Molly - is due in January.

    "I know I wouldn't hurt her," she said. "I would quite happily have 24-hour supervision with a perfect stranger sat with me watching my every move.

    "All I want is a chance to be Molly's mum."
    Social workers told Miss Lyon last week that her child will be taken from her within 30 minutes of birth.

    Munchausen's has been at the heart of a series of miscarriages of justice.

    Sir Roy Meadow, a discredited paediatrician who helped develop theories about the condition, was responsible for evidence that led to the wrongful convictions of Angela Cannings and Sally Clark for murdering their children. Miss Clark died earlier this year, after, friends said, turning to alcohol following her release from prison.

    Miss Lyon, from Hexham in Northumberland, started self-harming at the age of 15 and has been treated at psychiatric hospitals for borderline personality disorder.

    She said a domestic incident in July led to the involvement of social services who became concerned by her pregnancy.

    "I told them that I had mental health problems when I was a lot younger and that I had since moved on and now had a normal life," said Miss Lyon.
    "I assumed that would be the end of it but the next thing I know they were going to a child protection conference.

    "I am living with this constant notion that someone might walk into the delivery suite and take my baby away."

    Her case has been taken up by Lib-Democrat MP John Hemming who has been campaigning against adoption of babies.

    "The whole family court system, because of the secrecy which surrounds it, is vulnerable to bad practice," he said.

    "Social workers are under pressure not to lose cases."

    Family courts set up adoption orders and make decisions about children thought to be at risk. The evidence and the reasoning behind rulings are rarely made public.

    A spokesman for Northumberland County Council said: "Legally we are unable to comment on the detail of individual cases.

    "We can say that such cases can be very complex and involve a lot of information and various concerns relating to the safety of a child."

    Dr Stella Newrith, a psychiatrist who has treated Miss Lyon, said she had made a significant recovery.
    In a letter to Northumberland Council, she stated: "There has never been any clinical evidence to suggest Fran would put herself or others at risk and there is certainly no evidence to suggest she would put a child at risk of emotional, physical or sexual harm."
    • Munchausen's syndrome by proxy was identified in the 1970s by paediatrician Sir Roy Meadow. It can take the form of fabricated illness where a parent claims a child is ill by making up symptoms.

    In a more vicious form, illness is actually induced, with the parent inflicting harm on the child.

    Professor Meadow's research at the University of Leeds cited a case of a woman who poisoned her child with salt and that of another mother who tampered with blood samples to make her child seem ill.

    The theory became increasingly influential and in 1993 the professor's evidence helped convict nurse Beverley Allitt of the murders of four children.
    But the Angela Cannings and Sally Clark miscarriages of justice wrecked Professor Meadow's reputation because he had been an expert witness. Some now question whether Munchausen's exists.
  2. I am sort of at a loss for words with this one...I can see the point of wanting to make sure she doesn't hurt her baby, but I am also worried that she won't get a chance to be a Mom!
  3. I'm not to familiar with Munchausen's syndrome.

    This seems like a very sad situation. Cant help feeling that she needs to be given the opportunity to care for her baby.

    Is this classed as institutional kidnapping?
  4. "Miss Lyon, from Hexham in Northumberland, started self-harming at the age of 15 and has been treated at psychiatric hospitals for borderline personality disorder.

    She said a domestic incident in July led to the involvement of social services who became concerned by her pregnancy.

    "I told them that I had mental health problems when I was a lot younger and that I had since moved on and now had a normal life," said Miss Lyon."

    I am very curious what kind of domestic incident was that if it got social services to act - it just doesnt add up to me with her declarations about moving on.

    I think she should be allowed to keep the baby but stay closely supervised.

    Plus OT but i am totally clueless about that - what has she got around her neck? it reminds me of tracheostomy.
  5. wow, what a situtation to be in. The baby is the one I feel sorry for.
  6. What a very very sticky situation.
  7. it is hard to be a social worker...if everything goes OK and this girl turns out to be an excellent mother then they labelled as being over zealous; on the other hand, if the worst does happen and the child is harmed... them it would be the fault of the social services for not removing the baby.
    sort of damned if you, damned if you don't.
  8. It is a tracheostomy. One wonders what she did to herself to end up with it.
  10. :crybaby: That's so sad. They need to at least give her a chance with this. What I think is she should be put through some rather extensive psychiatric counseling by various professionals to evaluate where she is at in this mental disorder. Of course, if she is found to be unstable with herself, she shouldn't get to keep the child for the time being, but they shouldn't make that permanent decision for her not to get to keep her child ever. She should be allowed at the very least supervised time with her child. So unfair to both the child and the mother.:sad:
  11. Wow they have a name for everything these days.

    Very sad situation, but Pukas is right. Social workers are in a tough situation when it comes to things like that. If something happened to the baby they would be tarred and feathered, but now they are seen as monsters because they want to try and prevent something from happening.
  12. There seems to be no right answer here, she should be allowed to be a mom but at the same time she may harm the baby, so I really dont know. Also we dont know what the domestic issue was about, which could have led them to believe she would be an unfit mother. Either way its sad.
  13. Are those cuts I see in her hand? That looks scary!

    This is indeed, a tough situation. Who can guarantee that she will never relapse? On the other hand, I do think that she is entitled to experience motherhood. Perhaps a supervision is the way to go to test her.

    I also wonder about the domestic incidence?
  14. I also wonder about the domestic incidence that happened...but I think she deserves a chance and should be monitored at first.
  15. How ridiculous.

    There is no indication that a history of BPD and self harming can cause child abuse. These are conditions that cause one to hurt oneself and not others.

    This is probably more information than I should give on a public forum, but as a teenager, I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and hospitalized for self-harm. There is nothing about these conditions, however, that predisposes one to child abuse. I'm currently raising a happy and healthy three year old.

    The article mentioned this, but it deserves more attention...this fact is that Munchausen-by-proxy has a questionable status as a pyschiatric disorder, which highlights the ridiculousness of this situation.

    CPS has gotten a bad rap not because they are eager to take children away before they get harmed, but because social workers have ignored or dragged their feet in cases in which children have and are currently being harmed. The government turns to crap everything they touch. :tdown: