Denise Robertson on the secret lives of Britain's stolen children

...they deserve better than stolen good. You do not heal the hole in one family by creating a hole in another.

– Denise Robertson on adoptive parents

The UK's most loved Agony Aunt Denise Robertson joined us this lunchtime to talk about her latest novel ‘Don't Cry Aloud'. Based on real life events and a letter she received from distraught mum, Nicky Webber, Denise was inspired to write about the “secrecy and the injustices of the family courts”, something that she feels passionately about.

The book tells the story of a couple whose children are forcibly removed by the family courts, something which Denise says happens all too often here in the UK...

"Without you we wouldn't have two beautiful children."

You are my last resort. I could go to prison for contacting you, but I can’t just sit here while they take my children away for ever.

– An extract from Nicky's letter to Agony Aunt Denise Robertson

The day Nicky and Mark Webber's children were forcibly removed from them was without doubt the worst of their lives. The couple made national headlines when they were forced to give up their three young children in 2004 when a court ruled that fractures to one of them had been caused intentionally.

Three years later, new scientific evidence came to light which showed that the boy could have suffered from a rare case of scurvy. The parents used this evidence to try to regain custody of but even though the Court of Appeal said it was possible that they were victims of a miscarriage of justice, it was too late to turn back the clock because “adoption was final”

After writing to agony aunt Denise Robertson the couple received help to regain the custody of two children. Inspired by this miscarriage of justice Denise's latest novel 'Don't cry aloud' is based on their story and here they say thanks for helping them regain their lives...

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Dear Denise talks enforced adoption

Denise Robertson

As one of Britain’s best loved agony aunts Denise Robertson has been helping solve the nations' problems for 27 years, replying to thousands of problems and offering comfort and advice to readers and viewers, sometimes when they’ve been at their lowest ebb.

Denise’s new book ‘Don't Cry Aloud' explores the subject of enforced adoption. It's an account of a miscarriage of justice in the family courts that although fictionalised for publication is based on a real-life case that Denise was involved with.

Join us from 12.30pm as Denise joins the Loose ladies this lunchtime to shed more light on this harrowing ordeal.

Social Services and Family Courts support helplines

Social Services and Family Courts Helplines

Consult our helplines for more information and advice regarding Social Services and Family Courts support

Keeping Families Together

Hotline: 07730 143 432

keepingfamiliestogether.org.uk

A free Parents and Care Proceedings Advice Line

PAIN – Parents against Injustice

Tel: 0116 260 2855

parentsagainstinjustice.org.uk

Voluntary organisation, run and funded by volunteers who are here to provide help and support to families caught in the care system.

Justice for Families Campaign Group

justice-for-families.org.uk

Justice for Families is the Public Family Law Reform Coordinating Campaign. It is chaired by John Hemming MP and has been set up to support families who have suffered at the hands of a system that is urgently in need of reform.

Forced Adoption Campaign

forced-adoption.com

Contact

Ian Joseph’s campaign against forced adoption. A good resource for any family involved with the family courts system.

Family Rights Group

Free confidential helpline: 0808 801 0366

frg.org.uk

Provides advice and support for families whose children are involved with social services, including: Parents to get the help they need to prevent problems escalating into the child protection arena. Parents to face up to child protection concerns, to understand their options and to work in partnership with the local authority. This is key to keeping their child safe and to avoid their child ending up subject to care proceedings. Parents whose children are in the care system, who have questions about contact and are unsure about what they need to do in order for their children to come home. Grandparents and wider family members to come forward to care for children who cannot live with their parents, due to tragedy or trauma.

MATCH (Mothers Apart from their Children)

matchmothers.org

MATCH exists to support mothers who are apart from their children because of ill-health, fostering, adoption, abduction abroad, alienation following high-conflict family breakdown or family rows. If you are a mother who no longer lives with your child as a result of local authority care proceedings and your child is either in care, being fostered, under a special guardianship order or has been adopted MATCH can support you.

Unity Justice

unity-injustice.co.uk

This website as been set up by parents to help and support families with children who are experiencing problems with UK Social Services. If you are a parent, grandparent, family member or carer looking for advice, because the social services have taken your precious children from you then this website may be able to help. Unity-Injustice is a support and information organisation that has grown out of an increasing number of parents (carers, guardians etc) frustrated after years of incompetence in UK Social Services Child Protection procedures.