Thursday, May 13News For London

Forced adoption campaigner helps parents

Every year about 11,000 children are taken into local authority care without the consent of their parents. Last year, more than 2,400 of them were forcibly adopted the BBC recently disclosed. By Sohini Sinha. Sub-editor  Marina Skalic

JosephsIt is a controversial practice that is facing criticism not just in the UK, but from politicians in Europe where forced adoption is rare. Forced adoption involves the removal of a child from their parents without consent and usually against their will.

A campaigner against this wrong practise is Ian Josephs. His main objective is to persuade the UK government to abolish “forced adoption” and stop “punishment without crime”. He says,

He says: “Unlike most that fight them, I and my family have never been troubled personally by UK social services, even when we lived in Kent.”

Eventually, he and his family left UK to live and work in Monaco in 1984. “However I always detested the arrogant brutality that UK social services showed to those least able to defend themselves.”

Josephs has a law degree from Oxford University but works as a businessman, owning and running two language teaching companies. Ian has been campaigning against forced adoption for several decades.

“It all began in 1962. I was on Kent County Council and was asked for help by a mother whose son, she said had been wrongly taken from her by social workers and put in a very expensive private school owned by a senior Kent councillor, where he was paid to sleep with teachers,” he says.

The authorities had tried to “hush the matter up” but after a widely publicised court hearing the boy successfully returned home.

The led to Ian being asked by other parents to deal with similar problems. He therefore applied in the courts for discharge of care orders against his own council for many parents and never lost a case.

Unfortunately, while dedicating his time to these cases, his language school business started to fail. His marriage also deteriorated, leaving him to tend to his young two children alone.

In 2003, the Meadows cot death scandal and adoptions without parental consent exploded into the news. He wrote to the Daily Mail saying the problem seemed to be worse in 2003 than it was in the 60s when he was helping parents.

Josephs says: “I got nearly 50 letters from desperate parents. The law had changed and I could no longer speak for parents in court; there was also forced adoption, court secrecy, and gagging orders.”

In response, Josephs set up the website, a phrase he made up to describe the very worst feature of the UK family courts. He now helps bereft parents with advice and helps in more than 1000 cases per year.


BBC News Story: Adoption: Thousands of children forcibly taken into care

Watch the BBC film above Families flee UK to avoid forced adoption.

Inside Out was broadcast on BBC One South East on Monday, 6 October 2014. Here’s the link to share this: