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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 January 2008, 07:38 GMT
Court orders return of new baby
Baby feet (generic)
The woman's solicitor said she would lodge a claim for damages
A teenage mother has been reunited with her baby after the child was taken by social services without a court order.

The boy was taken two hours after he was born to the 18-year-old, who had just left the care of Nottingham social services.

Hours later, Mr Justice Munby at the High Court said no baby could be removed "as the result of a decision taken by officials in some room".

The woman's solicitor Stuart Luke said she would lodge a claim for damages.

'Birth plan'

He said she faced the prospect of "an application by the local authority social services for an interim care order, which will be vigorously contested".

Mr Justice Munby said that without the appropriate order and given that the mother was still in hospital, mother and child should be reunited.

Describing the situation as "most unfortunate", he said officials involved in the case "should have known better".

The boy was born healthy and taken from his mother about two hours after his birth without an order having been made.

Mr Luke, from the firm Bhatia Best, said: "Mother and child were reunited 46 minutes after Mr Justice Munby's order at 1209 (GMT)."

Hospital staff were apparently shown a "birth plan" prepared by local authority social services.

'Unfortunate removal'

The plan said the mother, who had a troubled childhood and suffered from mental health problems, was to be separated from the child, and no contact allowed without supervision by social workers.

The judge said the removal of a child could only be lawful if a police constable was taking action to protect a child, or there was a court order in place.

Mr Luke said the mother would be making a claim for damages against social services officials "arising out of the unfortunate removal of her child without lawful authority shortly after his birth".

The judge ordered the council to prepare a comprehensive plan setting out their proposals to assist the mother as she had recently left local authority care, by no later than 8 February.

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