The District Court made a full care order until the age of 18 for a baby that was born on the street and whose mother had later absconded from hospital. The court heard the mother’s whereabouts were unknown, so she was not on notice of the care application as the Child and Family Agency had been unable to locate her. The father of the baby was unknown.
The social worker gave evidence that the mother had given birth to the baby on the street. The baby had been born premature and had tested positive for hepatitis B. She required three weeks in hospital after which she was transferred to the care of approved long-term foster carers. The baby was doing very well in her placement, he said.
The social worker told the court that the mother had said that she was not in a position to care for her baby and did not want to speak about her. The mother had been admitted to a psychiatric ward but later absconded from the hospital. The gardai had been contacted but they had been unable to locate the mother. The court heard that numerous attempts had been made to contact the mother including contacting services in other jurisdictions.
CFA solicitor: “Did the mother have the ability to engage?”
Social worker: “She was not in a position to engage. She loved her baby and wanted what was best for her.”
The social worker told the court that the mother could not be contacted to obtain consent for the baby’s vaccinations, so the CFA had to apply to the court to have her consent dispensed with.
Judge: “What will happen if the CO is not made?”
Social worker: “Seek an extension of the ICO, but there is no other place for her to go.”
The social worker gave evidence that the mother’s family had made it clear that they wanted no involvement in the care of the baby. She said that the care order was in the baby’s best interest to give her long-term security.
The court made the care order until the age of 18.