Interim care order extended for pregnant girl – 2021vol2#15

An interim care order was extended in respect of a girl in a provincial town who was herself pregnant. The teenager was also the subject of a special care order as there had been allegations of domestic violence made against the teenager’s boyfriend and concerns about the teenager’s safety upon the birth of the baby. The guardian ad litem (GAL) supported the application.

The teenager was pregnant and due to transition to a mother and baby unit once the baby was born. The special care order had been extended and would continue when the teenager moved to the unit.

The teenager was thriving and engaging in all aspects of therapeutic care. She was attending her antenatal care appointments with a Garda escort and had an upcoming maternity appointment to ascertain if she needed anything further prior to the delivery of the baby.

The teenager recently had had telephone contact with her sister and her mother. The teenager had not spoken with her family since coming into care as the mother had been dissatisfied with the relationship between the teenager and the boyfriend. The relationship had featured domestic violence and coercive control.

The social worker said professionals had seen physical altercations between the teenager and her boyfriend. The boyfriend had entered the residential unit and assaulted her. The teenager had left the unit to seek his company on another occasion, giving rise to the special care order application.

The teenager was due to give birth in the next month and the terms of the transition plan had been addressed in the monthly professional meeting. The GAL said it was a very difficult case.

The interim care order was extended for a period of 28 days.

When the case resumed the court heard that the teenager had given birth to the baby since the last court date and was transferred to a support unit. The baby suffered health issues following her birth and was in hospital. The teenager visited the baby daily.

The mother of the teenager had attended the birth of the baby and believed the teenager wanted to come home and care for the baby herself when the baby was in a position to be released from hospital. The teenager’s mother wished to visit the teenager in the support unit but she was suffering from respiratory problems and needed a taxi to travel to visit her.

The solicitor for the GAL said the matter had come before the High Court the previous month and the special care order was extended. An injunction had been granted against the father of the baby. He was facing criminal charges and was directed not to contact the teenager.

The teenager was supported by private security but she stated that she wanted the father of the baby to have access. There were concerns the situation had reverted back to the “prebirth situation.”

The interim care order was extended for a period of 28 days.