Care order for boy at centre of ‘Ms Y’ case

Case related to the controversy around the right to have abortion.

A renewed care order was granted yesterday in respect of the boy at the centre of the so-called ‘Ms Y’ case which related to the controversy about the right to have an abortion.

The judge made the care order to Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, until the boy, who is now aged almost three, turns 18. This was done at a hearing to review a two-and-a-half-year care order which the judge had made for the child in November 2014.

The judge heard evidence from a Tusla social worker that the boy’s mother has had no contact or made any inquiries about him since he went into foster care on foot of the original care order.

A solicitor for Tusla told the court they were applying for a care under until the child turns 18 on the basis that the child’s mother had not expressed any wish to make contact with the child.

Caoimhe Haughey, solicitor for the boy’s mother, did not object to the 18-year care order being granted with reviews at the hearing which was also attended by a solicitor for a guardian ad litem.

The judge said that he was satisfied on foot of the evidence presented to him that the child’s health, welfare, and development would be impaired or neglected if he did not make the care order.

He noted that the child’s mother was not in a position to provide the protection and care the child needed and she had been in a difficult situation when he made the original care order and that this situation had not changed.

“He is now almost three years old and his mother’s circumstances have not changed to allow her to engage with the child,” said the judge as he granted the lengthy care order to Tusla.

The baby’s mother, Ms Y, a young immigrant, had arrived in Ireland in March 2014 seeking asylum and became distressed when she discovered she was pregnant during a health screening.

Ms Y stated that she had been raped in her own country and sought an abortion but was told it might be difficult to travel to Britain because of her status as an asylum seeker in Ireland.

She was provided with counselling but became increasingly distressed when it became clear she was unable to travel for an abortion due to the costs involved and the restrictions on her right to travel.

The woman stated she was suicidal and was referred to the HSE psychiatric services, which assessed her as suicidal under the provisions of the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Act.

However, by that stage her was at 24 weeks’ gestation and it was deemed too late to abort the pregnancy, despite the fact that she was deemed suicidal under the provisions of the legislation.

The woman gave birth to a boy by caesarean in August 2014 but the child had health issues and remained in hospital for a period before the HSE got a care order and placed him with a foster family.

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