From the time a child is named on a social services care order until the day they are adopted, the parents are breaking the law – a crime punishable by imprisonment – if they tell anyone what is happening to their family.
Anything from a chat with a neighbour to a letter sent to a friend can land them in jail.
And many have found themselves sent to prison for breaching court orders by talking about their case.
As High Court judge Mr Justice Munby told MPs last year: “It seems quite indefensible that there should be no access by the media, and no access by the public, to what is going on in courts where judges are, day by day, taking people’s children away.”
However, it is not only secretive and publicly unscrutinised family courts that are creating an injustice in our adoption system.
There is a more worrying factor involved. Look at the official figures. Why are they so high? Is it really true that more mothers are becoming potential killers or abusers?
Or are the financial bonuses offered to councils fuelling the astonishing rise in forced adoptions?
John Hemming, a Liberal Democrat MP campaigning to change the adoption system, said yesterday: “I have evidence that 1,000 children are wrongly being seized from their birth parents each year even though they have not been harmed in any way.
“The targets are dangerous and lead to social workers being over-eager.
“The system’s secrecy hides any wrongdoing. One has to ask if a mother is expected to have problems looking after her baby, why doesn’t the State help her instead of taking her child away?”
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