Child Forced Into Adoption Due To Parents Smoking Cigarettes

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A two-year-old boy has been taken away from his parents in the UK after a health visitor told a family court judge that the cigarette smoke made it difficult for her to breathe. 

Health visitor Julie Allen said the child’s farther was surrounded by a “visible cloud of smoke” and that the boy had to use an inhaler due to breathing problems.

The controversial decision by the judge to put the little boy up for adoption was made, apparently, because the parents were “unable to adapt their behaviour”.

Sky News reports:

Details of the case emerged in a written ruling by the judge following a family court hearing in Hull.

The judge said the family could not be identified and she did not identify the local authority which had asked for the boy to be placed for adoption.

But she named individual health and social services staff who had worked with the family.

Judge Pemberton said Ms Allen had “graphically highlighted” concerns about smoke.

The judge said: “On entering the living room Ms Allen described being able to see a visible cloud of smoke surrounding the father and (the boy).

“(The boy) was asleep on the sofa and had been unwell for some time by this point.

“Ms Allen described the room as ‘so smoke entrenched that I had difficulty breathing’.

“She immediately expressed concern to the parents as to the impact of such smoke on (the boy), who had already been prescribed an inhaler within the previous month to help his breathing.

“The parents seemed unable both at that stage and when the issue of smoking around (the boy) was raised by any other professional, to acknowledge or appreciate the concern and adapt their behaviour.”

Judge Pemberton added: “Ms Allen … had not come across such a smoky house in many years (she has been a health visitor for 10 years) and never with such a poorly boy sleeping amidst the smoke.”