The Four Courts in Dublin
At the High Court before Judge Richard Humphries.
A single mother, who was the foster carer for a baby born prematurely with severe health difficulties for more than a year, will challenge the actions of Tusla in the hope that what she claims happened to her won’t happen to anyone else.
In March of last year, the mum-of-two, who has fostered more than a dozen children in the past, responded to a call-out from Tusla for a volunteer to sit with the baby in a hospital, and cuddle it, as, Tusla said, the then three-month-old baby hadn’t had any significant human contact since it was born.
As time went on, the mother began fostering the baby and underwent specialised training to learn how to feed and care for it.
She sought to adopt the baby but she was told it was the birth mother’s wish that the child be adopted by a married couple. However, Tusla organised for her to have a legal consultation on the matter.
In April of this year, while the child with severe special needs was recovering in hospital following surgery, the mother claims it was abruptly removed from the hospital and given to a couple in the process of adopting the child.
The adoption process in regards to the child is not yet complete but it’s expected to be finalised in several months.
However, by seeking a judicial review of how Tusla handled the case, the mother wants to stop the adoption process which Tusla has started with the couple and she’s also seeking an order compelling Tusla to consider her application to adopt the child.
She claims Tusla didn’t follow procedure, didn’t provide for a proper transitioning period and didn’t give her adequate notice of what was going to happen.
She also claims the best interests of the child were not served in how Tusla handled the case.
An internal Tulsa investigation into the matter is also already under way.
Related: Single mum takes Tusla to court after agency takes away foster baby (Mark Tighe, The Sunday Times)
Foster mother loses custody of child because birth mother wants kid to go to “a couple” (Irish Mirror, April 28, 2018)
The mother has been granted a judicial review and will come back before the High Court on October 16.