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Couple who fled Scotland to escape social workers celebrate birth of second child

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Couple who fled Scotland to escape social workers celebrate birth of second child

Dec 18 2011 By Fiona Young, Sunday Mail

kerry mcdougall Image 1kerry mcdougall Image 1

SHE was once dismissed by social workers as not bright enough to get married, let alone become a mum.

But Kerry McDougall is celebrating the birth of her second baby – after fleeing to Ireland from Fife to stop social workers taking her first child into care.

Kerry, 19, husband Mark, 28, Ben, nearly two, and new baby Lochlan are now looking forward to a perfect family Christmas.

“Having another baby is a dream come true,” said Kerry.

“Lochlan is beautiful and Ben adores him. We both feel so lucky to have two gorgeous boys.”

The arrival of the tot marks the end of a dramatic two-year battle to stay together as a family.

In September 2009, Fife Council social services halted their wedding just 48 hours before the big day.

Kerry has mild learning difficulties and her upbringing had been overseen by social workers.

As the wedding appoached, two of them knocked on the door of the Dunfermline home she shared with Mark.

They made the shattering announcement that Kerry did not possess the mental capacity to make the decision to get married.

Mark, an artist, says: “Everything was booked – the dress, the reception, food and flowers but we had to cancel the lot and call all the guests. It was devastating.”

Worse was to come when, according to the couple, social workers said they believed pregnant Kerry wasn’t bright enough to be a mum and warned their baby could be taken into care at birth.

So they fled to Ireland in the middle of the night. Kerry, who was eight months pregnant when they went on the run, said: “Leaving my friends and family was terrible but I was desperate to keep my baby.”

Friends put them up and in January last year, Kerry gave birth to Ben. Then the Irish authorities discovered through her medical records that social workers had concerns.

They were legally bound to follow them up and, as Kerry breastfed three-day-old Ben, officials turned up and took him into care.

Mark said: “We begged them not to take him. I was on my knees.” Kerry added: “Coming home without Ben was the worst thing that ever happened.”

After a nine-month investigation the couple, who had been allowed to visit Ben in foster care, were able to bring him home.

After discovering the wedding ban did not cover Ireland, they got married there. Kerry is delighted with how things have turned out.

Speaking from their home in Tramore, near Waterford, she said: “With a lively toddler and a new baby, life is busy. But I love being a mum and couldn’t be happier.”

Although happy in Ireland, they miss Scotland but can’t risk coming back. Mark said: “If we did, both our sons could be taken into care.

“Here, the authorities have helped keep our family together and we are allowed to bring up our sons without having to look over our shoulders.”

Fife Council social work director Stephen Moore said yesterday: “We wish the family all the very best.

“If they need our assistance in the future, they shouldn’t hesitate to seek it out. We’ll be there for them.”

Written by dawneworswick

January 19, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Awesome for this young family! Thank you for sharing this bit of good news Dawn. Rare. (I had heard about this family under attack a few years ago and this story gives us a great update! Well done!)

    God damn the Fife Council and all who enable them!


    January 19, 2012 at 10:45 pm

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