"When you try to kill your baby, you should lose your right to be called his mother"

Jackie Stricker-Phelps.







The dumping of a 17-hour-old baby by its 30-year-old mother into a drain is possibly one of the most heinous acts I have heard of in my life.

The fact that the “mother” (surely she has forfeited the right to the word) is now allowed to name the baby is outrageous.

I listened with horror as a caseworker for FACS (originally DOCS) said you must have some sympathy for what the mother was going through. Is she serious? Sadly the answer is that she is.

From personal experience I have come to the conclusion that far too much leniency is shown to biological parents who have abused or neglected their children.

Again and again, children are returned to the care of incompetent and often downright dangerous parents because of “biology.”

Jackie with her 15-year-old daughter Gabi.

My 15-year-old daughter, who was removed from a biological parent aged nine, said in a speech she gave at a Barnardos function last year that “biology is overrated”. I couldn’t agree more.

When does it become about the child and when do we as a society draw the line and say ‘that’s it…enough’? You forfeit the right to have a say about that child’s life when you neglect or abuse a child.

In this case the mother went five days without making even an anonymous phone call to police or hospital or anyone to say there was a baby in a drain and to rescue him.

We are so worried that we will have another “stolen generation” that we are pussyfooting around children who are in immediate and long-term danger and who should be permanently removed from people who harm them.

And yes, that is often the biological parent.


Gabi with Jackie’s wife Kerryn Stricker-Phelps

At some point, in this case alleged attempted murder of her baby, the law must put aside the excuse of biology and deal as harshly as it would with any other person who tries to murder any person related or not. The fact she gave birth to that baby is irrelevant. When is the law going to look at the safety of the child and not the child’s unfortunate biological ties to a person who causes harm to them?

For those people who are thinking, “Oh the poor woman, she must have been so distressed” — let’s look at her options:

1. Walk out of the hospital and leave the baby in the care of the nurses.

2. Ask to see the hospital social worker to ask if they could arrange adoption.

3. Leave the baby on the steps of a police station.

4. Show some remorse and report the baby’s whereabouts.

5. Virtually anything other than drop the baby down a drain and leave him there to die.

The drain where the baby was found. (Image via Twitter)

Enough’s enough.

Like many of you, I am sick to death of hearing about the “poor biological parents” who have children removed because they abuse or neglect them.

The official line is that children’s rights are paramount. What load of rubbish. From my close experience with the system too often biological parents are given way too much consideration at the expense of the safety and well being of children.

I believe this is one of the reasons people are hesitant to take on fostering.They are expected to “have a relationship” with biological parents who are detrimental to the child and not all children want this… My daughter just said, “When will they start listening to the children?

When indeed.