‘Panorama — I Want My Baby Back’

This important documentary tackles a subject that is seldom out of the news: child abuse. Here it focuses on cases that have been wrongly diagnosed as such.

John Hemming MP,
a critic of the secretive family court system.

Those of an older vintage may recognise the double entendre of the title, which is almost certainly not accidental, but that is the only humour that is to be found therein.

In recent years there have been many scandalous cases of child abuse here in the UK, including some resulting in murder. Obviously bruises, broken bones and even virtually undetectable micro-fractures are symptomatic of such abuse, but there is now considerable controversy over the latter, especially since the Jayden Wray case.

In July 2009, this young boy died from a head injury, which led to his parents facing murder charges. It was not until April 2012 that they were completely exonerated. The real killer was rickets.

Rickets is a disease caused by Vitamin D deficiency. If the human body lacks a vitamin, any vitamin, that person will die, it's as simple as that. By definition, the body cannot manufacture vitamins, the one exception being Vitamin D, which is manufactured partly by sunlight, hence its name the sunshine vitamin.

At one time, rickets and other horrible diseases were common among the “lower classes”, but with rising standards of living, better nutrition, fortified foods and supplementation, they have all but disappeared, especially rickets.

People with dark skin, Asians especially, can often have problems manufacturing Vitamin D with the amount of sunshine we receive in the UK, so Asians, especially the young, including babies, need more attention. But, as is made clear in this programme, white people are by no means immune, and indeed some have a genetic predisposition to Vitamin D deficiency.

The programme examines a number of such cases which have features such as inexpert or at best dubious expert evidence, the usual bureaucratic nightmare that all ordinary people face when the establishment decides they are or might be in the wrong, and the family court system, shrouded in anonymity and deciding the futures of families on the balance of probabilities, which has led to many parents (how many is not known) having their young ones not only snatched away from them but adopted.

According to the MP John Hemming, parents who come under suspicion would be better off fleeing abroad while they can, which at least one mother has done; she is currently living in Spain where she has made her young son a Spanish citizen; the same option is not available to her daughter, who was taken from her by the system.

I Want My Baby Back - A Panorama Special is currently on BBC iplayer and will be for a full year.

[The above was published originally January 14, 2014.]

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