Muslim baby born out of wedlock was adopted to prevent honour killing, says UK court

Dec 23, 2011, 08:53 IST | ANI

A British court has ruled that a baby born to a Muslim couple having an affair had to be adopted to save it from being murdered by its mother's family in the name of 'honour killing'.


According to the Telegraph, the woman became pregnant late in 2009 and ran away from home, "terrified of the reaction of her family, and particularly her father".


The woman later told social services she wanted to have the baby adopted because she was "scared" that her father "would hurt her and the family would reject her".


After one year of birth, the baby girl was placed with another Muslim couple.


The baby's married father claimed that he had been told the baby had died, although the mother denied this.


But on contacting police, the father got hold of the baby girl's birth certificate and tried to get legal rights to visiting her.


The court, however, ruled that the love child should stay with its adoptive parents, and not meet its father, because of the danger that its mother's family would kill the baby and her, because of the shame of their secret relationship.


"In the particular circumstances of this case, the judge rightly regarded the risk of physical harm to the baby and its mother as being of major importance. Here the evidence was, in our judgment compelling," the three Appeal Court judges said.


"As soon as the baby was born, she was relinquished for adoption because the mother genuinely feared for the baby''s safety should [the grandfather] become aware of or be forced to acknowledge her existence," they said.


"The mother''s evidence, supported as it was by her actions and the evidence of the father and an experienced police officer, drove the judge to conclude that refusal of the order would carry with it a significant risk of physical harm. In our judgment this conclusion cannot be criticized," they added. (ANI)

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