Family's anguish as they face THIRD forced adoption
A mum forced to give up her two kids for adoption by a gay couple wept last night as she told how her third baby has been offered to the same men.
And the desperate 29-year-old has booked an abortion tomorrow after finding she is now pregnant with twins who she's convinced will also be taken into care.
Sarah, whose real name we can't use for legal reasons, admits she has fought a long battle against heroin addiction.
But she said: "All I ever wanted to be is a good mum.
"I made a mess of it first time around but when my son was born last July I was in a stable relationship with his dad, had my own council house and was drug-free.
"After the birth I was allowed to care for him in hospital and I truly thought all was going well.
"But after four days they took him away - and in January they told me they were ending contact and he'd be freed for adoption. I was devastated."
She added: "I couldn't believe it when I learnt he's being offered to the same couple who got my two other children.
All wanted "Yes, I can see the benefit of keeping brothers and sisters together but I didn't have children to provide another couple with a readymade family." Three years ago The People told how Sarah's parents had cared for her first two kids Josh and Chloe - not their real names - who were five and four at the time.
good devastated Sarah admitted she couldn't cope but her mum Susan and dad Peter fought for custody of them.
Despite winning court cases against Edinburgh City Council, social workers kept appealing.
And as the legal bills spiralled Peter and Susan gave in.
The couple claim they were told if they objected to the youngsters being adopted by a gay couple they'd never see them again.
The council later apologised for its handling of the case.
But by then their beloved grandchildren were with new parents and both had new names.
The couple insist they are not homophobic but believe family ties should be more important.
Dad-of-seven Peter, 62, said: "It is no exaggeration to say the social workers and their intrusion into our family has ruined our lives.
"The children were at the centre of the family - we adored them and we miss them every day.
"I often go up to bed hours after my wife expecting to find her asleep and she's lying in bed crying. The pain just doesn't go away."
He added: "To learn this was happening to our daughter again was devastating because she is a changed person.
"She is more stable, had got herself off drugs and we had no fears this time she was ready to be a proper mum and would always put her baby first.
"It seems vindictive when she'd done all that was asked of her to not even give her a chance, with support and safeguards in place. We are all heartbroken again.
"We should be sitting around the table together on birthdays and at Christmas enjoying the company of our grandchildren, yet we're strangers to them.
"Instead they're lighting up the lives of another family who have no blood ties to them and who could not have had children without them being taken away from their real family.
"Our daughter should have been given a chance."
Sarah said when she found she was pregnant with her third child she moved from Edinburgh to Merseyside specifically to get away from the social workers who had removed her other kids.
She claimed she got off heroin by having a course of methadone and was drug-free two months before the baby was born in July.
Sarah said social workers in Sefton, near Liverpool, initially gave her hope she would be allowed to keep the baby.
But she said everything changed after a meeting in May involving social workers from Edinburgh.
Edinburgh Council says although it took no part in decision-making, two of its staff attended the meeting and handed over a file about Sarah.
p two of its meeti a fi ever to be a From that point, she said, it was clear she had no chance of keeping the tot.
I am s rm to ful "Socialw Sarah sobbed: "I recognise I've made mistakes and deserve to be under a watchful eye.
"Social workers could watch me 24 hours a day if they liked until they were satisfied I was doing everything right and putting my baby first.
"But I'm not even being given a chance.
"I think they want to teach me a lesson.
"I was critical of what they did with my two oldest children and the price I'm paying is I'll never be allowed to be a mother."
Sarah went on: "At first, social workers said my mum and dad would have contact with the older two probably twice a year and I'd be able to send cards and presents at birthdays and Christmas.
"But they have never provided me with news or photos as agreed and the contact promised to my parents has never materialised.
"Cards I sent signed 'Mum' were returned to me.
"I was told the adoptive parents were angry with me for making my case public."
She added: "They have shown themselves to be cold and indifferent to me and to my family and unaware of the pain losing my older children has caused us, so why should I be happy to send another child to their care?" Asked about her new pregnancy, Sarah said: "I know people will criticise me but it wasn't planned.
"And I wasn't even two months pregnant when I was told there was no chance I'd be allowed to keep the twins.
"I'm very much against abortion and I hate myself for getting into this situation.
"But I fear for my health if I carry them for nine months, give birth to them and then have to hand over two children.
"I'm dreading the abortion but if there's no hope I intend to do it, though whether I can go through with it when I get there I'm not certain.
"But I know the longer I leave it the harder it will be."
Her desperate move is backed by her parents.
Susan, 49, said: "As a family we're against abortion but we'll support our daughter whatever she decides.
"I'll cry my eyes out if I get a call saying she's gone through with it but I can understand why she doesn't want to carry the babies only to have to hand them over. You bond with your children even before they come out of the womb, so to go through pregnancy and birth and then not have the baby in your arms at the end of it is like a death."
Sefton Council said they can't comment on Sarah's case before a court hearing on April 27 when a judge is due to decide if her third child should be adopted. Social workers took the tot away soon after he was born.
Sarah said: "Having already lost two children I couldn't have felt worse if I'd been walking to the electric chair."
But to start with she and the baby's father were allowed to see him five times a week.
Sarah said: "I hoped they'd see I could be a good mum and would give me a chance.
"It hurt like hell to know someone else was tucking him in at night and comforting him when he cried and needed changing."
She said the five-day-a-week contact was cut to three in October, two in November and was scrapped in December after traffic jams made her four and a half minutes late one day.
She said: "I'm totally ashamed but I was so down I bought some heroin to escape the pain.
"Next day I realised how wrong it was and asked my GP to be put back on methadone.
"I'm on a small quantity each day - about a tenth of what some addicts have - and I intend to reduce it until I'm off it."
Sarah claimed she was told she could say goodbye to the tot at a final contact last Tuesday - but it was cancelled at the last minute and is due to be rearranged before the court hearing.
"I feel my chances of being a mum are slipping away."
The Catholic Church in Scotland last night repeated its stand against gay adoptions.
Spokesman Peter Kearney said: "Deliberately depriving children of a mother or a father, which same-sex adoption does, completely ignores the welfare of the children concerned.
"Growing international evidence casts serious doubts on such arrangements and it's to be hoped social work departments will acquaint themselves with this evidence and revise their procedures urgently.
"The best interest of children are served when they are cared for by a married mother and father - either their own or adoptive."