A British couple has been awarded over $18,000 in damages after their one-week-old baby was taken away for their preference to formula milk.
A high court judge awarded the damages after Kirklees council employees convinced a judge to have the baby, who is now 14-months-old, taken into emergency custody, The Telegraph, London reports.
The parents who suffer from learning difficulties were not referred to social services before the birth of their child.
Four days after their son was born, hospital staff called the council raising concerns about the “long-term parenting capacity of this mother and father”.
Mr Justice Cobb said: “It was suggested that the mother had no family support and that the father was expressing unorthodox views about the need for sterilisation of bottles, and the benefits of formula milk.”
Social workers removed the child, placing him in the care of its paternal grandmother, without telling the parents about the hearing.
The judge added: “The failure of the local authority to notify the Claimants that the hearing was taking place on the afternoon of 13 November was particularly egregious; misleading the district judge no fewer than three times that the parents knew of the hearing aggravates the culpability yet further.”
The boy was returned after three months and is “thriving” with his parents.
“There is no doubt in my mind, indeed it is admitted, that Kirklees Council breached the human rights of a baby boy and his parents," said Justice Cobb.
"I am satisfied that the breaches were serious...the separation of a baby from his parents represents a very serious interference with family life."