Home News Irish mum barred from reclaiming child in France

Irish mum barred from reclaiming child in France

Published on 14/04/2004

LILLE, France, April 14 (AFP) - France's highest appeals court has rejected a bid by an Irish woman to reclaim a baby girl she gave up for adoption two years ago, saying her change of mind came too late.

The Cour de Cassation overturned a lower court’s verdict last year that Karen Taher, 37, should be able to retract her written abandonment of the girl and take custody from the family in which the child had been placed.

The high court, in its April 6 decision, found that the legal limit of two months for such decisions had passed, leaving Taher no further recourse in France to reclaim the infant, the woman’s lawyer, Pierre-Yves Rossignol, said.

Taher, contacted by telephone, called the final verdict “abominable” and vowed to take her fight to the European Court of Human Rights.

Her new lawyer, Thomas Haas, said Taher could argue that she did not receive a fair hearing and that her case was handled “very strangely” by French officials.

“Essentially, this is about working out whether the French system of births under ‘X’ is compatible with the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights, such as the right to family life and the right of a child to know where it came from,” he said.

He said his client “feels like she has been the victim of institutionalised kidnapping.”

Taher’s baby was born in France on February 18, 2002 with a birth certificate designating her parents as “X” – a French legal term for persons unknown.

The baby was the result of an extramarital affair Taher had.

A regional official had lodged the appeal against Taher because he believed removing the child from the French family which had adopted it was “an extremely delicate matter”.

A French social welfare official, Patrick Tillie, said that, although a lower court had established that Taher was the biological mother, her decision to not formally register herself as such meant that, under French law, she could not be considered the parent.


                          Subject: French news