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Sorry but child welfare is a passion with me.
Last Wednesday morning, a letter arrived at Mark and Nicky Webster’s house. It was a report of sorts about their five-year-old son, telling them that he was doing well at school, had just learned to ride a bicycle without stabilisers and that he wasn’t fond of sprouts. The timing could hardly have been more poignant. Such newsletters arrive on their doormat sporadically, as do separate ones relating to his older brother and sister. For Mark and Nicky, they are what passes for ‘contact’ with their three eldest children. They always make agonising reading. But last week’s update arrived on the morning the couple received a Court of Appeal judgment that could mean they never see their children again.
Their parental rights, they were informed, have been ‘extinguished’.
‘They are all so keen to draw a line and move on. Well we can’t move on from this. We can’t “move on” from our children.
‘We are fighting for our children to know the truth, to know us and to know each other. Every day we talk about the reality that we might not see them until they’re 18 and they come looking for us.
'One day there might be a knock on the door and our children standing on the doorstep. What will it do to them to learn the truth then?
‘But we’ll welcome them in and we’ll show them all the paperwork and they’ll know we fought every day until we saw them.’