A CARE order for a 14-week-old baby boy, delivered by Caesarian section to an asylum seeker who had sought an abortion, has been extended for two-and-a-half years.
The infant was born to a woman, known as Ms Y, who arrived in this country earlier in the year. She discovered she was pregnant shortly after her arrival - she had been the victim of rape in her home country. A judge extended the care order until June 2017, with liberty to re-enter, to allow time to consider the mother's health.
Counsel for the Child and Family Agency had applied for a one-year continuation of the care order and there was no objection from legal representation for Ms Y, Esther Early (BL) instructed by Caoimhe Haughey.
The infant's guardian had sought a care order for the child up to the age of 18 for certainty. The court heard Ms Y was unable to provide instructions to her legal team.
The judge, who imposed severe restrictions on reporting of the proceedings, said Ms Y "carried the burden of other proceedings that related to other sensitive issues". Ms Y's legal team argued that any reference to "other proceedings" was not relevant.
Ms Y had sought an abortion on the grounds of feeling suicidal but, despite seeing several agencies, the pregnancy was well advanced by the time her case was assessed by a three-doctor panel.
It is reportedly the first case of a woman seeking an abortion on grounds of suicide under the new Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act. The HSE has begun an inquiry into the delay.