Judge rules addict's children must be adopted despite 'one last chance' plea

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A 22-year-old woman born addicted to heroin has lost a family court fight over the care of her two children despite making a "moving" plea to a judge.

The woman, whose parents were drug addicts, had written to Mrs Justice Theis asking to be given "one last chance" to care for her daughter, who is nearly two, and her 10-month-old son.

But social workers spoke of concerns about the woman's mental health and drug use, said the children's 24-year-old father was involved in drug dealing and that the little boy had suffered head injuries and rib fractures.

The judge said the children's home was a "tinderbox" and concluded that both youngsters should be placed for adoption.

Detail of the case has emerged in a ruling by Mrs Justice Theis following family court hearings in London.

The judge said no-one involved could be identified.

Mrs Justice Theis heard that the woman's parents had a "chronic" drug addiction and she had been born addicted to heroin.

The judge said the woman had experienced the "most traumatic upbringing" and said there was a temptation to give her one more chance.

But she concluded that the risk to the children was too great.

"She wrote a very moving letter to me setting out why she asks this court to give her one last chance to look after her children. With her particular background it is a very powerful letter," said Mrs Justice Theis in her ruling.

"This mother had the most traumatic upbringing and the temptation to give her one more chance is potent."

But the judge added: "The evidence demonstrates that (the children) would be at significant risk of harm if placed with their mother and that position is unlikely to change for a considerable period of time."