Sat, Jan 09, 2016 - Page 7 News List

British woman demands New York return her baby

AFP, NEW YORK

A British police officer has gone to court in New York, demanding the return of her baby who was given to a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activist foster mother after he was left alone in a hotel.

Louise Fielden, 42, flew to Manhattan in April with now 14-month-old Samuel for a vacation that turned into a nightmare when hotel staff reported her to child services for leaving her baby in her room, court papers said.

She was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, resisting arrest and possession of a controlled substance, which turned out to be a codeine prescription for her slipped disks.

Her criminal case was thrown out on Monday and she now demands her son’s return to England.

In a suit filed with a US federal court in Brooklyn, Fielden accused the city of unlawfully retaining the child in the US without her consent.

As a “devout conservative member of the Church of England” she alleged the foster mother, Susan Sena, was an unsuitable caretaker because she is a pro-LGBT activist.

However, a family judge has imposed an order of protection and Fielden has asked for Samuel to be transferred to the care of a cousin in England while she appeals.

Samuel, whose father is an anonymous sperm donor from the Netherlands, was born in October 2014 and Fielden, who court documents said had an unblemished police record, took 12 months maternity leave from the UK Metropolitan Police Service.

In January last year, mother and child flew to the British West Indies for a three-month vacation then left for New York in April, the suit said.

Fielden said she left the child alone in her room, sleeping in a travel cot, for about 30 minutes while she went downstairs to clean his water bottle.

Hotel staff also alleged that she left him on the floor while she ate her breakfast one foot away, court papers said.

“In my culture, placing a baby in a crib is not considered dangerous,” Fielden said in court papers.

“I did not want to hold a beaker with hot water in one hand and a foam cup in the other, and carry Samuel at the same time for fear he might be scalded and burned from the hot water,” she said.

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