You have to wonder what Scotland’s Fife County were thinking when they declared that Kerry McDougall was a mother too dumb to be able to care for her own children. Yet Kerry, born with a cleft palate that left her speech slow, is by many standards an outstanding mother. Her husband Mark would leave for work each day, knowing she was there to care for their two boys. Even with her mild learning disabilities she can recite birthdays, cook for her kids and care for them as any loving mother would want to do. At one point before the couple had to flee to Ireland to keep their sons, she was even a volunteer at the local childcare facility. But that would all change quickly.
Social Services Claims Mother Too Dumb
The problems really began when Kerry and Mark were planning to marry. The registrar was told by local social workers not to let the wedding proceed because they deemed Kerry lacked the mental capacity to choose to get married. Soon the married couple packed their things and fled to Ireland upon being told that her first child would be taken from them the moment it was born. There they had another son and lived happily for three years. The Irish social services monitored the family and declared them fit. But the couple was young and family was back in Scotland and so Kerry and Mark contacted social services to see if they could return safely. They were told yes.
Return Becomes Nightmare
When Mark was offered a great work opportunity back in Fife, they thought the nightmare was over. Unfortunately, it was just beginning. Despite the Irish social workers having declared the family a good risk for the last few years, Fife was a different story. Social workers told Kerry she could not be alone with her two sons for more than two hours a day, an impossible demand for a stay-at-home mom. The boys were put on a “at risk” register almost from the moment of their return. Then, just days after the couple received a letter from child protective services saying they were withdrawing their involvement, the two boys were removed from the family. They were dragged from their parents, crying and screaming while the parents could do nothing but watch.
Ireland a Refuge Again
Now the two are back in Ireland, where Kerry is accepted as a fit mother for her about to be born third child. There is no discussion by the Irish social services of Kerry being a mother too dumb to care for her child. They are hoping to be able to petition to have their two other sons returned to them and to be able to live with them in peace in the Irish Republic. Back in Fife, the local Scottish MP has championed their cause. He has stated that the local social services have a grudge against Kerry and that the two lads should be released to their parents instead of living in foster homes. Kerry and Mark say they will continue the fight to have their family reunited.