'You'll never see your grandchildren again': Social worker's warning to couple after they spoke out over gay adoption row

By Jonathan Brocklebank and Michael Seamark
Last updated at 9:02 AM on 30th January 20

Phone call: Social worker Heather Rush allegedly told the two children's grandparents that they will have no more contact after speaking out


A social worker at the centre of the gay adoption row told the children's grandparents they will never see them again because of the publicity surrounding the case.

Heather Rush telephoned the youngsters' 26-year-old mother after the family publicised their grievances with her council department.

Mrs Rush allegedly said the price they will pay for speaking out is complete loss of contact with the five-year-old boy and four-year-old girl.

The children's mother, who had been due to meet the two adoptive fathers under social workers' supervision next week, took the call from Mrs Rush on Wednesday.

The mother, who cannot be identified, said: 'She asked me if I had seen the paper and said "it does not make very good reading".

'I said I didn't think it was right that she was not letting me meet the fathers because of the story going in the paper and that she should speak to my Mum and Dad.

'She said, "No, just pass the message on." She said she didn't want to speak to them but there would be no recommendation for them to see the children twice a year.'

Last week Mrs Rush had told the grandparents they would be allowed to see the boy and girl if they gave the gay adoption arrangements their blessing.

But now the 39-year-old - who has two children herself by different fathers - appears adamant that even if they do accept the arrangements they will not be given access.

The forced adoption of the children by two gay men - and the council's decision to ignore their grandparents' request to care for them - has provoked fierce debate.

An Edinburgh councillor described the call to the vulnerable mother, who is currently taking methadone in an attempt to kick her drug habit, as 'unprofessional, inappropriate and unacceptable'.

Jeremy Balfour, a Conservative, said: 'It is not an acceptable way to treat people. It seems to me to be a case of throwing toys out of the pram.

'I don't think such a call could be motivated by the best interests of the children.'

Mother of children who are being adopted by gay couple pictured with her grandparents


An Edinburgh council spokesman last night denied that a social worker told the mother her parents would never see the children again.

Gillian Tee, Director of Education, Children and Families, said: 'We have no reason to doubt that the staff who have worked on this case have handled it with anything other than professionalism and sensitivity. We have not received a complaint from the family.'

Social workers gave the young mother just 90 minutes to say goodbye to her two children before they were taken away forever.

The mother was allowed to take her young son and daughter to Edinburgh Zoo before they were separated.

The mother earlier told the Mail: 'They told me not to cry and be strong so as not to upset the children.

'How can you tell a mother that when she's never going to see her children again?'

She added that the children themselves said they wanted to stay with their grandparents. She is unable to care for them as she is a recovering heroin addict.

The boy's father was a schizophrenic who killed himself two months before his son was born. The girl's father is still alive but has had nothing to do with his daughter.