Is The Council Who Placed Toddler Elsie Liable For Her Murder?


Someone made this crass decision – to put a baby girl with two gay men. Nothing legally wrong with a gay couple wanting to be parents to an adopted child, but surely it makes sense that the child should be of the same sex as the prospective parents?

Researching Reform

The terrible story of Elsie, a toddler killed by her adoptive father, has understandably caused outrage, but a deeper issue lies at the heart of this distressing case which suggests that the council who placed her could be to blame for her death.

Matthew Scully-Hicks, Elsie’s adoptive father, was jailed for life this week with a minimum term of 18 years for murdering the 18-month-old toddler.

Elsie’s biological family fought to take care of Elsie before she was eventually adopted. Her birth grandmother, Sian O’Brien, launched proceedings in the family court to become her legal guardian when she was two months old, but was turned down because social services said she would not be able to cope. Ms O’Brien was already looking after Elsie’s two teenage siblings, and felt that it would be best for the children if they were all together.

There is no indication from any media reports that…

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