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Fresh Fears For Kerry McDougall And Family Over Children

November 17, 2013

I’m very sad today to see Kerry McDougall and her family back in the news for all the wrong reasons. I covered their case in detail the first time around and followed it with interest.

A woman deemed too dumb to wed is back in the UK as a married mum… but is facing a fresh investigation.

Desperate Kerry McDougall fears ­social services will try to put her two sons into care and told the Sunday People: “I can’t bear the thought of my boys being taken away.”

Pregnant Kerry fled Scotland for Ireland with Mark McDougall when social services said they could not marry, just two days before their church wedding.

They said Kerry, who has mild learning difficulties, lacked the intelligence to understand the vows.

A few weeks later, in 2009, the couple ran off to Ireland, fearing their baby would be taken off them and fostered.

But Kerry, now 21, and Mark grew homesick and after four years are back in Fife with Ben, three, and Lochlan, two.

Two weeks ago UK social services said they no longer had any concerns but now two social workers say they will look at whether the boys should be put under a protection order.

Lib Dem MP John Hemming said: “It appears the Fife authorites are being vindictive in the way they are dealing with this.”

Mark, 30, said: “Kerry and I can hardly sleep. We’re sick with worry.

“We believed all this was behind us. Surely social services only have to look at our boys to see Kerry’s a good mum.

“We’d never have come back here if there was any risk of losing them. We’ve had every ­assessment in Ireland – our sons are happy, healthy kids.”

Mark landed a night warehouseman job on returning to Fife but social services, worried how Kerry would cope with the boys at night, said he couldn’t do it.

Mark had worked full-time in a hotel in Ireland and said despite having relatives on hand to help, social services seems “determined to ruin our lives”.

In January 2010, the couple’s first son Ben was three days old when Irish social services, alerted by the couple’s health records in Scotland, took the boy into care.

Kerry said: “It was the worst day of my life. I was breastfeeding Ben and Mark was begging social services not to take him.”

But after nine months officials ruled Kerry was fit to care for Ben.

The couple wed at Waterford Registrar office, set up home nearby and had Lochlan in November 2011.

But the pair grew increasingly homesick for the UK.

Mark said: “We both have extended families in the UK. We longed for the boys to be brought up with their grans, aunts and uncles.”

Dougie Dunlop, Head of Children and Families and Criminal Justice in Fife said: “As with any family moving back to Fife, we’ll continue to meet Kerry and Mark to discuss their circumstances so they receive the care and support they need.”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 18, 2013 8:08 pm

    I’m quite shocked and upset that Fife SS has started harassing this family the moment they returned home. It was dreadful enough the first time (and I don’t think the Irish social workers come out of it very well, as the “concerns” always were baseless), but now they’ve proved themselves, both through the Irish social workers’ assessments and from bringing up their boys for three years. It is naked prejudice.


  1. Renewed harassment of McDougalls is indefensible | Indigo Jo Blogs

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