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Serial care cases: How best to break the cycle of the replacement baby

Socio-legal expert Professor Harwin was part of a study called Vulnerable birth mothers and repeat losses of infants to public care: is targeted reproductive health care ethically defensible? led by Professor Karen Broadhurst, professor of social work at Lancaster University with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.

The original research introduced the idea of the ‘replacement baby’ to understand the grief and loss experienced by women who continue to have babies taken into care. The authors focussed on the ethics behind models where women have been given specialist long term and temporary family planning advice and support to break this cycle.  While some projects such as the Tri Borough's ‘Support for Change’ in Hammersmith & Fulham, Westminster, and Kensington & Chelsea put the women at the heart of the solution focussing on her rehabilitation, there are concerns over the state targeting long term contraception at so called ‘deviant’ mothers.

Professor Harwin explains, “xxx”.