- Posted February 17, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Is the UK, the US's closest Ally? Or is that the face they put on?
On September 12th, 2012 I arrived in the UK (with a legal visitor's visa) with my wife (who is a British Citizen) and our daughter. The purpose of coming here was so that she could live here with family (my wife suffers from some medical conditions and wanted to stay with her mother) and get help taking care of our daughter (along with her getting to see this side of her family), while I went to work (I normally work the IT Contract jobs and they have me shifting around a lot). Upon arrival everything was going fine, my daughter was settling in (as well as can be expected for a 3 year old). We were in the process of trying to get her to sleep in her own bed which takes awhile, moreso when you are in a new place. Most nights it took about 2 hours of her throwing a screaming fit before she tired out and went to bed. Overtime it slowly got better, but the fits still happened. On October 13th, she decided to kick up a really big fuss come bed time and both myself and the wife tried many things to calm her down.
During my daughter's fits, she got up and threw an toy at her mother, who spanked her on the butt. That caused her to scream 'Daddy, help me.' and I saw my wife spank her, which wasn't hard or anything. I decided to just bare through her cries, because she wasn't hurt and giving in makes it worse. About 15 minutes later a Police Officer shows up due to the neighbors calling because of what the daughter screamed. The officer checked her out and saw she was fine and then left. A couple of weeks pass and we get a visit from the UK's version of Child Services doing what they call a routine followup. We explained what happened and such and it seemed fine. A couple of days went by and they came back and soon was attacking my wife at first for coming back into the UK and not as soon as she touched down jumping on the government tit. After a few minutes they began to ask me questions, more so about my line of work and my former job (Worked as a Civilian Contractor in Iraq), upon discovering I was a US Citizen they began to attack both myself and the things the US does or doesn't do about children.
I just listened not agreeing or anything (because the place we where staying isn't mine) and after awhile they told my wife they would be back with a list of requirements that needed to be met so that our daughter was fine. Well a few weeks past (they never returned my wife's calls and such) before they return (it is third week in November by this time). They begin to rail the wife again about why she hasn't done this and this, and she tries to explain that she has attempted to get the information from them (register for a GP, nursery, etc). Well my wife looks around, makes requests etc (she can't drive and most people in the UK seem to use public transport) and she finally finds a doctor and does the registering. Looking for a nursery is harder because they are all filled so they tell her to check back in the new year. While all that is going on, we get notice that we got to pack up a lot of the things we unpacked because work is going to be done on the place we are living in. So no problem we pack all the stuff up and play shift the boxes around when the workmen need access to each things.
By this time it is the first week in December and the all so helpful (full of bullshit is more like it and all contact to the US Embassy has either gotten me bad info or told to just cooperate and make sure they get copies of everything) CS comes around again. They begin to railroad the wife for the millionth time, they seemed to be pissed because I spoke to my wife about just returning to the US with the daughter and she was ok with it. CS informs my wife that the boxes are not acceptable but the people doing the work on the place won't do the work if the stuff isn't boxed up (I found out about this time my mother-in-law gets help with house repairs from the city, which is fine, she pays her taxes and that's part of the services they offer). Well it becomes a war between the repair people and the CS people both saying the other ones don't matter. About this time since all this massive work is going on downstairs, it's decided to only make sure the bedrooms were we are staying (so we aren't in the way) remain warm, since the doors are being opened and left open by the workmen and running the heat downstairs would be a massive waste of money.
Finally we roll around to what I call D-day. On the 14th of December here comes CS rolling in, talking to my wife, bitching about the boxes and why aren't they unpacked (the workmen just finishing the work, as the CS arrived). She explained to them the work just GOT finished so we haven't had time to do anything. They step outside and come back a few minutes later with the police and tell us they are taking our daughter because stuff is in boxes (well this is what the Police say) and that once we get it straightened out (boxes unpacked). I can understand that and all (it wouldn't have mattered either way), so that night and through the weekend we get stuff unpacked and straightened up and put up. Come that Monday we call CS and tell them everything is done and then we get this entire freaking rant about my wife and that she's stupid, retarded, etc and that they were worried that I was going to return to the US with my daughter and that the US is no country to raise a child, much less a daughter in because “They watch TV and see what's going on.” At this time I'm pissed off but it's the Christmas week and everything is mainly shut down.
The US Embassy again tells me to cooperate with them and go through motions and all. Me and the wife do all of this and soon we are told yet another range of issues they have (mostly involving I won't give them more details about my work in Iraq and my family details as my family has asked me not to, and the final thing they are unable to get any information on me from the US). Then they get pissed off when the hospitals and doctor's offices in the US refuse to break the law and spill everything they know to them. The CS then say “Well if the US is not willing to share, then we refuse to allow you to ever take your daughter back to that much of a backwards country.” I just grit my teeth and decide to let the lawyer I got here in the UK handle it. Weeks pass as the CS stalls to do everything including getting it into court.
Finally this week I got into court and the first thing I get is my passport seized for “safety” reasons. Then I get told by the court once my visa up (I know this) that I have to leave without my daughter and that the judge can order me to give anything she wants (including making me waive any rights I have in the US) to the CS people. After court I spoke to the US Embassy yet again and got the same canned line about “Cooperation is the best so that if we have to get involved it's at the point that you have done everything you could.”
That's my story so far, now I ask you is this the sign of a country that is suppose to be our closest ally? That their own agencies insult the US and tell a US Citizen that they are trash if they vote for the wrong party? I am hoping some fellow Americans could offer any other ideas or support that I may not be seeing as possible. The only thing a couple of my friends came up with is going to EU courts since the UK likes to say “Hey we are a member of the EU!