I wanted to shout that I already had plans that day and what business was it of theirs?
‘I did everything they asked of me: assessments, IQ tests, drug tests, a spell in a mother-and-baby unit (a specialist home for mothers and young children where both can be monitored).
There have been cases cited of babies taken from women considered too young or not clever enough to look after them.
One boy was removed on the grounds that his mother might shout at him in the future.
Nothing worked.’ In May 1998, Tracey suffered a nervous breakdown due to stress.
She spent two months in a psychiatric unit, during which time the children were, quite properly, placed in temporary foster care. I couldn’t let them see me in that state, in that place,’ she says.