So let’s get this straight…you can have your own kids, use drugs, smoke cigarettes and be bombed on booze and there is no problem.
But in the UK if you use an e-cigarette, with no harmful vapours at all and you are completely unsuitable for adopting children.
Social workers have barred a couple from adopting a child after the would-be father was seen smoking an e-cigarette.
The decision came after the pair had passed a long series of tests to qualify as parents, and had earlier paid for expensive fertility treatment, which failed.
They were told they could not adopt if either of them had used an e-cigarette in the past 12 months – despite experts saying that ‘vaping’ poses little or no threat to children in the home.
Last night, the couple said: ‘When there are so many children desperate for a family and a stable home, to put up such trivial barriers is ridiculous.’
The decision by Staffordshire County Council is unlikely to be a one-off.
At least 13 councils in England ban e-cigarette users from fostering or adopting young children, The Mail on Sunday has found – and there could be more.
‘Abigail’ and ‘Brian’, who do not want to give their real names, approached the council in December 2013 after several failed IVF attempts costing over £20,000.
A social worker visited the following month, but made ‘no mention’ of restrictions on smokers or e-cigarette users adopting, they claim. At the time, Brian was a light smoker of normal cigarettes.
By last September, having undergone medicals and interviews, and having proved they were of sound character and financially capable of raising a child, the pair thought they were on track to adopt. But when a social worker saw Brian using an e-cigarette, everything changed.
Brian, 45, said: ‘By then I’d stopped smoking completely and hadn’t had a real cigarette in months. I was using e-cigarettes as a cessation aid, to ease the nicotine cravings.’
The social worker warned them the council did not allow smokers to adopt young children, although she was unclear about its position with e-cigarette users.
The next day, she revealed that the council would not place a child with anyone who had used e-cigarettes in the previous 12 months either.
In October, she confirmed in an email: ‘Should you both become non smokers/e-smokers over a 12-month period, then you could of course reapply.’
And the evidence for this draconian regime? Well there is none whatsoever.
There is no evidence that vapour from e-cigarettes – which produce no smoke – is harmful if inhaled passively.
Public Health England recently stated: ‘The health risks of passive exposure to electronic cigarette vapour are… likely to be extremely low.’
Abigail, 43, said: ‘It made us feel judged and worthless, that you are a lesser person if you smoke e-cigarettes. They seem to be seeking adopters who are perfect. But we are like lots of ordinary families.’It made us feel judged and worthless, that you are a lesser person if you smoke e-cigarettesAbigail, 43, who tried to adopt with her partner Brian
She believed she and her husband had fallen victim to ‘over-zealous, politically correct’ social workers.
Similar accusations were made against social workers in 2012, when Rotherham Borough Council removed three children from foster carers who were Ukip members. The council later apologised.
Many councils cite guidance from the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF), which recommends ‘users of e-cigarettes be considered smokers’ until concerns about the devices are cleared up.
However, other councils cite alternative guidance from the Fostering Network, which says that people ‘should not be prevented from fostering or applying because of e-cigarettes use’.
Professor Robert West, director of tobacco studies at University College London, said the policy was ‘badly thought out’ and would cause ‘significant harm’.
‘There are so many misconceptions about e-cigarettes that policy makers and the public are getting very confused,’ he added.
Very confused by health nazis like we have here in New Zealand who demand silence from people with alternate views and try to run opponents out of government positions while they suck even more from the public trough.
– Daily Mail