Three children whose loving parents have "insurmountable" learning difficulties must be placed for adoption, a family court judge has ruled.
Judge Anthony Cleary said council social services staff had worked with the children's parents for a "substantial period" in the hope of keeping the family together.
But the judge said efforts had been unsuccessful.
He said the youngsters - aged five, four and two - could be separated because it might be impossible for social workers to find one "adoptive placement".
Detail of the case has emerged in a written ruling by Judge Cleary following private family court hearings.
Judge Cleary, who hears cases in the Midlands, gave no clue where the children lived and said no-one involved could be identified.
He said a child protection plan had been put in place three years ago.
Social workers had become concerned about problems including: lack of supervision, inappropriate diet - which had led to the two older children being "significantly overweight", dirty and hazardous home conditions, inappropriate clothing and physical and developmental delay.
He said the children were dearly loved by their parents and neglect had not been intentional.
"The local authority has sought to maintain this family unit for a substantial period, during which these parents have shown co-operation and have endeavoured to improve their parenting skill," said the judge.
"They have, unhappily, failed because their learning disabilities are insurmountable and at such a level that the most intensive support and training has proved to be inadequate."
The judge said adoption "must be the most appropriate way forward" but warned: "It may be impossible to find an adoptive placement for all three together."
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