I have received several letters from people who were seeking my help in their cases involving taking of their children abroad. In this article, I would like to mention a case of parents – Slovak and Norwegian citizen Simone M., who naively thought that the Norwegian Social Service Barnevernet will help them. Unfortunately, they became its victims.
I was shocked by this case but not surprised by its absurdity and by the nonsensical process of taking children by Barnevernet coming without any prior warning.
Even before we get to the developments in this case, it is necessary to mention one thing. Mother of the child in question is deaf, which in no way can be a reason for taking of her child. This mothers´ handicap does not need to mean a reason for worse upbringing of infants. Especially, when the other parent is healthy and able to help with upbringing, as is the case of Mr L.
In viewfinder since birth
The case rolled out as follows: it began after the birth when the little baby Mary developed children hepatitis. After release from the hospital, everything seemed to be fine until the Barnevernet came into the picture and offered its help. The parents of Mary accepted the offer of the social services but it was a fatal mistake. Barnevernet started to visit their household regularly and it eventually resulted in taking of the child.
At first, the mother texted her partner that two women from Barnevernet arrived unannounced. She had to wake up the 10 days old baby. If it happened once, it would not matter that much. We could understand that the social worker came to check if everything was ok and left. That means nothing bad. But later that evening, when Mr L. finished at work, his phone was called by the social worker. The intrusive woman asked, why Mrs Simone did not not open the door for them. Mr L. explained that she was deaf and could not hear the door so the two ladies from Barnevernet waited for Mr L. to come back from work till 11 p.m.
Day after, on Saturday around lunch time and in the evening, people from Barnevernet came to visit the family again and this continued also following days. Eventually they concluded that late night visits were not necessary. However, from then on they showed up very frequently and unexpectedly.
I guess everyone understands that regular visits were not pleasant at all because their everyday life was upside down, while no serious issue was discovered. They did not know the day or the hour of the following visits from the social workers, but the worst was about to happen.
How Barnevernet wanted to help
One day at a meeting in Barnevernet, the social workers came up with the idea to “help”. This “help” meant transporting the family into a special house for families in Gjøvik, which is approximately one hour drive from Lillehammer, where the family lived and approximately one and half hour to Mr L´s work. They were supposed to be observed by cameras for three months, under the supervision of a special team, while living with other families.
Mr L mentioned that they had to choose either Gjøvik or losing their child. The father mentioned that only after Mary was taken away, Barnevernet mentioned a third option, which was a special course. However, they did not get any chance to take the course and were actually blackmailed into choosing either Gjøvik or losing Mary.
The social worker also mentioned another option – home visits. A debate lasting for 2,5 hours followed. After few hours of debating, the parents said strictly no to Gjøvik. Mr L said that his mom handed resignation at work and intended to help. Simone repeated their decision once more – they are for the second alternative which was finally understood even in Barnevernet. Later the same day, Barnevernet texted them that it wanted to shoot Simone and Mary on video to observe their relationship.
The problem was “minimal eye contact with the child”
So they came to Barnevernet. The interpreter was not present, only a social worker, parents and Mary. At first, the mother and then the father were recorded on 10 minutes long video. Filming took place in a very small and overridden room which was very uncomfortable mainly for little Mary. The father was supposed to change a diaper to the baby. Apparently, little Mary had minimal eye contact with her parents during those ten minutes.
After the shooting, they waited couple of days for feedback from the social worker. Then a message came from the social worker, stating that parents and Mary should come for another meeting in Barnevernet. Parents came with their daughter as always. At the entrance to Barnevernet, there were two policemen in civvies with name tags and badges. At that moment, Mr L. realized that the situation was serious. And this was confirmed at the meeting. They took the child away without any satisfactory justification. The policemen disappeared with their daughter to an unknown destination.
Later, Barnevernet reported to parents that Maxine would be in the care of foster parents. Parents do not have a right to know where and with who their daughter is. They can submit an application for visits to the court but they are not able to see Mary before the end of the trial. The reason for taking Mary away was the lack of eye contact on the video and the childhood of Simone, which would be reflected on Simone´s maternal abilities. By far the most serious reason for taking Mary away was that the child’s grandmother or parents were thinking of moving to Slovakia. Yes, that was the most serious concern!
In conclusion, perhaps I might add that a normal human mind cannot possibly believe to such cases. Did we return 70 years back to the days when rights were weak and injustice was winning? That is another reason to continue the fight for remedy of the Norwegian social system.
tomas zdechovsky mep
MIKE DONNELLY Director of Global Outreach
MIKE DONNELLY Director of Global Outreach
Pastor Cristian Ionescu, Spokesman
Barnevernet a dus pret de 5 ore copiii lui Marius si a lui Ruth,acasa la ei,acolo unde locuiau pana sa fie luati,apoi au fost luati,mi s-a spus ca Ruth a inceput sa planga mai tare ca atunci cand i-a luat Barnevernet prima data copiii,e devastata,fetitele au fost luate primele,apoi baietii,oameni buni,norvegienilor nu le pasa catusi de putin de proteste,de noi,de Ruth si de Marius,si cum Hitler a deportat milionul de evrei in lagarele concentrare,cam ceva asemanator a facut si face Barnevernet cu copilasii familiilor devastate de durere.Fratilor sa intram in post si rugaciune pentru aceasta familie,nu e mai tare Norvegia,Barnevernet ca Isus,adica stai Norvegie ca peste tine ,este unul mai tare ,Isus Hristos,si nu poti sa faci ce ai chef cu copii creati de El.
Daniel Cristiana Bodnariu
Information also is available from the Portland Romanian church, which is at 5544 S.E. 128th Ave. Pastor is Vasile Cinpean and phone number is 503-751-6057.