Norwegian Resident: What has Norway Become?


  • Norwegian Resident: What has Norway Become?
    This article was written by a resident of Naustdal (same county as the Bodnariu family)
    and published in the newspaper Firda. Translated by Marianne Skanland. Segments
    posted with permission:
    “Personally I feel strongly for the [Bodnariu] family and I believe they are being treated
    very unjustly. It is a strange thing that this is what the rest of the world seems to believe
    also, just not in Norway and especially locally. I think most Norwegians are over-
    confident that Barnevernet does everything in the best interest of children. Everybody –
    government ministers, diplomats, county governors – rise to tell in complimentary words
    about the theoretically fantastic child protection set-up we have, without entering into
    the real world. I hope from my heart that this is what causes their behaviour.
    But I do not believe it. In this case I believe and I feel that it is not.
    By good fortune the larger newspapers have lately covered several child protection
    cases around the country, giving us shattering stories. On social media there are also
    links, to loads of terrible accounts by people in Norway who have experienced
    Barnevernet on its worst behaviour. Naustdal is hardly alone. It seems to me that proper
    investigation and renovation are needed, of laws, rules and procedures. It is not enough
    that an arrangement looks fine on paper. One must see to it that it functions in each
    individual case. I think there may be great variations between different county
    committees and not least between those working there.
    All the secrecy in Norway appears to serve the county committees more than the
    affected families.
    Everybody can go to social media and see authentic recordings from actions with a
    family, the police and Barnevernet in action. I guarantee it is not a pleasant experience.
    Regarding Naustdal, I understand it to have happened without warning. But from what I
    have heard, taking children away from their parents is supposed to be a last resort after
    everything else has been tried? Here, obviously, they have started at the wrong end.
    And where is it to end?
    In addition, the parents have been charged and risk a criminal court case, a paragraph
    running to 6 years of prison being used. Does it take a month-long court case to get the
    children home? All this is to happen to a young woman who grew up on a farm in a
    community in Naustdal municipality, a woman who went to Romania to help street
    children there, met her husband there, came home and by and by had five children.
    Together with her husband she has lived for 10 years in their own house on the farm of
    her parents, where they all lived happily in a large family.
    People ought to read carefully the desperate cry from the heart of the grandparents in
    an article in Firda on 10 February 2016.
    I have to ask, what has Norway become?
    Can such a thing happen only in Naustdal? Are people right abroad? Are these
    conditions such as we want to live with in Norway?


Norwegian politicians: The horror around „Child Protection”

  • power. Too much power lies within Barnevernet where the same people alike can take
    the role of adviser and helper, and then for the next moment be the ones deciding on
    the destiny of the child. A possible care order is determined by the County Council for
    Child Welfare and Social Affairs, but the relevant examiner’s child welfare report adds
    great weight to this decision. Parents must prove their ability to provide care in court
    against Barnevernet’s own officer. Therefore, the legal system works in a complete
    opposite way. It goes without saying that one should be considered innocent until
    proven guilty.
    But once a parent first loses custody, it is very difficult to get the children back. At great
    despair, the family can contact the media, but Barnevernet insists on confidentiality and
    therefore in most cases these allegations are never heard. These confidentiality rules
    make it difficult to assess what really happened in case. Therefore the case will never
    come to light.
    The fact that child welfare lacks transparency and can act as a „police state”, has
    created headlines around the world. People are afraid that their children will be taken
    away from them unless they understand what they may have done wrong and without
    that they cannot defend themselves. This particularly applies to foreign families. The
    „Norwegian-System” is hard enough to maneuver for a normal Norwegian. For a foreign
    family who may have not yet mastered the language, a sudden meeting with
    Barnevernet is perceived not only as traumatic, but completely incomprehensible. It
    must be easier to get information about what is meant by „good care” when one lives in
    Norway. Where is this information and who ensures that it is given? Is this something
    we could achieved through political means in order to avoid more unfortunate
    misunderstandings in the future?
    The family ties
    In a serious situation where children’s lives and health are considered in danger,
    therefor we have to accept emergency intervention to protect children. This will be done
    with respect for family privacy and with great care for the little ones. But one should
    never underestimate the familial and biological ties as a basic value in a child’s life.
    These ties are not easily replaced by a new adult person. On this basis, we believe that
    it should take an exceptional situation for a child to be placed with anyone other than
    close family and friends, and in the same community, although there could be solutions
    that are apparently of better quality. Barnevernet is obligated to follow the biological
    principle, but yet we see in the cases that come into the media spotlight, that this is not
    always the case. We read about families who could have avoided the pain of being
    separated if the family only received offers of help in the home. What fails in these kind
    of cases?
    In addition, children who need it, should be offered immediate trauma treatment, a
    treatment where emotions are processed in a sustainable way. We as a society must
    not accept that traumatized children be medicated, just because we do not have
    sufficient resources to work thru the real problems. These children need trustees to talk
  • to professionals with trauma understanding. Here we have politicians that see the need
    to increase the financial framework for mental health services and gladly earmark those
    for children and adolescents in child welfare care.
    Medication and trauma understanding
    It is natural to put a lid on emotions that are too painful to feel at the moment they are
    created. Small pain may be held down with light stimuli, such as sugar and smoke.
    Stronger pain requires heavier stimuli to keep „the lid on.” Drugs and alcohol, can all be
    used to self-medicate. One can criminalize such behavior, or we can look at the real
    needs and ask for help. What these children and young people need is help to loosen
    the lid in a controlled manner by releasing emotions that have been repressed, along
    with a confident adult person who actually understand the process and what goes on.
    Such redemption often comes only when someone cares, without rejecting or sudden
    abdication. A hug, a listening ear, someone who is not trying to „fix a” but just being
    present. Sometimes it can start with an outburst of anger. Then you have to endure thru
    it without using overwhelming force, if you really want to help.
    We heard in Ida’s story that someone reached out to her and endured her pain better
    than others. For the children to regain confidence and grow to become people in life,
    they must have such an attitude repeated over time. People with respect, empathy and
    time are those that prove to really be able to help. Then, the amount of accumulated
    emotions decreased. Penalties and enforcement gives the opposite effect and only
    builds up even more pain. This can also confirm the child’s own reflections on that there
    is an even that is failing. The children often notoriously blame themselves for what goes
    wrong around them.
    Human care
    It is thus obvious that education alone is not enough, one must also have the proper
    relational competence, great capacity for empathy and love to their own experiences to
    draw on. Here we need more resources to appropriate employees who dare to stand in
    tough conditions, but which also has the care and the personal qualities needed to
    accommodate traumatized children. Too often such institutions staffed with unqualified
    personnel and assistants.
    The institutions themselves, should also see if they can work in a different way. Why do
    we have so many big institutions when we know that what children and youth need is
    transparency, confidence and a way to deal with their issues? We must see that there is
    a need for more small institutions, which operated as home, with safe grown people
    ready to really look after their best interests. In addition, there is a great shortage of
    foster homes across the country. How can we increase the number of foster and allow
    institutional be absolutely the last resort? It’s no good to just criticize child welfare work.
    Such articles are plentiful. Now they have to find solutions and put money on the table.
    We as politicians can not speculate anymore – we must act!
  • New times – new child care
    It is about time that we look with fresh eyes at the way we treat the weakest in our
    society. Barnevernet and its system must be changed around and reflect a new age. All
    human beings have an intrinsic value. We should recognize the important job
    Barnevernet performs. Whoever saves lives and helps families to a better life. There is
    no doubt that the child does a lot right. But we must focus our vision on that which fails.
    We know that enforcement creates trauma and is deeply damaging both for the
    individual concerned and for society. Forced situations also require immediate
    emergency assistance for children and their parents. When children or parents do not
    give up without a fight, it goes without saying that something may be wrong. A system
    that acts as the public caregiver must be based on love and respect for man. It goes
    without saying – but it is not always the reality.
    Transparency gives confidence
    We must put in place a democratic separation of powers around decisions in child care,
    so that the sovereign people can control our government. Secrecy can no longer be an
    obstacle to this. There are many ways to anonymize these cases. How it works now,
    most cases processed finished in a judicial system that may base their decisions on
    erroneous or subjective information, and the people have the ability to control. We need
    to take this debate on how power should be exercised in the future and what offers we
    will have for families and children in need.
    Barnevernet relies on the confidence of the population. It is trust that should
    characterize its work, not dread. To achieve this, we must also listen to the employees
    within the social services, those who know where the shoe pinches. And most
    importantly we must listen to welfare pros , to these children and young people who
    have been in the child welfare system, which states: „Children and young people have
    the msot knowledge about their life. They are as much worth as adults. They need love
    and need to be believed and taken seriously. ”
    A system that has as its highest goal to protect children’s best interests, must reflect
    this. Child Welfare Act must be amended so that a distribution of power is introduced.
    We need an external body that represents the people, the hiring process in child welfare
    that reflects the work seriously and financial framework confirms the important work
    being done.
    As elected representatives of the Green Party we ask that both the local and national
    level to initiate a process immediately to restructure the child welfare services in Norway.

Barnevernet – It’s all about the Money

Barnevernet – It’s all about the Money
By Steven Bennet
Seven private investors have earned 57 million euros from CPS barnevernet services
(2014 report in Aftenposten).
Everything from a capital fund in London to the enormously rich Wallenberg family in
Sweden have realized that there is money to make in the Norwegian child welfare
system. Investors are on record saying – Child protection has become big business in
Argan Capital is a London-based investment company that says about the business
model on their own home pages – Argan Capital seeks to create the greatest possible
profit through a careful selection of businesses. The Norwegian child welfare system is
carefully selected to provide the greatest possible profit.
It’s all about providing maximum possible profits to its investors, and sadly, not about
the welfare of the families. Children in the Norwegian care system are dying as a result
of immoral, unethical, criminal acts with the purest form of neglect imaginable.
The eagerness of Norway’s ‘care system’ to separate children/babies from their parents
is taking a large devastating toll.
We all want a healthy CPS system, but the business model at barnevernet will never
produce this, as it forcibly creates absent parents for the flimsiest of reasons. It is much
more viable in Norway to abduct children/cute babies and in the process, destroy the
family, and make millions!$!$!
Stop the Child HUMAN TRAFFICKING Industry in Norway! Stop barnevernet!

The Bodnariu family case exposes a harmful transnational Mafia system

The Bodnariu family case exposes a harmful transnational Mafia system
Military analyst & director intelligence Sebastian Sarbu vice-president National
Academy of Security and Defence Planning director of International Center For Criminal
Intelligence (USA)
The Bodnariu family case exposes a harmful transnational Mafia system which
practically operates in a no man’s land area, with some degree of involvement of the
Norwegian state at certains levels.
Norway does not have proper laws in the field of family and child protection. It is the
authorities that are responsible for the operativeness of intervention in this case and the
way of dealing with information, as there is no public report for this case.It is clear that
the Nordic countries are a target for internal and international organized crime which,
taking advantage of an abusive adoption system, is undermining the family with the
purpose of changing state structure. The liberal and permissive laws of this country, the
autonomy of certain institutions represent a vulnerability for the Norwegian state, which,
directly or indirectly, encourages at certain levels the radical agenda of subversive
groups which thus act against national sovereignty, as they are connected to
transnational organized crime and, quite likely, to international terrorism.
It must be said that this adoption policy is legal human trafficking, and the Barnevernet
should be dissolved or completely reorganized according to new legislation.
Control mechanisms and laws are needed in the field of child protection. It is clear that a
child cannot be taken away from its parents for supposedly abusive parental behavior.
For all this there must be legal evidence which should be presented in court during a fair
trial whereby losing parental rights, be it the father’s or the mother’s, following a social
worker report and a publicly available report, should be the most severe possible action
taken by the state.
Encouraging a child’s rights and freedom of choice can prove to be dangerous. The
child could be sent to an orphanage or be provided with medical assistance only
following proven abuse. Moreover, there is no treaty or agreement between Romania
and Norway regarding bilateral international adoptions.
Norwegian authorities are too anemic and they favor at certain levels the proliferation of
abuse and modern forms of exploitation, including via applying certain laws.
We must transmit, together with the responsible elements of Norwegian society, the
following message: „Do not mistake Norway for the Islamic State.” The Barnevernet is
Norway’s Islamic State, an enclave which rules according to unappliable laws, and
which is impossible to control by legal means or by the means of institutional
instruments. Unfortunately, these practices tend to become generalized. We cannot call
it „an authority” since it is a completely decentralized institution in the functioning of
which the government cannot intervene. It is unacceptable that an institution which has
so many responsabilities is completely decentralized and functions as a form of private
For a balanced approach, let us mention that:
1. Effects cannot be dissociated from the primary cause. The primary cause was a
„Christian song” which was interpreted by the principal as „Christian indoctrination

After witnessing the consequences, she withdrew her complaint and refused any
collaboration with the Barnevernet.
2. There is a difference between discipline and physical abuse. The children have not
been abused at all, a fact that was evidenced by the medical exam.
3. Norwegian laws forbid any form of physical correction. The decision was nonetheless
abusive because, according to legislation, the parents should have been provided with
counseling at first, and it should have been only afterwards that the children could have
been taken away. It is not this organization’s first abuse.
4. There is a certain legislative void in the field in Norway. Norwegian laws are lacking.
The Child Welfare Services are not being checked by anyone, not even intelligence
services, but this has changed lately. The organization is heavily financed, the
organization must be investigated… The lack of transparency in this case is frightening.
Some employees have spread information about special financial interests without
anyone taking notice.
In my view, the EU must intervene in this case. The European Commission has already
been notified. It is for the first time that Norwegian officials have admitted that
Norwegian laws are deficient and that legislation adapted to EU norms is necessary. We
salute this approach and such fair and moral efforts.
The coordination with EU institutions is equally necessary in order to identify the most
desirable course of action and the subsequent solutions. Romania supports
undiscriminatory child and family protection and is against any religious persecution or
social alienation
Sebi Sarbu

Tensions peak as Norway takes Lithuanian children

2015 02 03. The years-long tensions over the troubles many Lithuanian parents have in Norway reached new heights this week after a Lithuanian family was unsuccessful in repatriating its child from Norway to Lithuania.

In a far-from-unique case the family, living in Norway, had its child forcibly taken away by authorities (Barnevernet childcare agency) to a foster home without a comprehensive reason. Fearing for their child they decided to bring him to Lithuania (via Sweden), which Norway considered illegal and requested Swedish authorities to intervene. Sweded taken the boy in a ferry to Lithuania and sent him to Norway, leading to Lithuanian diplomatic protests as the boy is a Lithuanian citizen.

Children taken away for cultural differences

With up to 15% of Lithuanian population emigrated to Western Europe (50 000 of them to Norway), the attitudes of authorities there directly affect many Lithuanian families. The strict Norwegian child-rearing laws that leave little for parental discretion have been especially reviled.

Such laws disproprtionally affect immigrants, whose culture and parenting philosophies differ deom the Norwegian one. For example, Indian children have been separated from family by Norwegian authorities because their parents slept in the same bed and fed them with bare hands (both are the usual cultural practice in India) [source]. Similar situations affecting their nationals led to diplomatic protests by India, Russia, the Czech Republic and other countries while now Lithuanian diplomacy has also intervened, although the intervention is locally criticised as far too lenient.

Lithuanian child-rearing system is generally far more libertarian than the Norwegian one and the education system more competitive, oriented towards knowledge and laboriousness. Norwegian system, on the other hand, puts far more emphasis on making the children more similar to each other („overcoming” the gender, ethnicity and other differences).

This is enforced so strictly that children could be taken to foster homes if they eat at home (before/after school/kindergarten) instead of having lunch together with classmates. According to the Lithuanian embassy in Norway, telling a child to do household chores, not making him/her wear winter clothing deemed „warm enough” and even „not buying him/her a toy” could lead to at least temporary removal of child from a family.

Norway’s immigrants also claim indirect discrimination as they tend to be more closely watched by the authorities with any „deviation” in child’s behaviour blamed on parents and a possible reason for taking the child away.

Barnevernet has been ignoring Lithuanian childcare authorities in requests for cooperation, while the embassy possibilities to help are limited. In a recent interview even the Lithuanian first secretary to Norway suggested that the parents „could leave Norway and [should] do so quickly” if their child is with them at the time despite the recent problems with Barnevernet and the embassy confirms that leaving the country would not be impeded.

Facts and conspiracy theories

The view of some childcare specialists who support Barnavernet work is that it is a natural continuation of increasing children’s rights and „progressive values”. The opposing view, popular outside Norway, claims that such „social engineering” policies are overprotective and severely breach children rights on themselves.

Discrimination accusations aside, even if the goodwill of all childcare workers would be assumed, the child is usually left traumatized after being suddenly transferred from his/her parents to an unknown family or foster home of different culture. In comaprison, Lithuanian adoption system (and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) prefers adoption / foster care within the same group of relatives or at least the same ethnic, religious and linguistic community. The calls of Lithuanian authorities to transfer children from Norway to their relatives in Lithuania have been ignored however.

Norwegian policies have been called „state-sponsored kidnappings” in Lithuanian media editorials which have also accused Norway of seeking to „increase its population this way”. Some rich Norwegians prefer adoption to giving birth, while the legalization of same-sex marriages increased the number of couples that could adopt children but not conceive them naturally (in one of the most-publicised cases a Lithuanian kid taken by Barnevernet was adopted by a lesbian couple).

Furthermore, adoption is claimed to be a big industry in whole Western Europe, with private consultation and legal help services effectively allowing to choose a child from catalogues „based even on eye color”. Foster parents are said to receive a Norwegian state support of ~4000 USD a month.

While some of these claims may be overtly suspicious, others are hard to deny or disprove. Even though the Norwegian courts have largely sided with Barnevernet in controversial cases, they still awarded 220 000 000 USD in compensation payments to children abused by the Barnevernet itself. A 2005 report by United Nations has criticised Norway on the issue. The total number of children that were either removed from parents or faced temporary restrictions in Norway is believed to be at ~61 000 in the past 5 years, which amounts to ~6% of total under-18 population and is an exceptionally large number for an upheaval-free society.

Stories that shock Lithuania

Here are just a few of the emotional stories that now dominate Lithuanian media and cause Lithuanians to write hundreds of comments in social media (names removed):

*In the recent case where a Lithuanian child has been returned from Sweden to Norway, the mother informed a doctor about the problems her child have with increased urination. Doctor suspected a psychological problem, which automatically involves Barnevernet. Having put the family on watch the Barnevernet later noted that this child missed two days at school as he visited his relatives in Lithuania. After complaints from school the child was taken away from family. The main reason given for not returning the child in later stages was the „danger that the child will be returned to Lithuania”. [source]

*In another case, Norwegian authorities taken a child from a Lithuanian family without a warning giving the sole reason that incorrect parental care was reported by unspecified people. The mother, who initially cooperated with the Norwegian authorities hoping to return her child, was even told by the Barnevernet officials that they now believed she is a good mother, but the court decision (adopted 1,5 months after the child was taken away) could not be reversed. Having lost hope the mother illegally took back her child after 1 year and repatriated to Lithuania. The child was left especially traumatized by the experience. [source]

*Norwegian authorities taken a child from a mixed Lithuanian-Norwegian family. The Lithuanian wife came under Barnevernet investigation after she confessed a doctor while being pregnant that she used to visit a psychologist in the past after a shock of finding a person close to her dead. After the baby was born the family was told to live in a purposeful „family home” for a month. The child was finally taken away after the Norwegian husband was attacked on street one evening and the family called doctors. The Barvernevet claimed that the wife may have beaten the husband, even though there were never any formal accusations or investigation. After unsuccessful atempts to return their kid through Norwegian courts the family vowed to continue the legal battle up to the European Court of Human Rights (if needed) and expressed hopes to move to Lithuania after getting their child back. [source]

*A Lithuanian family was informed by Barnevernet that their daughter won’t be coming back from school as she was put for foster care. The reasons claimed by Barnevernet included violence, alcoholism and even cult membership. It turned out Barnevernet was told these allegiations by father-in-law’s wife because there had been a long animosity between the two families. Barnevernet however acted on the claims without investigating them as they were made by a close relative. While the family was later able to prove the stories as false, Barnevernet still did not return their daughter, alleging the family was forcing her to „learn too much”. The reason for this: the girl was learning native Lithuanian language in addition to Norwegian school programs. Seeing (during the short allowed meetings) that their daughter was moved among multiple foster parents and traumatized, the family successfully illegally taken her back and returned to Lithuania in a single 3500 drive, even though they had a house in Trondheim and thought to stay there permanently. Ironically, the mother worked 20 years in a Lithuanian kindergarten and planned to do the same in Norway. [source]

In the online discussions many Lithuanians show sympathy for the families affected, blaming the authorities. Some however suggest that such situations would become rarer if migrant parents would carefully study the local parenting regulations and then either follow them rigorously or move to another country.

Libertarian parenting enjoys Lithuanian support

The authoritarian Norwegian „child-rearing law” has effectively mobilized many thousands of Lithuanians to fight for maintaining the current libertarian child-rearding policy in Lithuania itself, fearing a gradual introduction of the „Norwegian system” that they see as discriminatory, bureucratic, totalitarian, wasteful, unjustly limiting parental discretion and contrary to child’s well-being.

The largest numbers of activist articles appeared after some Lithuanian politicians made moves to ban corporal punishment and children walking outside alone (both ideas imported from Western Europe).

The latter proposal contradicts the usual practice where city children walk alone to schools from ~8 years old; this is generally safe and thought by many parents to help a child learn to be independent. Moreover, the limits of parental discretion create further burdens on parents, which are already large enough to make some Lithuanians reconsider having children, leading to sub-replacement birth rates.

The critics also point out that the Barnevernet was also initially established in the 1950s to combat corporal punishment in Norway but eventually started curbing various non-standart upbringing practices even if there is no scientific evidence of them being harmful.

Lithuanian children’s rights agencies do take children from truly abusive parents, but other than that parents are allowed to set their own system of rearing and educating children. The prevailing belief is that most parents know their own child the best and may decide what is the best for him/her. Equally prevailing is a distrust in state childcare institutions, where a human relation is thought to be unavoidably replaced by a dehumanized and traumatizing bureucratic relation.

While, for example, in United Kingdom a local family has recently been fined for spending schooltime travelling [source] (and in Norway similar cases led to taking children to foster care), in Lithuania such parental practice is permitted and common. It would only cause a stir if the child would fall behind his/her peers and be unable to catch up, but even then the teachers would likely seek to talk to parents instead of fining them, let alone taking their child away.

A boy taken away for speaking only Lithuanian

While the problems of Lithuanian families in Norway are best known, relatively authoritarian child-rearing laws exist in some other Western European societies.

In another much-publicized case the United Kingdom childcare authorities taken a Lithuanian child from his family because he „did not speak good enough English at the age of 3” (which supposedly meant parental neglect).

Such case seems to be especially baffling for Lithuanians as in Lithuania ethnic minorities even have schools that use their native languages as the medium of instruction (and learning official language for non-natives is not expected that early).

In Western European countries such as France such concessions to non-native speakers would be unthinkable. While they are now used to racial and religious differences, linguistic differences are new in many places as previously the immigrants used to come from the former colonies, having a good command of official languages.

The recent wave of Eastern European migrants (among them Lithuanians) that are not fluent in local languages claim discrimination and negative stereotypes against them in Western Europe. They also note lack of protection from such intolerance compared to what the other imigrant communities enjoy. Many of the childcare-related cases specified in this article may be related to such prejudices, but „anti-Lithuanian discrimination” simply lacks the headline value „antisemitism” or „racism” has, leading to little interest from non-Lithuanian media or politicians.

Such situations have made an increasing number of Lithuanians to question the Western European human rights practices, which they had seen as an undisputable model throughout much of the post-1990 period. After all, the Lithuanian-style children rights and linguistic minority rights (developed during the nation’s multiethnic, multireligious and multicultural history) may be more „liberal”, „humane” and „inclusive” than many Western European counterparts.

Article written by Augustinas Žemaitis