The controversy surrounding this has set off a firestorm.
Scott Mason May 16, 2016 at 10:24am
On Nov. 16, the Norwegian version child protective services agency, known as Barnevernet, took two sisters, ages 8 and 10, out of school and into custody. Officials then visited the girls’ home, where they removed two of their brothers, ages 2 and 5. The next day, they came and took a fifth sibling, only 3 months old.
The parents of these children, Marius and Ruth Bodnariu, say they were caught completely off-guard by this and had no idea why their children were taken.
The answer they eventually got was shocking.
Their kids had apparently been taken into Barnevernet custody because of the family’s religious beliefs.
According to the Washington Times, “The investigation reportedly started when the principal at the daughters’ school notified child services that she had concerns about the parents’ ‘very Christian’ beliefs, fearing they needed ‘help and guidance’ raising their children.”
Prior to the girls’ removal from school, they were reportedly interviewed for hours and during that time said they sometimes hid from their father so he wouldn’t spank them.
The Washington Times reports, however, that the girls made it clear they were not scared to go home.
Jon-Åge Øyslebø, the minister counselor for culture, communication, and education at the Norwegian Embassy in Washington, told Vice that “corporal punishment” of any kind is against the law in Norway.
The girls told their questioners they had watched their father shake his youngest son, Ezekiel. But Marius Bodnariu says he was just bouncing his son up and down. According to his brother Daniel, a CT scan and X-rays were done on Ezekiel, and no evidence of abuse was found.
A judge ruled that Ezekiel be returned to the Bodnariu family, but Barnevernet is seeking to strip the Bodnarius of their parental rights to their other four children.
The Home School Legal Defense Association, a U.S.-based advocacy group, released a video about the Bodnariu family last week.
This is not the first time Barnevernet has been alleged to overreach in a major way, according to a BBC report.
“In an open letter of protest to the Children’s Minister, 170 leading Norwegian professionals involved in child protection – lawyers, psychologists, social work experts – say Barnevernet is a ‘dysfunctional organisation which makes far-reaching errors of judgment with serious consequences,’” the BBC reported.
Barnevernet has been accused of using the very vague “lack of parenting skills” as a reason to take children from their homes too often. The controversy surrounding this has set off a firestorm. Protests have been going on in Norway, and an online petition to put the Bodnariu family back together has hit over 63,000 signatures.
Source WESTERN JOURNALISM