Extreme child welfare? Oct 31, 2017 23:03:36 GMT 1
Post by Bonobo on Oct 31, 2017 23:03:36 GMT 1
Norwegian woman seeks asylum in Poland: report
A Norwegian woman has requested asylum in Poland, fearing that officials in her home country will take her child away, according to a report.
Photo: MadalinIonut/pixabay.com/CC0 Creative CommonsPhoto: MadalinIonut/pixabay.com/CC0 Creative Commons
Poland’s Nasz Dziennik daily reported on Tuesday that several other people were soon to “apply for protection” by the Polish authorities from Norway’s powerful Barnevernet child welfare service.
The woman who has requested asylum in Poland, Silje Garmo, has already had her older daughter, now 12 years old, taken away by the Norwegian authorities, Nasz Dziennik reported.
The mother faced claims that she overused pain killers, and was accused of leading a "chaotic lifestyle" and suffering chronic fatigue, the Polish paper said.
But Garmo managed to escape from a special centre for young mothers and come to Poland, the paper added.
During her second pregnancy, the Barnevernet constantly monitored the results of Garmo’s medical tests looking for evidence of addiction to drugs, but no such evidence was found, according to reports.
The paper added: "Most of the Barnevernet’s interventions involve poor people, from lower social classes and immigrants. But Garmo is educated, wealthy, well-versed in the law.”
The BBC reported last year that the case of a couple in Norway whose five children were taken away by officials had prompted rising concerns in the country and abroad over its child protection practices.
Source: Nasz Dziennik/PAP
Norway, Give Us Back the Children You Stole
A mother escapes from Norway to Poland. Her story is shocking.
A Norwegian mother’s heartbreaking story was featured yesterday, in The Super Express, a Polish media outlet, with a daily circulation of about 370,000.
This is a translated extract and edited version from the article linked at the bottom:
Super Express: What has to happen to a citizen of one of the richest countries in the world to ask for asylum in Poland?
Silje Garmo: It’s simple. If someone is trying to take away your children, the most important people in your life, then the choice is simple. When I applied for asylum as a Norwegian, a Polish official also wondered what he had heard. He questioned me several times to whether I was definitely not from Chechnya.
Super Express: Why Poland?
Silje Garmo: I have been in Poland with my friends for years. Before I decided, I checked the approach to motherhood and family policy. Poland has a very pro-family policy, unlike the Scandinavian countries.
Super Express: Didn’t the newspaper reports in the Western media about Poland "going towards dictatorship" and "the trouble with democracy"?
Silje Garmo: I studied law and political science. I can distinguish propaganda from information. And I'm not the first Norwegian who escaped to Poland, I know cases of several other families who have been hiding here for years.
Super Express: In Poland?
Silje Garmo: Yes, in Poland! I am the first to apply for asylum. In Poland, there must be very concrete reasons for taking a child away from a mother. Barnevernet, take children away for no good reason.
Super Express: What were you blamed for?
Silje Garmo: On accusations from the father of my oldest daughter. Barnevernet accused me of abusing painkillers, leading a "chaotic lifestyle" and having "chronic fatigue syndrome".
Super Express: That's enough to take away a child from its mother?!
Silje Garmo: In Norway, that’s enough.
Super Express: What does a "chaotic life" mean?
Silje Garmo: You just do not know what that means, so it's a convenient formula that they can use in such a case.
Super Express: OK, but this is the word of the father of the older child against the word of the mother.
Silje Garmo: I was made to take a series of tests to find out if there was a presence of painkillers and the results were always negative. My medical files were without permission looked at, but nothing was found. All you have to do is tell barnevernet and it then runs automatically, then you have to go through the process of trying to get your child back. Up until 2014, for 10 years, no one had any objections to how I was as a mother.
Super Express: What changed?
Silje Garmo: The dispute between me and the father of my older daughter. He is a very influential man, businessman, and friendly with judges. If he was a truck driver or a salesman, it would have been a little different. It was him who reported my daughter's "threat to life" to my "chaotic mode of life", and then barnevernet began to act. Someone once compared them to a steamrolling train - when they begin, it's hard to stop them. No accusations were confirmed, but they said they could take away my younger daughter too!
Super Express: Without a court judgment?
Silje Garmo: What court?! Barnevernet has a position that allows it to act before any court decisions. In Norway, for some time, there has been a discussion about barnevernet and the fact that it has become a State in a State. So far, nothing has changed, and so far, Norway has remained a State of lawlessness. Without a court order, my apartment was searched and my medical documents were reviewed.
Super Express: Based on what?
Silje Garmo: Based on the fictitious suspicion that my daughter's life may be at risk.
Super Express: Endangered, because?
Silje Garmo: The sudden threat to my daughter's life could have been the only excuse to go in search of any case in court. I have never been accused of breaking the law. My daughter had lived with me for 10 years and was doing well.
Super Express: Isn’t it impossible to lose your children for no reason? Something must have happened.
Silje Garmo: Well, nothing. And I'm not the only one, there are many families in a similar situation, although the majority of them are the families of immigrants, also from Poland, who collide with barnevernet without knowing the system. I knew how to respond, I knew my rights, but many women in the maternity ward to which I was sent had no idea how to respond!
Super Express: What are the options?
Silje Garmo: Barnevernet places the mother there (mother’s home) for observation, or the allegations will be confirmed. Staying there was a shock to me. Firstly, false reports were being written about me there. Secondly, many women were placed there and made to take drugs to dull their senses, so that they agree to such treatment, of taking their baby. When they refused to take medication, they were forced to be injected!
Super Express: You too?
Silje Garmo: I did not allow it and they were hostile to me. I knew my rights and at every meeting I wanted to be with a lawyer and a former police officer employed by me. I ran away from this centre, because I found out that they could take my second child. The older daughter, is still in Norway.
Super Express: In Norway, there is some resistance against barnevernet and the abuses?
Silje Garmo: Barnevernet is an institution very ingrained in our culture. Many wrongs occurred after the 1992 amendment, when its influence was widened. Every year it is getting worse. It's such a strong part of the system, that even my father who was a Norwegian Member of Parliament for a long time could not believe the abuse in the system he was contributing to. It was only recently that he changed his mind. In Norway, if you criticize barnevernet, people will not want to be friends with you!
Super Express: If Polish authorities refuse your asylum application, will you stay in Poland?
Silje Garmo: Yes, what will I get from staying in Norway? My baby would have also been taken away from me and I would not be allowed to see her before she was 18! Yes! 18 years! Hence, I will not let them kidnap her and I will also fight for my older daughter to be brought here to Poland.