Was it a miracle? We’ll never know this side of heaven but more than one person said that it was.
The Child Welfare Services of Norway (the Barnevernet) is notorious for taking children from their parents for very little reason whatsoever. The world became aware of the problem when one case created worldwide protests in April of 2016. The pressure put on the Norwegian “Child Protective Services” by worldwide protests had a positive effect and the family involved was eventually reunited. It was a happy ending for one family who moved out of the country to avoid further abuse. What about all of the other families who have had their children stolen from them in Norway?
The Wings of the Wind attempted to find out why other similar cases in Norway had completely different results. The vast majority of people who had their children taken under very questionable circumstances never got their children back. One American/Norwegian mother who had her child stolen by the Barneveret eight years ago is still wondering if she might see her child before he is 18, or ever. Because of the obvious abuse of power, the Wings of the Wind commented on blogs, posted items, and grew to know many of the good people of Norway who were very upset about the shameful corruption.
The purpose of this post is to show a real example of how children are taken from parents in Norway. So many have bravely tried to expose this evil, like the victims in the following story. In spite of unknown (and known) risks, they told the truth and attempted to help others.
During the worldwide protests of 2016, this blog was in contact with a Norwegian good Samaritan who had welcomed a young mother into her home to help her care for her young child.
The Wings of the Wind was given this true story as it happened in real time and spoke by phone directly to the mother of the child as events were unfolding in Norway. At the time the following exclusive post was printed on this blog, the mother was safely living with the family that had taken her in. The family included a Norwegian pediatric nurse who worked at a neonatal intensive care unit. The article below was first printed here exactly five years ago today.
The June 7, 2016 Article:
Written by Margaret Hennum
(Originally written under the pseudonym Elsa Christensen)
It is Ascension Day, Thursday the fifth of May, 2016. A mother walks through the gates of Vilde “Home for Mothers,” never to return. She takes her son with her, a boy of about five months. The next days will be the first days that the mother and the baby get to be together without any public surveillance in a governmental institution, surveillance by the CPS.
Mother and child had survived five months away from home, observed day and night in an institution with video surveillance. Their performance of day-to-day tasks had been continuously monitored. In addition, daily notation of facial expressions, mood, and development were recorded. And then there was the IQ testing.
Why was this mother’s freedom to be in a normal social setting taken from her? When she was thirteen years old she was at school with her twelve-year-old sister. The authorities came in with the CPS and forcefully separated the two sisters who tried desperately to hold on to one another. The police also took their three other siblings.
“I was fine when I lived at home,” the mother remembers.
From that day, the five siblings never lived together, nor did they get to live with their parents as youngsters. The siblings were spread out, and the girl of thirteen was forced to live in a CPS institution. The other children in the institution were experimenting with several kinds of drugs. The loss of everything that was familiar to her made her seek consolation in the drugs she was offered. Her addiction followed her the next thirteen years. Then she got pregnant.
The day after giving birth to a son on December 1, 2015, it was explained to the mother that the CPS could help. She was told this because the goal was to remove her child from her. This fact was hidden from the mother.
Proposal of Help #1: Two CPS employees came to see her the day after she gave birth. They told her that the child was going to be moved to a foster home.
Proposal of Help#2: On the same day, the CPS promised the mother that they would not take the child if she agreed to admit herself for observation at the Sudmanske “Home for Mothers” in Bergen, Norway.
The mother accepted the “help;” she had no choice if she wanted to keep her boy. Most people would call this coercion. The CPS called it “voluntary acceptance of help.” After approximately a week in the hospital, the mother and child were moved to Sudmanske.
Proposal of Help #3: About two weeks later, two days before Christmas at midnight, the institution staff met with the mother. Instead of the expected discussion of her progress, she was informed that her son would be taken from her as a part of the third proposal of help. Up to this point, she had been breast feeding the boy.
The mother felt powerless after losing her living child, and she did not know where the CPS had taken him. She knew that the boy was taken from the person he belonged to and was a part of.
Proposal of Help #4: About five weeks after the baby was born, the mother was offered another proposal of help. The little boy would be returned to her immediately if she voluntary admitted herself for observation in the Vilde “Home for Mothers” in Horton, Norway. The coercive “offer” was accepted, the baby boy was returned, and the move was made to Vilde. The Norwegian CPS once again called it a “voluntary acceptance of a proposal for help.”
The Vilde “Mothers’ Home” is approximately 500 kilometers from the mother’s home in Bergen.
After four months of continuous observation at Vilde, the mother ended the fourth help proposal on her own initiative on the fifth of May. (The rest of Margaret’s article is printed at the end of this post.)
After the brave young mother (Nadia) left the “Mother’s Home” on her own, she was given refuge in the home of pediatric nurse Margaret Hennum. She and her son, Caspian, enjoyed six weeks living with the Hennum family.
What happened over the next several months was a nightmare. On June 16th, 2016, just nine days after the article above was posted on this blog, Norwegian authorities came to the Hennum home and took Caspian into custody. The following updates appeared here as the mother shared them with the Wings of the Wind.
June 16, 2016:
NORWAY’S CPS KIDNAPS CHILD…TODAY!!!!!
June 17, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #1
June 20, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #2
June 24, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #3
June 24, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #4
June 27, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #5
July 6, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #6
July 12, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #7
July 23, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #8
July 30, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #9
August 6, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #10
August 8, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #11
August 14, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #12
August 20, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #13
August 26, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #14
September 3, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #15
September 6, 2016:
NADIA HAS WON THE CASE…CASPIAN IS COMING HOME!!!!!
September 12, 2016:
CASPIAN IS HOME!!!!!! UPDATE #16
September 24, 2016:
NADIA AND CASPIAN IN VIENNA…UPDATE #17
October 30, 2016:
NADIA AND CASPIAN…UPDATE #18
Some have called Nadia and Caspian’s story a miracle.
Because the outcome of Nadia’s case is pretty rare in Norway, it has been called a miracle by some. I continued to ask Nadia for updates in the years following the return of Caspian. Understandably, as the good mom she is, Nadia did not want to give any details that could put her freedom in jeopardy. Recently, Nadia told the Wings of the Wind that she is now very open about her new life in Poland. The Wings has been following her Facebook page for years and has watched young Caspian grow.
Have there been any improvements in the Norwegian Childcare Services since 2016?
In the last year or so Norway’s Child Welfare Services (Barneveret) has been found guilty of Human Rights abuses at the European Court of Human Rights on several occasions. The ECHR can condemn a country for Human Rights violations but it has no regulatory authority. It appears that nothing concrete has been done to change the abysmal system although good sources say that more Norwegians are aware of the problem and that there are a few good media articles here and there. At the same time, the ungodliness continues. A few of the recent ECHR decisions can be found here.
Among others, there is the more recent story of an American mother who has had her three children taken from her. The Wings of the Wind published posts about Natalya Shutakova’s family here and here.
My opinion is that there has been no real change in Norway. A foundation of true information has been laid and is out there for any who want to know the truth. All one has to do is read one of the ECHR’s reports to know that Human Rights for families is not a priority for a country that is viewed by many as one of the greatest in the world. And the cases at the ECHR are not even the tip of the iceberg. I keep in touch with my Norwegian friends to varying degrees. Some continue to work for change. From where I stand it appears that the Barnevernet propaganda machine throws so much at Norwegian society that even the sanest of voices get drowned out.
Please continue to pray for Norway. So many prayed for Nadia and Caspian. As the years have passed, I have become more aware of similar problems in the West including the USA. Florida has a parent’s rights bill pending. As far as I’m aware all that it needs is the governor’s signature. My guess is that he will sign it. If he does, I am already writing a post to applaud it.
A supporter of family life as God created it
Wings of the Wind contributor
Here is the second part of Margaret’s article which contains a glimpse into the world of Norwegian “Child Welfare.”
Written by Margaret Hennum
(Originally written under the pseudonym Elsa Christensen)
For many decades, up until the 1970’s, children of wanderers such as gypsies, were taken by force from their parents. The CPS was assisted by the police to give these children what the government said they needed: a childhood without parents and siblings. They would be housed in institutions. Between 25% to 33% of gypsy children born between 1900 and 1960 were treated this way. Girls were IQ tested and sterilized. This was also done to some boys. In addition, whole families were interned in labor colonies. There, among other things, they were taught a “regular life characterized by tough discipline.” This was said to be “voluntary,” but clear threats to take away their children gave parents no choice but to except this existence.
“This is our near history. The last labor colony was closed in 1989. The last sterilizing was done in 1964. Later on, the government had to pay compensation for the abuse, and asked for forgiveness for destroying lives.” (Nina E. Tveter)
Does the mindset behind these actions live on?
Twenty-four years after the last forced sterilization in Molde, Norway, and about the same time as they closed Svanviken labor colony in Nordmøre, the social worker Kari Killén wrote a Doctoral Thesis. It was this work that made it possible for CPS to become as it is today.
After a study of only 17 children, Killen shaped the future CPS, a CPS based on measures of the parents’ functions. Killén told the social workers to evaluate “which parents can help children to survive!” (Molde, Norway, 19.02.2009)
The social workers in Norway and Scandinavia took her grand mission very seriously, and the results of their evaluations are catastrophic. The CPS and the police are now forcing 4-5 children each day out of their homes, most of them never to return to their parents. Last year this “protection” of Norwegian children cost the government 20 billion NOK.
The Middle Class Emotional Neglect
Killén, a social worker, is responsible for an important part of the curriculum for people studying to become social workers, and she has been teaching these courses for years. According to Kari Killén, 45% of Norwegian children suffer from emotional neglect. Her thinking is the foundation for the Norwegian CPS today: that 45% of our children will be traumatized by their own parents because of dubious bonding. When this happens, the CPS needs to “assist” people. Killén’s conclusion is based on this assertion: 45% of our children have parents that cannot help them survive without damage!
Killén argues that the percentage is so high because of a new type of neglect that she calls: “The emotional neglect in the middle class.” This is something that only some of the highly educated can understand: some health nurses, doctors and others may discover it from the time of the pregnancy.
Killen says that “Middle Class Emotional Neglect” is hard to discover, and the damage does not show until the child is three to five years old. It becomes particularly obvious in the teen years.
A National Breakdown?
If there is any truth to Killén’s assumption, it would be a sign of a total breakdown of the Norwegian welfare state. Of course, this idea makes no sense and the result of the work that the CPS has done based upon it must be seen as one of the greatest tragedies of our time.
A Forced Stay in a “Home for Mothers”
It wasn’t that long ago that gypsies had the choice between moving to a labor colony, or losing their children and getting sterilized. Today, hundreds of women yearly get the choice between moving to “Homes for Mothers” for observation, or losing their children at once. Just like the gypsies before them, these “choices” are called “voluntary.” We find this enforced in the CPS statistics under the term “help.”
In our culture, women with newborns have traditionally been well cared for. They get help in the house, food served in bed, helpful advice on breast feeding, and care from women that are friends. In the institutions, the women are merely being observed! They are taken away and isolated from their friends and family, people with whom it is natural to share the joy over the baby.
Many women in these institutions tell stories of how they initially got a warm welcome so it was natural to open up and talk about themselves. Then the illegal video surveillance started and there were demands for detailed plans of their daily tasks. The requirement: their plans had to be noted every half hour. Any supervision and guidance came mostly in the form of negative criticism. Monitoring of the voice, facial expressions, hygiene, and lack of initiative were recorded. Finally, the lack of eye contact with the child and other signs of supposed lack of interaction were seriously considered. The things the mothers told about themselves in confidence at the beginning of their stay was written in an “end report” that was unrecognizable to the mothers themselves.
“End reports” on the different mothers are strangely similar. Many mothers are in despair, often there with their first child. They have “let themselves” be institutionalized by force in a desperate hope of getting to keep their baby or of not losing it again. Most of them do not return home with their children.
The mother mentioned earlier in this narrative (we now know that this was Nadia…cr) survived five months under observations just like these. Every time a child was taken, she remembered when her own baby was taken from her at three weeks of age. She cried every time a child disappeared. In her “end report,” her crying was interpreted this way: “the mother is unstable!” She had lost once and was afraid to lose again.
“End reports” from “Home for Mothers”
The “end reports” from “Home for Mothers” are the most depressing literature I have read during my study of the CPS. The heartless lack of concern that make their methods possible are reflected in written observations. A family therapist will deliver these “end reports” to be used by the Council Committee and judges, who need proof for decisions. The “end reports” have a huge impact on the lives of children, parents and whole families.
As noted earlier, the reports are strangely similar. Most things are interpreted in the worst possible way. They are full of symbols, meaning no direct accusations, that describe irrelevant circumstances; circumstances that, if they were relevant, would discredit the parent and strengthen the therapist’s allegations. Just as enlightening as the things in the report are the things that are withheld on purpose.
In the report above of the woman who moved out voluntarily, breast feeding was mentioned as something she wanted to do, but it was not mentioned as something that she actually did. The fact that she was breast feeding the child until the CPS placed the boy with strangers is deliberately withheld! They did not mention that when the mother got her boy back in her arms after two weeks, her breasts were still not completely dry. They withheld the fact that the mother asked the public health nurse and the doctor in “The Mothers Home” if they thought that she could get the milk production back up, so she could continue breast feeding. They told her she couldn’t! Others knew that she could have managed it easily with some help and in a safe environment. A family therapist described the lack of eye contact between mother and child. She didn’t mention that the CPS kept them from developing the natural eye contact that breast feeding gives, and didn’t mention that they had the mother believing that she could never have this “free” eye contact again with the boy. (A baby’s eye sight is sharpest in the distance from the breast to the mothers face.) Another important fact that was held back was that the mother and child that they observed had just been reunited! The baby came from a two week stay in an emotional no-man’s-land (two weeks, in a lifetime of five weeks). The mother was scared and felt that she was in a dangerous situation after having lost her baby, having it back, and then being threatened of losing it again. The family therapist did not mention that the observations were made in the light of this dramatic break in the relationship between the mother and the baby.
Killén teaches that the people who do not have the necessary caring skills, will probably never learn them. This explains why the “Home for Mothers” is the exact opposite of what is normal in the rest of society. The “Home” does not give help when needed. They do nothing to strengthen and support people who are managing the best they can. These “Homes” merely observe and call it “help.” In reality, they are “helping” the child be torn from where it belongs.
The CPS in the Future
We know a lot about some groups of people in the government who would like to control family activity. Recently, a member of the parliament and social committee suggested that the CPS should start to prepare when the woman is pregnant. The CPS seems to listen to this member.
How many groups of people should be deemed unworthy of the parenting role? The gypsies were told clearly in their time to stop giving birth or be sterilized. Many people who have been involved with the CPS say that sterilization would almost have been better because then we would know for sure that there would be no “Child Welfare Services” in Norway’s future.
Time may be short before claims for compensation will come from the survivors who have had their lives ruined by the CPS. It appears that it will be a tough battle. Until then, the CPS will use money from the 20 billion NOK they have at their disposal for a very peculiar purpose: forcing CPS employees into the homes of families to restore the good impression of the CPS! The ones that are coerced to accept “help” become traumatized families in numerous cases. Some may get their children back only after long battles with the CPS. As stated earlier, in many cases, parents never get their children back.