A family targeted, a mother dehumanised and Hans Magnus’ rights trodden on in Norway!
Sylvia Gustavsen Ensby writes (translated):
“I’ll support you all the way,” said my GP at Hole Medical Centre when we were there and found out that we were having a child.
Before the appointment, and almost in disbelief, we had bought pregnancy tests in order to confirm our suspicion, we were expecting a child!
Many years ago, I was told that I would never get pregnant. I had been examined at the Central Hospital in Akershus (SiA) back then, and had received the disappointing conclusion that it was not possible for me to become pregnant, due to a hormone disorder, polycystic over syndrome (PCOS).
But, I did become pregnant. None of us had reacted in particular to my weight gain that autumn, partly because I was constantly gaining and losing weight. I didn’t have the feeling of a “life inside my belly” either. Not until the end of October 2015 did we suspect that I was not only overweight, but that it had to be something else.
“I’m going to support you all the way,” sad my GP and then he sent a report of concern to the child welfare services. Quite supportive that one.
We were summoned to a meeting at Ringerike Hospital on November 19th, 2015. There, we were met by two people from the child welfare services and a midwife. One of those from the child welfare services conducted the meeting. She started with verbally attacking us and practically “bulldozed” over us. She referred to an anonymous report the child welfare service had received about me. The message was typed and the language had clear signs of being written by a professional. The words and phrases that were used, that ordinary people do not know or use.
Emotionless stone faces
We were scolded into a state of shock, and then they called us “emotionless stone faces”. NCWS was seriously concerned by our case and they envisioned a care takeover, they said. Neither the midwife nor the child welfare workers protested or defended us in any way, they clearly agreed with the harassment.
The child welfare services then decided that the birth would take place on November 26th, 2015.
We were completely numb and because of the treatment we had received on November 19, I cried and was terribly depressed and completely out of my mind all night. Eventually, the psychological pain went over to physical pain, and then contractions started and our boy was born early the next morning. Caesarean section in a hurry, head fixed and his pulse went low. This was not a beautiful experience at the end of a pregnancy delivery. Then our hell continued for real.
I was immediately refused to have anything to do with my son, except breastfeeding him. Beyond that, I was to stay away. It was uttered, that “it would have been just as well if the mother had died while in birth”, and I was dangerous, according to claims like “the mother might drown the child”. Especially when one has wanted children for years, you are completely crushed inside when you are harassed both during pregnancy and then as a new first-time mother, by the child welfare services while the midwife observes and hears without intervening.
Mental retardation, moderate mental retardation, I could harm the child? We discovered that the diagnosis originated from my former GP at Skårer Medical Centre and was transferred to my journal from there. The journal also said “the patient has not been made aware of the diagnosis, nor has the patient’s mother”. The same doctor, who probably also meant I shouldn’t have children, sent me to SiA (now Ahus) for the fertility examination.
In retrospect, this diagnosis has been refuted twice without this being taken into account by the child welfare services. I then got the doctor to delete the misdiagnosis from the original medical record, but that was not good enough, neither to the child welfare service nor the judicial system. They had obviously decided that this diagnosis fitted their case and therefore they chose to keep it, even though they knew it was wrong, which was thoroughly documented.
The doctor was quick to remove the misdiagnosis, which first made me very happy, but then I became angry because he obviously saw that this was an obvious mistake, and he couldn’t answer why he had given me this diagnosis when he did and then could delete the entire diagnosis without having to re-evaluate. Such a serious misdiagnosis only has consequences for the patient, never for the person making the misdiagnosis – even without having to report it.
While waiting to be placed in a parent and child centre, we had a few days in our own home. The two NCWS workers came and went and did exactly what one of them writes; stressed the parents to bring out “how they really are”. A child welfare worker also stated that she was afraid that our son would die at home with us, with me around him. She was obviously not too scared, because she happily went home from work and left us without any form of surveillance until the next day.
This mother is to have nothing to do with the child
At the Parent and Child Centre, the Vilde foundation, we were met by a yellow note on a clipboard in our room: “This mother is not to be left alone with the child”. Quite the welcome when parent and child centre’s main focus ought to be on strengthening the relationship between mother and child – not to split them up by force.
If I expressed dissatisfaction with something, or uttered something, I was told that I could just go home, implying I had no reason to stay there. I felt like a milk factory without the opportunity to exercise my role as a mother.
As many people have probably discovered on Facebook, a stay in a home for the mother / family is, in most cases, a true hell for those who are exposed to it. Many people equate their stay there with prison stays, but it is much worse because, as a prisoner, you actually have rights you are not given in a parenting and child centre [Known in ever growing circles in Norway as Horror Homes for Mothers]. It has been hell to a lot of people, and so was it for us. Everything we said and did was written down and ended up in a vast “report” in nearly 100 pages. Not a positive word about us is to be found in those reports. Mostly, they contain lies and gross exaggerations.
On January 14th 2016, our boy was stolen from us. Since then, we can count on two hands the few times we’ve been allowed to be with him. Only one hour is reserved, almost no close contact, especially not with me who was considered a possible murderer. The guard the first time was extensive; four adults who saw to that we didn’t approach our son too much. Do not touch, do not pat, do not lift. The last few times, Trond got to hold our son, but not me, of course, as the child welfare services regard me a very dangerous person.
The foster parents were the driving force behind us not to have contact with our boy. From the beginning, their plan was to adopt. They claim that they have only had a passive role in this case, but they were very active both when we saw him, in the court cases that followed and, last but not least, by completely volunteering to sign the adoption application to force our son to be put up for adoption. It was quite obvious that they were not interested in being the foster parents of our son, it was only forced adoption without meeting his parents that was good enough for them.
We will never give up on getting our boy back. Those who believe otherwise must think again. We have had many rough days where everything seems hopeless and dark, but we will never give up. Our fight will last a lifetime!
[Sylvia and Trond Rikard Ensby’s first lawyer, Marie Sølverud, stated (translated): “It’s a very serious, sad and wrong judgement. The verdict will be appealed. I think it is hard to say anything about how the Supreme Court will deal with the matter. If it’s necessary, we will appeal to the ECtHR.” Sølverud reacted strongly to the fact that the court did not take into account the reports of two expert psychologists who believe the child should be returned to his parents.
Toward the end of 2017, Trond wrote (translated): “Our son has been denied any contact with his parents and his biological family. The state has decided that it is necessary to go ahead with a forced adoption. The adoptive parents have determined that our son will never get to know of his origins. There is a visitation ban to ensure that his grandfather can never bring him any presents or give him hugs.”]