Abducted in Norway. US Children missing for Christmas.
Christmas usually is a season where families spend time together. But for US citizen Natalya Shutakova and her husband Zygys Aleksa who live in Norway, Christmas is a nightmare this year. Their three children Brigita (11), Nikita (10) and Elizabeth (7), were brutally removed by Norway‘s child welfare system ‚Barnevernet‘ and sent to live with strangers for no justifiable reason.
The incident happened earlier in May this year. Three days before the removal, the oldest daughter was given a cell phone for her birthday. The daughter’s misbehavior over the weekend caused her mother to take away the phone until the behavior was corrected – a normal disciplinary measure. The following Monday a school teacher expressed a concern to the mother because her daughter didn’t bring a lunch to school. It came out that the girl was hiding her packed lunch in her backpack and that she was lying because she wanted to get her cell phone back. The school then reported a concern to the child welfare office.
Late at night on the same day Norwegian CPS (known as ‚Barnevernet‘) together with the police brutally removed the children who were already peacefully asleep in their beds. There was no court proceeding, no investigation, no due process, or assistance given to the family prior to the taking of the children. Barnevernet’s main concern is the family is perceived to have not a good enough routine. No violence, no abuse, no drugs, just a subjective assessment that the family might not reach the standard expected of them.
The children were sent to different foster families at secret addresses. They don’t have contact among each other and they are only allowed to see their parents 3x per year. They desperately want to come home, but Norway’s Barnevernet won’t release them.
The family had moved from Atlanta/Georgia in September 2018 to Norway because of a new job situation. At first, living in a beautiful country like Norway was a dream come true. They’ve had one christmas in Norway together and they were looking forward for this new chapter in their lives.
But this christmas the children are missing. They won’t see each other and they won’t be together with their loving and caring parents. There is no sign that the Norwegian authorities ever want to bring the family together again. It rather looks like they want to cut the bonds between them in order to get the children forcibly adopted by strangers.
We can’t emphasize enough that stealing US citizens, hiding their whereabouts and erasing their American identity is a heavy crime. But mainly it causes a horrible trauma and psychological damage for those innocent children, who don’t even speak fluent Norwegian.
It is hard to believe that the US embassy in Norway refuses to help the children, even though they are US citizens. They have stated that the children are now in the Norwegian system under Norwegian law. The only thing they are willing to do is to point the parents to the embassy’s website with a list of lawyers.
Meanwhile the trauma for those children continues. They won’t celebrate christmas in a loving environment with their parents like they were used to.