Nadia and Caspian’s fight for freedom (Part 1)
Nadia’s first encounter with Norway’s Child Welfare System, barnevernet, was when she was 13 years old. Nadia was forcefully removed from school, separated from her siblings, put into an institution, which sadly didn’t help her but in fact, made her teenage years far worse.
„I have never received any real help from the child welfare system in Norway, they have destroyed my life and we have never met again as a whole family ever since,“ says Nadia. Several years later, in her late twenties, Nadia gave birth to a baby boy called Caspian (Dec 2015). And what Nadia feared most was soon to be realised. Barnevernet approached her again and threatened to take her baby away from her unless she would be willing to submit herself together with Caspian, into a mother’s home.
If you’re not Norwegian you might think that this is a place where mothers and their children are being properly cared for. But many Norwegians and international observers call these places „Horror homes for mothers“. These are the institutions where mothers and their babies are being observed and tested under stressful situations. For example, does the mother have sufficient eye contact with her baby? This is also a place with no privacy because of 24/7 Video surveillance.
Nadia was forced to stay in two of these mother’s homes even though the child welfare’s decision was not based on any legal ground. The people responsible in barnevernet didn’t have the authority from a judge which would have authorised them to put Nadia into such a place. But sadly, Nadia didn’t know this – she was so afraid of losing her son forever, because of her own experience.
In May 2016, Nadia and Caspian left the mother’s home and found refuge at Margaret and Dag Hennum’s home. Margaret is a pediatric nurse and all her life she has been professionally working with Children. She lovingly observed Nadia and wrote reports which showed that Nadia is a loving and capable mother. A few weeks later, on June 13th the unimaginable happened: Case workers, along with five policemen stormed the house and in true 1930’s Nazi or former DDR Stasi style, removed little Caspian from his bed where he was sleeping peacefully. And once again there were no legal grounds for this cold and calculated operation. No court orders were shown, no arrest warrants. The policemen actually admitted to Margaret that they don’t really understand the situation themselves and that they’re only following orders.
The next few weeks Nadia lived in constant fear of permanently losing her son. She had occasional visitation rights and a lawyer started to work on her case. This particular case caused a lot of awareness on social media and within a short time Nadia and Caspian became well known around the world. It doesn’t happen very often in Norway that Children are returned, when they have been unfairly taken, but with the help of a lawyer and through international pressure, with both prayer and social media activities, Nadia won her case. On 12 Sept 2016, Caspian finally came home to mummy.
This may sound like a happy ending, but unfortunately it’s not. Norway’s child welfare never apologised to Nadia and now, a year later, they’re making life very difficult for them again.
Part two continues the story of Nadia and Caspian’s fight for freedom.
[Foto: Nadia & Caspian / Bekkelund]