Open Letter to the US Embassy in Oslo
Open Letter to the Honorable Kenneth Braithwaite,
United States Ambassador to Norway
Consular Chief at the United States Embassy to Norway
Vienna, 15. December 2019
We believe you are familiar with Ms. Amy Jakobsen’s case as she has appealed to the US consulate for assistance several times. As far as we understand, you’ve not provided her with the assistance that she deserves. May we kindly remind you that the welfare of United States citizens abroad should be the State Department’s highest priority!
To recap: in July of 2013 Amy Jakobsen’s son Tyler (19 months, US citizen) was brutally abducted by the Norwegian state and sent to live with strangers at a secret address for no valid reason. There was no court proceeding, no investigation, no due process, or assistance given to Ms. Jakobsen prior to the removal of her child.
The background: in the weeks leading up to the taking of Tyler, the young mother was increasingly concerned about the growth curve of her son. Tyler did not yet want to move to more solid food but instead continued to prefer breastmilk. Tyler was Ms. Jakobsen’s first child, so she lacked the experience to know that children can develop quite individually. But, being a concerned mother, she even took Tyler for medical check-ups three times per month in order to monitor the growth process very closely. Her local doctor said that Tyler was doing OK. Then, came the summer. Ms. Jakobsen went on a vacation with Tyler to America for two weeks and visited friends and relatives.
But, as soon as they returned back to Norway, the Child Welfare Service, known as „Barnevernet“, together with the police came to her house, saying that Tyler must be examined immediately by a doctor. Ms. Jakobsen found out later that someone had alerted the Child Welfare Office in order to maliciously harm her. Being completely overwhelmed by the situation she agreed to go to a hospital with them.
But they didn’t take them to the local doctor who had all the records about Tyler. Instead they brought Ms. Jakobsen and her child to an other hospital more than 75 kilometers away. This might even raise wider questions, if this hospital was chosen on purpose because the doctor would act more on the conditions of Barnevernet.
At the hospital Tyler was diagnosed with a slightly ‘underweight’. The boy would have had to weigh 10 kg (~22 lb), the doctor said. But Tyler weighed only 9.6 kg (~21 lb), which is actually not a reason for a concern according to weight charts. The doctor also diagnosed a slight Vitamin B12 deficiency, which just might have been the result from the long flight from the US back to Norway the other day. Also the doctor criticized that Ms. Jakobsen was still breastfeeding her son.
We hope we can agree that none of this evidence warrants forcefully removing a child from his parents. The only reason given for still depriving Tyler of his mother until today is the American citizenship, as this is viewed as a potential abduction risk. Tyler’s name was even changed twice so that the mother wouldn’t find out where he lives. Furthermore reports indicate that Tyler was tortured in foster care and that he wants to be with his mother Amy Jakobsen.
It is very obvious that several articles of the UN convention on the rights of the child are being heavily violated. Tyler is being deprived of his rights. He has the right to be raised by his parents. He also has the right for regular contact and relationship with his parents even when he is separated from them. But placing him in a foster home at a secret address with no contact to his parents at all, completely ignores this right. According to the UN convention, children also have the right to preserve their identity, including nationality, name and family relations. Tyler is being deprived of this right and of his American heritage. And hiding his whereabouts is nothing else but kidnapping.
The US State Department must act immediately to bring justice for this American child. It is not acceptable that his rights are being completely overlooked. And if we may add, stealing US citizens is a heavy crime which is a serious burden for the diplomatic relations between Norway and the United States.
We urge you to contact the child welfare office in Farsund (Lister barnevern) to request a meeting with Tyler immediately to check up on his well being and to request the reunification of the child with his mother as soon as possible.
Step up 4 Children’s Rights