An American woman who had her son taken away from her by Norway’s strict child protective services five years ago tragically lost her appeal against the ruling. As a result, she is now concerned that her son could be forcibly placed with new parents.
Amy Jakobsen Bjørnevån’s son was removed from her home in July 2013 after concerns were raised about the 19-month-old’s health. According to the aggrieved mother, her son Tyler was taken away because he refused to eat solid foods and was still breastfeeding, and weighed about a pound less than he should have according to Norweigian authorities. Amy told The Christian Post that Tyler was also suffering from a Vitamin B12 deficiency.
Since that fateful and traumatic day when her son was taken away by the “Barnevernet,” Norway’s controversial child protection agency, Amy said Tyler, who is now 7, has not once been returned to her or his father, Kevin, for any extended period of time. She has not seen Tyler since September 2014.
A protracted legal battle has ensued, but after losing her most recent appeal, the mother is now even less likely to see her son ever again.
“This time, I was applying for custody back. If not custody, than at least visitation and parental rights back,” Bjørnevåg explained. “[The welfare board] answered that they wanted for him to be — forced adoption.”
Kevin was also denied both custody and periodic visitation.
Bjørnevån added that she lost her case “on all my accounts,” noting that the authorities in Norway are concerned that she is a flight risk if they let her spend any unsupervised time with her son. Now, she is concerned that Tyler will be adopted and she’ll be separated from him for good.
“If the court finds that it is a good idea for forced adoption to take place, they won’t look into if it was even correct reasoning to take away parental rights or for taking him away from our home at all,” she noted.
Bjørnevåg is a United States citizen who was born in Brooklyn, New York, and moved to her father’s home country of Norway at the age of 12.
On July 23, 2013, Barnevernet agents and officers from the Norwegian police force stormed Bjørnevåg’s home and forced her, her partner Kevin, and their son go to a local hospital.
The family was detained while Tyler was assessed by a doctor, at which time they determined Tyler was just slightly under the recommended weight for his age.
Shortly after the hospital visit, Amy was stripped of her parental rights, and Tyler was taken into state custody. The child protective services failed to conduct an actual investigation into the case, and quickly removed Bjørnevåg’s rights as a mother.
Bjørnevå is not the first mother to be denied her rights as a parent. Norway has been home to similar cases where children have been forcibly taken into the welfare system, despite a lack of evidence for any mistreatment. There also seems to be a pattern of the agency removing children from those that are ethnic immigrant parents.
The agency has gained international attention in recent years as many have raised voices over the mistreatment of families and children. Many have voiced outrage, stating that Barnevernet has completely overstepped and violated their rights as guardians.
The agency made Bjørnevåg believe that she was the one at fault for Tyler’s failure to eat solid foods. She said that she had previously asked her son’s doctor for help, as well as the health station at the hospital, but no one could help her.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Bjørnevåg said.
To learn more about her story, you can watch the video below:
(H/T: The Christian Post)