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Norwegian “Modern-Day Kidnapping”

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Norwegian “Modern-Day Kidnapping”

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

In MP Kristján Möller’s view, it appears that a modern-day kidnapping is in the making, committed by the Norwegian child protection services, mbl.is reports. Kristján, who is an MP for the Social Democratic Alliance, spoke of a custody case, which has been covered extensively by Stundin lately.

MP Ragnheiður Ríkharðsdóttir, of the Independence Party, agreed. “At this podium, we frequently discuss human rights violations. As I speak, the human rights of a five-year-old boy are being violated.”

Yesterday, the Reykjavík District Court agreed with the Norwegian child protection services that the boy should be sent to Norway within two months, where he is to grow up with a foster family until the age of 18. His grandmother will not be allowed to see him until he’s 18, and his mother will see him only twice a year, two hours at a time. The boy’s father, who is Icelandic, lives in Denmark and has not been involved in the boy’s upbringing.

The Australian news analysis program Dateline made the Norwegian child protection system the subject of its discussion in July. The program asks why so many parents in Norway are claiming the state is kidnapping their children. You can watch the program here.

The Icelandic case involves the grandson of Helena Brynjólfsdóttir. Helena moved to Norway in 2013, along with two of her daughters and the two-year-old son of the older one. After they came to Norway, the young mother developed an addiction problem, leading Helena to be in charge of bringing up the little boy.

The Norwegian child protection services learned of the mother’s addiction and became involved. Her daughter lost custody over the boy. For more than two years, state officials visited Helena three to four times a week to make sure the boy was receiving good care in his grandmother’s home. All appeared to be going well.

After Helena’s youngest daughter sought help to avoid falling prey to addiction, things took a turn for the worse, and Norwegian authorities no longer supported Helena’s strive to get custody over the boy. He was sent to an older daughter of hers in Norway, but authorities decided the young family of three was such a happy one that adding a member might threaten that equilibrium. Besides, the couple had only lived together two years, making it likely, in their view, the relationship would not last.

When it was imminent that the state would take the boy away from Helena and her daughters, she decided to flee with the boy to Iceland. The boy’s mother has moved to Iceland and has been sober since going into rehab.

RÚV quotes the lawyer of Helena and her daughter as saying that the ruling of The Reykjavík District Court will be appealed to the Icelandic Supreme Court. Bragi Guðbrandsson, head of the Icelandic Government Agency for Child Protection, claimed there was nothing to prevent his agency from seeking cooperation with Norwegian child protection services for a beneficial solution for the boy.

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