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Five-Year-Old Boy Not to be Sent to Norway

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Five-Year-Old Boy Not to be Sent to Norway

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

A solution has been reached in a custody dispute involving a five-year-old Icelandic boy, whom Norwegian child protection services had planned to send to a foster family in Norway. The lawyer of the boy’s mother sent out a press release yesterday, stating that the decision has been made to allow the boy to stay in Iceland, RÚV reports. The Icelandic Government Agency for Child Protection has obtained custody over the boy, and Norwegian authorities have decided not to exercise their right to bring the boy back to Norway.

The boy lived in Norway with his mother and grandmother when Norwegian child protection services became involved, due to the mother’s addiction. Subsequently, the mother lost custody over her son. When it was imminent that the state would take the boy away from the family, the grandmothere decided to flee with him to Iceland.

The Reykjavík District Court and the Supreme Court of Iceland agreed with Norwegian child protection services that the boy should be sent back to Norway, where he was to grow up with a foster family until the age of 18. His grandmother would not have been allowed to see him until he turned 18, and his mother would have been able to 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.

Bragi Guðbrandsson, director of the Icelandic Government Agency for Child Protection confirmed that his agency has custody over the boy. The decision of Norwegian authorities not to grant the mother custody over the boy stands. He will be placed with an Icelandic foster family, and his mother will have visitation rights. Icelandic law allows for custody cases to be reheard, so the possibility remains for the mother to try to regain custody sometime in the future.

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