Parentage of Some Foreign Children in Iceland Uncertain

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Parentage of Some Foreign Children in Iceland Uncertain

A couple with an infant recently arrived in Iceland, submitted documents to confirm that they were the parents and applied for a residence permit for the child. However, when a DNA analysis was requested the couple admitted to the child not being theirs.

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Photo by Bernhild Vögel.

The Reykjavík Metropolitan Police is currently investigating the matter, Fréttablaðið reports.

The Icelandic Human Rights Center is also investigating several cases of children of foreign origin who reside in Iceland, as their parentage has been questioned.

Margrét Steinarsdóttir, the center’s managing director, said that when people have admitted to having lied about being the child’s parents, they often claim that it is related to one of them.

The age of these children varies, Margrét added, but mostly they are young, two or three years old. They have come from three or four different countries.

Margrét stated the primary objective of authorities is to protect the rights of these children, as Iceland is party to a number of international human rights treaties.

“There have been cases where children were abused, suffered mentally and wanted to get away from the home where they were staying after having lived in the country for some time,” revealed Margrét.

“However, in many cases it appears that the children are being treated well and the relationship between the guardian and child to be good and beautiful,” she stressed, adding that these cases are always complicated because laws have been violated.

Several cases like these surface in Iceland every year. The Directorate of Immigration is working on uncovering them; it is suspected that there are many more.

ESA