16 October 2016
A story has broken in New Zealand of a young migrant couple both of whose children were removed as infants in what appears to be an unjustified confiscation by child protection services. The New Zealand National Herald, a leading national paper, has carried a report today saying that the couple’s elder child was removed at six weeks when she was discovered to have broken ribs, which medical experts are saying could be owing to brittle bone disease. The baby has been diagnosed as having this disease subsequent to removal from her parents. However, the baby remains in state custody. When the mother got pregnant with a second child, in a chilling move, the New Zealand Herald reports that child protection services obtained a court order to remove the baby at birth! This baby was confiscated at just four days of age.
We have seen cases in England where court orders are obtained to remove babies at birth. We have also seen cases in England where social worker keep calling women who have had children previously taken to ask them if they are pregnant again and visiting them while they are pregnant to tell them that they will remove the baby at birth. Readers can imagine the condition of a pregnant woman being treated in this way. Reports of this case are here.
The New Zealand Herald report makes some reference to the father being called “violent” when he loses his temper at the social workers for mistreating his family in this way. Exactly the same vindictive accusations were made in a British case described here.
England even went so far as to carry out a court-ordered C-section of an Italian woman with an alleged history of intermittent mental disorder who had been on a few week’s training course in Britain. British Social Services took over the baby’s custody the next day, and put it up for forced adoption.
We have done an extensive study of Indian immigrant parents being similarly accused of abuse in the USA for accidental injuries, head injuries suffered from birth trauma and fractures caused by brittle bone disease in their children (for further details see here).
There is a large body of research showing such abuse allegations, going under the rubric of “Shaken Baby Syndrome” or “Non-Accidental Trauma” to be wrong (see here). However, current medical policy in most Western hospitals is to report head injuries, internal bleeding and infantile fractures as abuse as a matter of course. In England, experts testifying in favour of parents in court proceedings with research showing that injuries for which they were blamed were consistent with accidents, birth trauma or congenital bone disease intimidated and obstructed from testifying by advocates of Shaken Baby Syndrome in the medical and police establishment.
We will be following the New Zealand case with interest.