Norway seized the 5 Children from Christian parents
by Samuel Smith
Norwegian child services have begun the adoption process for five children who were seized from a Romanian Pentecostal family in November after concerns were expressed about the parents’ Christian faith, the family says.
As previously reported by The Christian Post, the five children of Ruth and Marius Bodnariu were seized by the Barnevernet (Norway’s child services agency) on Nov. 16 after the principal of the middle school their two oldest daughters attend cited concerns about the children’s religious upbringing and how the parents were teaching their kids that God punishes sin.
Although the principal only asked the Barnevernet to offer the family counseling services and never requested that the children be removed from the home, the agency removed all five kids from their parents custody on the claim that the children were being physically abused.
The children, including a nursing infant son, have now been placed in three separate foster homes while their parents have been given extremely limited visitation rights. Although both parents can see their infant son twice a week, only Ruth can visit with her two oldest sons once per week while neither parent can visit their daughters.
During an interview with The Christian Post, Daniel Bodnariu, Marius’ brother, explained that his brother and sister-in-law have never mistreated or abused their children and only give them “light punishments” that cause little pain when their children behaved poorly.
Bodnariu explained that while the agency hasn’t found medical or physical evidence showing the children have been abused, the agency is relying on testimony from the children. And he questions whether Barnevernet has used unethical means to coax statements from the children.
“They said it was the belief of the parents, the Christian belief, and they said this creates a handicap in children because they are telling children that God punishes sin, and this is wrong in their point of view,” Bodnariu said. “In the [formal] accusations, they didn’t mention the religious aspect, only make the case on abuse, even though there is no evidence.”
Bodnariu added that the children were removed from their parents’ custody before the agency had performed background checks on the parents or interviewed neighbors and friends.
After the family’s appeal of the Barnevernet’s removal of their children was denied in late November, a Barnevernet representative told the family on Dec. 15 that the agency would like to evaluate Ruth and Marius to determine what kind of people they are.
Although the agency said the evaluation would not be conducted until February, the family was also informed that the Barnevernet has already begun the process to have their children adopted by other families.
“There are a lot of people who need to adopt kids in Norway,” Bodnariu said. “They don’t give birth to child and there are a lot of people in Norway who want to adopt.”
Source: Christian Post