I wanted to share with the readers of DefCon a sad story concerning a Christian family in Canada. This was brought to my attention by a faithful reader of DefCon, Paul Bayne, and this is his story.
A Surrey family that had their three children seized by the government of British Columbia in October of 2007 is still desperately trying to get them back more than 26 months later. Their children were taken by the province after Child Services believed that the parents had shaken their then two-month-old baby girl, Bethany, even though those allegations now seem to be false, and government workers even advised their boys be returned as early as November of 2007.
The children have been in foster care ever since. The two boys who are aged five and four, respectively, and Bethany, now two, were taken by the Ministry of Child and Family Development when Paul and Zabeth Bayne were suspected of shaking their baby girl causing a head injury. The accusation is commonly known as “Shaken Baby Syndrome.” The Bayne’s insisted the injury occurred when their younger son tripped and fell on their daughter, but those pleas fell on deaf ears.
But the case has been fraught with concern about the power that government authorities have to seize children from their parents on slim evidence, and the lengthy time it has taken to restore the children to their parents again. Worse yet, evidence has surfaced which indicates the province had numerous opportunities to return their children, but for some reason did not. (Source: http://communities.canada.com/vancouversun/blogs/communityofinterest/archive/2009/12/28/a-family-in-need-of-reunification.aspx)
The lawyer representing the children’s ministry had suggested the return of the two older boys to the parents because there was no evidence of harm done on the boys, according to documents obtained by CBC News on Friday.
Government lawyer Finn Jensen believed the case for holding the two boys would not hold up in court, and John Fitzsimmons, a community services manager, was aware of the lawyer’s position, according to a ministry correspondence dated July 14, 2008.
“[A] medical report of November 2007, completed shortly after the two older children came into care, indicates that there was no evidence of harm of injury to the children,” the correspondence said.
“No new evidence has come to light, which would indicate a risk to these children,” it said.
Jensen’s opinion on the case was that “the director should consider a return of the two children to the parents.”
Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/04/03/bc-surrey-parents-fight.html#ixzz0l6KGtaSG
The couple consulted more than a dozen experts in Canada and the U.S. — including pediatricians and pathologists — who all concluded there was no evidence of inflicted injury, abuse and injury from shaking on the girl.
Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/03/05/bc-child-seizure-protest.html#ixzz0l6KqALBF
The Baynes have posted ten experts reports on their website which confirm that no abuse occured and the history of their son falling on their baby was consistent with the injuries seen. Some of the experts involved include the chief neuroradiologist from Stanford University Dr. Patrick Barnes, child forensic expert Dr. John Plunkett, biomechanics, Dr. Chris Van Ee and Dr. Kenneth Monson. You can view these reports online here: http://apleaforjustice.org/Reports.aspx
In May of 2008 the Baynes attended a mediation in which the Ministry of Child and Family Development returned their two oldest children to them. Unfortunately prior to the mediation Global TV had interviewed them and following mediation aired their story. You can view this interview here: http://paulandzabethbayne.wordpress.com/2010/01/24/global-tv-bayne-family/ In response to this the Ministry canceled their agreement with the Baynes.
The Surrey couple, Paul and Zabeth Bayne, also obtained internal documents from the Ministry of Children and Family Development that suggest their daughter likely suffers glutaric aciduria, a rare disease often mistaken for child abuse.
Glutaric aciduria is a genetic disorder with varied symptoms, sometimes including bleeding and swelling of the brain.
Several doctors told CBC News on Thursday that the disorder has been mistaken for child abuse in other cases, and children suffering from it can die.
The Baynes, who hadn’t heard of the condition until they obtained the ministry documents, said they want their daughter assessed and treated immediately: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/04/02/bc-surrey-parents-children.html
Surrey councillor Marvin Hunt is personally stepping into the fight of a former Hope couple to regain custody of their children seized more than two years ago by the B.C. Children’s Ministry.
And Hunt is not alone among the doctors, social workers and others imploring the ministry to follow its own rules and return the three children.