In May this year, two children – a four-month-old infant and a two-and-a-half-year toddler – were taken away by childcare authorities from an NRI couple in Norway.
The reason: authorities in the country believe the couple is unfit to raise kids and one of the proofs offered is that the couple sleeps on the same bed as their little kids.
“They told me ‘why are you sleeping with the children in the same bed?’. This is also a purely cultural issue. We never leave the children in another room and say goodnight to them,” Anurup Bhattacharya, the aggrieved father, told Indian television channel NDTV
The kids were picked up by childcare services on May 11 simultaneously from kindergarten and home. The Indian parents were given ‘bizarre explanations’ for this horrific act and were declared unfit parents by the Norwegian Child Protection Services (CPS).
The Indian mission in Oslo has requested officials to take a sympathetic view of the case on the grounds of cultural differences, but Norwegian officials seem to have, so far, turned a deaf ear to such requests.
The parents have been told that they will be allowed to meet their children only twice a year for an hour till the children turn 18. The kids are currently staying with two separate foster families.
The frantic father told IBNLive
, another Indian television channel: “They said the mother was incapable of taking care of the children - that our daughter looked at the faces of other people around her instead of her mother’s, was evidence that we were not taking proper care of her, and that our son remained aloof in the kindergarten and banged his head on the floor.”
When the couple went to file a report at a local police station in May 2011, the mother was frantic and started shouting and the officials took that as a confirmation that the mother was incapable of handling the children.
The Norwegian officials have even suggested that if the couple agrees on a separation, the officials might do a rethink and send the kids back to the father.
Indian officials have tried to intervene and, citing cultural differences, they’ve have even offered that the couple would leave Norway for good once the children are handed back to the parents. However, Norwegian officials have so far ignored all explanations from Indian diplomats.