Americans, What Would You Do if the CPS Shows Up at Your Door?

Family Hands

This is a great article written by Christian blogger Becky Hastings. It applies to Americans who find themselves crossing paths with the Child Protective Services. Seriously, what would you do if they knock on your door?

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Since more parents are experiencing a visit from CPS than ever before, and since sometimes those visits have resulted in the quick removal of children – despite no grounds to allegations of harm or abuse – it is critically important for every parent to have a good idea of how to respond to a CPS visit. Don’t think ‘it can’t happen to me.’ Take any visit by CPS seriously.

The most significant mistakes made by parents are usually in the very first encounter. If you can understand how to handle the very first encounter with CPS, you can increase your chances of maintaining your family’s rights and freedom. CPS will often seek to take a family by surprise. Be prepared.
1. THE KEY: Be polite & SAY AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE. You might be terrified inside. You might be absolutely angry if you feel there is injustice going on, but the number one thing you can do is stay calm and be polite. Anything you say can be twisted. Do NOT DEFEND YOURSELF. Do NOT volunteer information.

2. Do NOT let them in your house. Be nice but STAY FIRM. Have one statement ready and repeat it over and over “I know you are just doing your job, but my main obligation is to my children and to help them avoid unnecessary trauma.” If they do not have a warrant and there is no obvious emergency, they are not allowed access to your home. If a police officer is with them, they all know it is illegal to enter a home unless you CONSENT, or unless they have a warrant, or can hear an emergency situation going on. DO NOT CONSENT. 

3. Ask permission to ask THEM questions. “I realize you are just doing your job. Would it be ok if I asked you a couple of questions?” Then, ask if you can record the conversation. If you need to get your cell phone, close the door and say, “I need to get something.” These are the questions to ask them:

  • “Firstly, do you have some identification? After you get their ID, write down their name, then ask, “Can you give me the name and phone number of your supervisor?” Write it all down. Take your time.
  • Next “What are the exact allegations that have been made against me? Federal law requires that I should be informed of any allegations against me.”
  • Ask them if they have a warrant. Be direct. “Do you have a warrant to search my home or speak to my children?” If they produce a warrant make sure it is signed by a judge and dated.

Without a warrant they must gain your consent to enter your home or speak to your children. They are doing their job. Their supervisor has instructed them to make this visit and they will use whatever tactic they feel will be effective to GET MORE INFORMATION AGAINST YOU. They may alternate between: trying to be nice, being firm, threatening or trying to bargain with you. Stay immune to every tactic. Be Nice, but know your rights. Do not get caught up in their games. Don’t engage them in any discussion, except on the questions above.

4. Tell them you are going to contact your attorney and when you get them on the phone, you will allow them to speak to your attorney. Close the door. Phone your attorney so the attorney can speak to the CPS case worker and help them to leave. Your attorney will know the law and remind the case worker of your rights. It is always a good idea to have an advocate on your side.

What do I do if I don’t have an attorney?

If you are a Christian and Homeschooling, you might like to consider joining Heritage Defense. If you are homeschooling you might like to join Home School Legal Defense Association who will defend you against allegations by social services as they pertain to homeschooling. Both organizations require a monthly or yearly fee but are available for telephone help immediately in any emergency situation you might face.

I pray you will never need to use this information. Unfortunately, in the present time of extensive government involvement in the lives of parents, many parents have found themselves in complex situations with CPS. It is better to be forewarned and forearmed. Your number one desire is to protect your children from harm. Too often CPS has brought more harm than help.

Becky Hastings

Delight in Truth: 500,000 Visitors

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I never intended to turn this site into an anti-CPS blog when I started out. I meant to focus on theology, discernment in the church, and topics about the Christian struggle with the world. But when I heard about what Barnevernet did to the Bodnariu family I started writing articles to inform my friends about the situation. Unexpectedly, visitors from all over the world like professor Marianne Skanland arrived here leaving well-informed and well researched information. Mr Knut Nygaard who represents the Norwegian CPS has also been a regular commentator, and he has given us front row sitting and insight into how Barnevernet thinks and works.

Thank you to all who shared and reblogged these posts. Your effort was not in vain, because the Bodnariu family has been reunited and world is now beginning to ask questions about CPS practices in Norway and other European countries.

Here are a few statistics:

Total visitors: 500,193

Visitors in 2016: 308,000

By country in 2016:

United States 127,792
Romania 46,035
Norway 43,118
United Kingdom 14,449
Canada 12,762
Netherlands 7,566
Germany 5,812
Australia 5,691
Switzerland 5,294
Austria 4,942
Czech Republic 4,334

Comments (big thank you to all commentators and contributors!):

Chris Reimers 1,249

Marianne Skanland 769

Knut Nygaard 720

Pavla Jansova 308

Hildi 272

Jasper 222

Octavian 201

And many others to reach the total of 8,285 comments!

Top internet search terms: bodnariu case, barnevernet norway, ruth bodnariu

Top referring sites: facebook, twitter, AgnusDei, barzilaiendan

We did it for the children. Thank you all for participating on Delight in Truth.

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” -Jesus (Mark 10;14)

Norway, Close the Bodnariu Case!

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The Norwegian newspaper Firda reports today that the criminal investigation against the Bodnariu parents has concluded and the results have been forwarded to the Norwegian equivalent of the district attorney’s office. The article states that results of the investigation have not been made public, but the parents can still be prosecuted in criminal court if the district attorney wishes to do so, despite the fact that the children have been returned.

A reasonable person may ask, how is this possible? The children have already been returned!

Well, in Norway the social and criminal systems have separate independent procedures and investigations. The social side of the case is where the children were returned, but the “criminal” investigation has pushed forward apparently. We are hoping for a quick resolution in the absence of physical evidence of abuse. There was never any abuse in this family.

It so happens that the entire month of July is a court holiday in Norway. Only emergency cases are heard, so a decision in this case will not be expected soon.

On the other hand, Barnevernet should be investigated! Their interrogation of the Bodnariu children should be reviewed for the use of leading questions, and their coercion of the Bodnariu parents to sign false statements against each other should be made public.

After all the abuse this family has suffered at the hands of the Norwegian CPS, Norway better not lay a finger on them again!

Delight in Truth is calling on Norwegian authorities to stop harassing this family. Close the case, move on, and reform Barnevernet.

Dramatic Escape From Barnevernet!

ESCAPED: The young couple have escaped with their twin daughters to Poland and is now internationally wanted by police.  Photo: Olav T. Griswold / TV2 & nbsp;

Two young parents took things and their destiny in their hands recently. They somehow escaped WITH THEIR CHILDREN from Norway’s Barnevernet to Poland. This is the absolutely fascinating and dramatic story of parents Erik and Natasha who 9 months ago had their twins confiscated by Barnevernet immediately after birth when the 21-year-old mother was wrongly accused of being developmentally delayed.

The parents went to the media when their children were confiscated, and under the pressure of publicity Barnevernet allowed the parents to be reunited with the children while living in a Barnevernet institution. This is a place where they were observed, followed, criticized etc. This is the kind of institution where Barnevernet slowly builds a case against parents. Every inadequacy, every mistake, every reaction is recorded and reported. The ultimate goal is to present all the evidence in some judicial forum and have the children removed permanently.

Well, all that is out the door now.

The parents somehow received a tip that the CPS was not going to give the children back on a permanent basis, and they took matters into their own hands. They seized an opportunity to take the children and ran away from the mother/baby center where they were living.  They somehow left Norway without tipping off border personnel and are now in Poland. Was it another Polish Rambo rescue? We do not know!

Sure enough, the Barnevernet decision handed down this week was unfavorable to the parents, but by then the entire family had fled. Good for them.

But as we already know, Barnevernet is very vindictive. They have charged the parents with criminal conduct and will pursue them via the European Interpol. The result of this pursuit will be interesting because the family is now located in an undisclosed small village in Poland. They will eventually be found and an extradition process started.

Delight in Truth predicts that Poland will probably not extradite the couple after the recent CPS drama that has swept European countries. There are other parents who have escaped from Barnevernet to Poland before and they have found refuge there to raise their children in peace.

This is a great story. It makes your want to cheer for the protagonist, people like the Bodnarius, Barbu, Michalakova, baby Aria family etc. And in the process, the Norwegian CPS looks bad. Very bad.

Three Years After Escape from Norway

This is the testimony of a parent after a stealth escape from Norway while their family was awaiting Barnevernet County Committee intervention. Excerpts reposted with permission from professor Skanland’s page:

“When we left the country, I sent a mail to the leader of our child protection service Barnevernet, with a picture of over-joyed children in their seats on the plane on our way out of Europe. A great adventure for the smallest, while our eldest daughter was maybe the only one who understood fully that this was flight away from the people she had already hated for a good while. After a few months I rang our case handler back in Norway to say hello. The case handler said that in her opinion we had made a bad decision in leaving the country before the case was processed in the County Committee.

Let me be clear: Our children do not possess perfect parents. But now, after three years, the children are well-functioning both at school and at home. So can it be that Barnevernet was a bigger threat against the children’s lives than we the parents were? A dangerous thought, putting the whole Norwegian system in a bizarre light, if there was a morsel of something right about such a thought.

And then the local Barnevern leader, who has now quit, said in correspondence after we had left, that the care situation of the children was now “unsettled”, since we chose not to submit to negotiations in the County Committee.

It seemed almost as if “settling” the care situation for the children was a boon for children and adults alike.

I had to remind the Barnevern leader that he wanted to take the parents from the children, and that this was what was planned settled, not any other “clarification or settling of the care situation”.

On paper, families, children and parents apparently have fantastic protection under the law in these cases, and Mari Trommald and other child protection authorities try to hammer it into us on every occasion.

What then is the reason why our own trust in this system of justice is so low that some of us rather head for an uncertain future in a relatively unknown country, in a foreign culture, with a foreign language, rather than face a summary trial at a “court” which is even defined as something “resembling” a court? A “court” where the proximity to BUFETAT and the County Governor is so blatant that it is not unthinkable that they say good morning to one another and have lunch together? A “court” where we cannot stop an expert witness, whom we have already exposed and therefore irritated to breaking point, from witnessing, an expert who is in reality going to decide the fate of the children of parents against whom she probably feels more than average loathing.

A woman from the north of Norway was recently fined for having used an expression with [“…..”] to a Barnevern worker, probably because that was how she felt she herself had been treated. It is, however, of zero interest to our authorities that we as families feel run over (a nicer expression), and have no confidence in the processes which are to secure our interests being competent, meticulous, truth-seeking, honourable and objective.

In these cases nobody demands proof that the children’s lives will be better, because such a demand would immediately have reduced the number of cases of Barnevernet taking over the care to a fraction of what it is today, while at the same time making large parts of this stubborn and, in actual practice, unconquerable construction superfluous.

We seem to have forgotten where we were going while we were on the way there. Sometimes the transport is so pleasant that we do not care to reach our destination.

Power decides. From abroad we observe these primitive forces ravaging in Norway too, and that we are, on the deepest level, not any better than “these countries” we really despise but love to “help”, to force our “human rights” on, and to guide with our purse as bribery and temptation.

While sitting up to our ears in social “security” in Norway, we do not see it.”

Biola and Other Christian Universities Targeted by LGBT Agenda

It has been close to one year since the US Supreme Court made same-sex marriage the law of the land. The Court of course cannot make laws in the first place, but that is a discussion for another time.

Many thought it would be years before we see restrictions on churches and their ability to preach the gospel as it is written in the Bible, including sermons against homosexual practice. But some, including justices Scalia and Alito foresaw restrictions not only on churches but on Christian schools who uphold the traditional position on marriage and human relationships.

They were right.

The liberal legislature in California is trying to restrict funding to and potentially shut down Christian colleges like Biola University. These schools have sought exemptions from non-discrimination acts based on religious beliefs, but now those exemptions may be taken away if California lawmakers have their way.

Bills are being introduced targeting Biola, the flagship conservative evangelical university in California for discrimination against LGBT students. This is happening because Biola does not offer admissions for LGBT students and official recognition for LGBT associations and clubs on campus. Biola receives almost $3.7 million a year from the federal government which could be halted and the school potentially shut down for discrimination if these kind of bills are made into law.

Of note, many of these Christian universities also have religious exemptions banning co-habitation of unmarried couples and prohibiting admission to women who are pregnant out-of-wedlock.

The LGBT lobby in Sacramento wants to put an end to all of this “discrimination.”

They are not happy that Christian schools teach the Bible. They do not want Christian school to produce ministers who preach against their depraved view.

This is only the beginning. Wait until today’s elementary school students who are brainwashed in their classes by the LGBT agenda grow up and become our teachers, legislators and pastors.

Nevermind, that is already happening.

Today they are targeting schools for not enrolling open LGBT students. Tomorrow, churches.

Freedom of Religion Restricted by CPS in Norway

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This issue first came to light in the Bodnariu case where nosy teachers and social workers pressed the Bodnariu girls on theological issues taught in their family. Issues regarding sin, and God’s punishment of it. Based on the girls’ answers, CPS further probed them with leading questions which led to a 6 month confiscation ordeal. Religious matters were definitely a factor in this case, in a country that touts freedom of religion.

As we study more cases in Norway we gather more troubling findings.

The official religion in Norway is Protestant Christianity which practices infant baptism.  We have received reports of Barnevernet preventing confiscated children from being baptised. Infant baptism is a central doctrine in traditional Protestantism and it is restricted in Norway when Barnevernet gets involved.

Delight in Truth has obtained proof of this. The above logo is taken directly from a letter of baptism denial to a family who wished to have their child baptised. Here are some excerpts from said letter dated from 2015:

“… since the care situation is under judicial consideration, the future care situation is not clear. If there is to be a baptism carried out now, there will be a need for the interim foster parents to be present, and there will be monitoring carried out by the Child Protection Service. We have discussed the case, and recommend that the baptism of [***] be postponed until the case is finally decided in the courts, and the care situation has been clarified.

….The Child Protection Service therefore finds it difficult to facilitate a baptismal ceremony on […], 2015.

This is in effect a denial of standard religious practice. Just like the Bodnariu family was sanctioned for using the Bible as their ultimate guide for their life.

This is effective in a country where the Christian cross is pasted on its flag.

Maybe Barnevernet ought to recommend removal of the cross from the Norwegian flag.

Cruz-Avramescu Case: Child Protection Outrage in Norway

A bizarre situation illustrating the outrage against the Norwegian CPS has developed in Norway with a Norwegian-Romanian family.

In March 2014, the two boys (5 and 6 years old) of deaf parents Roberto Cruz and Andreea Avramescu were confiscated by Barnevernet after allegations of spanking at home. Spanking or corporal discipline is not considered child abuse throughout the world at large, but in Norway it is illegal.

There are a few things that make this case shocking for the average person reading its history. Apparently two different processes were opened against the parents, one social and one criminal. According to the news site Digi24, about 10 months after the confiscation, a judicial body has decided in favor of the Cruz-Avramescu family after finding no evidence of violence against the children.

This is what the world sees as a schizophrenic system. Even after a decision in favor of the family, Barnevernet has not followed said decision. Why even have these county commissions or judicial hearings if the CPS won’t even follow their rulings? It seems like Barnevernet is an autonomous state within a state.

What makes matters worse, about 9 months later in October 2015, while the boys have not been returned, a legal decision was handed down sentencing the parents to 5 months in prison and a total fine of 6,000 crowns. This is in the setting of a previous decision in favor of the family. Those punishments have not been carried out while appeals are in progress.

In the United States we call this double jeopardy and it is illegal. Once a defendant has been found not guilty, another court cannot come in and re-try the defendant for the same offense. But things are so confusing in Norway, that it appears double jeopardy is taking place when county boards and other judicial bodies try defendants on the same offense with opposite outcomes.

Now here is another head-turner. While all these confusing and contradicting judgements are carried out, in February 2016 the police began a process to deport Andreea Avramescu. Obviously they did not take into consideration the initial not guilty judgement.

The parental disability in this case further complicates matters. The Romanian Minister of External Affairs and the Romanian Embassy are involved in the case and have indicated that Norwegian authorities are claiming that by now the children are unable to communicate with their parents because they forgot sign language. How have we arrived at this sad situation? Ah, that’s right. The answer is that Barnevernet refused to follow the decision from January 2015 to return the children to their parents.

This is how you destroy a family, Norway-style 2016.

Who will hold Barnevernet responsible? That is the question that has no answer yet.

Let the Whole World Hear: The Kidnapping of an Infant in Norway

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Five police officers along with a social worker from Barnevernet stormed Margaret Hennum’s house. In true 1930’s Nazi style, they took Caspian, the above sleeping infant from his crib. In fact, this picture is taken not long before the kidnapping.

Context: Margaret is a neonatal intensive care nurse working in Norway and she has been housing Nadia and her infant son Caspian for the past month. Nadia has been discharged from a Mother’s Home in Norway about a month ago and she has been housed by Margaret’s family since then. Their story was published anonymously by Chris Reimers here. They are no longer anonymous. They are desperate after what they experienced today.

While Nadia was at an appointment, Barnevernet backed by police showed up and snatched the baby under the pretext that the baby does not have identification. Just like that. There was nothing Margaret with her credentials could do.

The police admitted that they didn’t really understand the situation, they just had orders that had to be carried out. No court orders were shown. No arrest warrants. No real motive. The family were just told that a mother and her son are being sought out. Margaret reports that the policeman in charge had a very sad and troubled look on his face, yet he went along with this terrible operation.

How can this happen in a modern civilized country?

I avoided referring to Norway and to Barnevernet as a Nazi system until now. I instructed all the speakers at the April 16th protest in Los Angeles not to mention any association between Norway’s CPS and Nazism or Fascism. We wanted to stay positive and constructive. We wanted to appeal to reason.

But this is too much.

This is what Nazis did in the 1930-40’s. They would storm houses looking for Jews and children of Jews. When they found them they would take them away. Forever.

It is exactly what the Norwegian CPS/Police extraction team performed today.

The entire world will now find out what happened in Brandal, Norway.

Thank you Margaret for your courage. Thank you Wings of the Wind, Agnus Dei and Steven Bennett for spreading the story.

Please share with everyone.

Pastor John Piper Comments on Norway Law and Bodnariu Case!

9am Plenary Wed 20 October 2010 Photo: Micah Chiang

A reader in Norway writes in: “Hello Pastor John, thank you for all that you have done for the kingdom and for this podcast. I have a question regarding child rearing. You have formerly said that you would go to jail over the issue of spanking. I agree with you that spanking is biblical. But in my home country, Norway, as well as in many other countries, spanking is illegal. The consequences would then not only be that one may have to go to jail, but that the government would take your children. This has now happened in the famous Bodnariu case where a couple in Norway lost their children after spanking them.

[UPDATE: The children have been returned].

In cases such as these, one may never get one’s children back again, because the government may not see you as a suitable parent because you spanked your children. What would you do as a Christian parent in Norway? Wouldn’t it be better to NOT spank your children and be sure that your children will never be taken away from you? This is a big issue with huge consequences for us in Norway.”

For sure, this is an important topic and has great consequence — and Norway is not the only country. You can go online and see a graph of the countries in Europe and around the world where it is illegal to spank, and that is only increasing.

I read about the Bodnariu case some time ago. The government took away five children from this family with, in my judgment, it seemed, no evidence of child abuse. I came away from that story feeling the way Jesus did in Mark 3:5 where it says, “He looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of hard” — anger and grief, anger and grief, the mingling of those two emotions. You can’t help but feel them in this situation. All five children were seized by the Norwegian government and, as far as I can tell, there was no evidence of child abuse. It is an ideological difference about the best way to raise your kids.

And yes, I have said that I would go to jail over this. In other words, if they wanted to put me in prison because I believe that the best way to love my children was to spank them sometimes when they were disobedient, I wouldn’t sacrifice that conviction or that behavior to stay out of jail. But, of course, that kind of protest and threat is of no use when the person about to be put in prison is not yourself, but your children. And yes, I know they are not being put in jail. But the point is it is similar. They are being legally kidnapped from the family and put in places they don’t want to be. And so the willingness of the parents to go to jail is not the issue anymore. So when I said that, I probably wasn’t thinking as realistically as is proving to be the case.

So, the question for our friend in Norway — and other countries, I am sure — is: Should we risk losing our children to the high-handed tactics of the state, or should we relent in spanking our children? And, of course, there are many related questions that Christians in Norway and other countries are facing like: What does a pastor preach? I don’t know what the legal ramifications are if he preaches the true biblical teaching. Does he tell the people what the Bible says and encourage them to obey, or does he just ignore parts of the Bible, or does he show them how to compromise? How do parents teach their children the Scriptures? Do they skip those parts of the Bible in telling their children how to raise their children? And if they teach their children, what will they say if the children say: Why don’t you spank us since the Bible says you should?

Now, of course, the issues are far deeper than simply the nature of parental discipline. There is a view of human nature at work here that will have repercussions everywhere. There is a view of how to restrain bad behavior and get good behavior from children that the state evidently thinks is less psychologically damaging than simple, measured, loving spanking.

The issue here is not merely how kids behave in later life. Are they well-adjusted or maladjusted? That is not the main issue. But rather, the issue is how they view the whole world — especially themselves and God. That is the great issue, which, of course, the Norwegian government does not take into account, but which is the most important issue in the world. According to Hebrews 12, God himself uses corporal punishment. And treating kids differently will not serve well to help them know God and love God and believe in the God of Hebrews 12 and his holiness and his mercy. Of course, governments don’t take into account these great issues. They are only thinking at a very narrow, natural, historical, societal level — not a cosmic level, not an eternal level that includes heaven and hell and salvation and obedience to God and eternal destinies and the exaltation of the glory of God. None of that matters to governments, but it should matter infinitely to Christian parents.

So, if I lived in Norway, what would I do? I would pray earnestly for wisdom. I would not assume that this is a simple either-or situation. God is a God of wonders. God is a God of miracles. He has ways out of dilemmas that seem hopeless. We can’t think of any alternatives, but he can. He splits the Red Sea. That was an alternative nobody thought of. He stopped the sun in the sky. That was an alternative nobody thought of. He raises the dead. He walks on water. “All things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27). So I would pray earnestly that God would show me a way to be obedient to God and keep, keep, keep my children.

And if I really had to choose between spanking my children and losing them to the state and I knew it was a necessary choice, of course, I would choose keeping my children over spanking them. That is the answer he was looking for, probably.

This is not choosing disobedience over obedience, because it would be disobedient to surrender your children to the state. One thing is crystal clear in the Bible: God holds parents accountable for the raising of their children, not the state — which leads to one other consideration: leaving a country where you can’t exercise your faith legally. America was founded by people who did that. They left their homelands so that they could exercise their faith in the way that they thought they should, and they were coming to an absolute wilderness. Half of them died in the process, which shows how important it was. And I have had people come to my church here in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA from Europe because they wanted to homeschool their children and weren’t allowed to in the country they came from. I know it is happening today.

So, I will pray for my brothers and sisters in lands like Norway where increasingly unjust and evil laws put the Christian between two terrible choices. And we are all moving toward that situation, and we will need great courage and great wisdom.

Taken from Desiring God (here)

Photo: Micah Chiang