The day before Christmas, 2014, I discovered that my friend's son had arrived in town the night before and stayed at a motel, so I invited him to come stay with us.
Joe had arrived on the Greyhound bus because his girlfriend's baby had been brought back here by the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD), after being forcibly removed from Joe's home .
Pamela had broken up with Joe before the baby was born, but after re-evaluating her life choices, she had decided to come visit him and his parents for Christmas, so that he could see his 5-month-old son and they could discuss getting back together again. Joe lived with his parents a few hours away from her. She was 16-years-old, not yet an adult herself and had been living with her mother. He was just a few years older than her. Joe's parents were more than happy to let her stay as long as she wanted.
The same night that she showed up at Joe's door, MCFD Social Workers showed up too along with the police.
The Social Worker told Pamela, Joe and his parents that they were there because the baby urgently needed to be "MEDICALLED" and that the baby had to be returned to the grandmother's house.
Baby Noah used to have reflux while he was nursing, and a doctor said that it was Laryngomalacia. Most babies outgrow this and baby Noah had not been showing signs of it anymore. But to appease the Social Workers, Pamela decided to go right then and there down to the emergency doctor and get the baby looked at.
The doctor did an examination and told the Social Workers that the baby was perfectly healthy and he saw no concerns.
Yet the Social Workers and Police STILL insisted that the baby had to be taken back. So Pamela, called her father and asked him to come pick her up and drive her and baby back to her mother's house.
Before this date, Pamela had never been contacted by MCFD or aware that they had any concerns about her parenting.
Her mother, Ivy, (the grandmother) was a controlling woman who did not like the baby's daddy or his family. She had convinced Pamela to break up with him, and apparently now that her daughter had decided that she wanted the father back in her life, Ivy could not stand that her daughter had a strong mind and will of her own.
Grandma Ivy ran a Mom & Tot's type of service that was partially funded by the MCFD, so she knew Social Workers. Apparently she called in a favor on the day that her daughter, Pamela, decided that she wanted to leave her mother's home and go stay with her boyfriend's family. She found out her daughter's destination and arranged for Social Workers at that end to pick up her daughter and baby and bring them back to her home.
So ... I had invited Joe to stay at my house and found out what was happening. Pamela was obviously very, very upset at her mother for calling Social Services on her, and I figured that she would not want to spend Christmas under that type of duress, so I asked her if she wanted to bring baby along and spend Christmas with my family. She would have gladly accepted. Except that she was to discover yet another giant hiccup.
Her mother told her that she was NOT allowed to leave her mother's house or her mother's prescence with the baby, or the police would be called on her!
Pamela came over for a little while on Christmas, but then needed to get back to the baby to breastfeed him.
The grandmother informed her that there were also other rules that she now had to follow. The baby was NOT allowed to be in Pamela's room at night but rather had to be in a crib in grandma's room. Of course this interrupted night-time feedings. And when the baby would wake up in grandma's room crying to be fed, Pamela would not hear it and continue to sleep through the night, while Grandma gave baby a bottle of formula.
Baby was being partially weaned against the mother's wishes! Pamela knew that it was best to continue breastfeeding until age 2, and had planned to do so.
Ivy told Pamela that there was an Order from MCFD with these rules written down. I wondered how this could have happened since an investigation had NEVER been done of mother and baby and Social Workers had not bothered to get her side of the story, or observe her with her own baby, or ask questions, or anything! They had already completely made up their mind just from whatever Ivy had told them.
On Christmas Day I decided that I had to go and talk to Grandma Ivy to find out what was going on. I asked her why on earth she would interrupt the breastfeeding process, and damage that mother/baby bond, ESPECIALLY since her own mother had been a midwife and she should know how important this was! Ivy told me that she had no choice because MCFD had told her she must do these things. I asked to see the paperwork for this "Order." Even though Ivy had been unwilling to show it to her daughter, she did show it to me, and I took pictures.
Before I left, she asked me for my business card and name. I told her that I don't have a business card and that I am a good friend of the father's mother. She looked surprised. Later on Pamela told me that Ivy had thought that I was a lawyer ... lol ... I guess I can appear quite professional and legal sounding.
Well GOOD! I was glad that she thought that I was a lawyer even though I wasn't trying to pretend to be one. She probably wouldn't have allowed me to see the paperwork otherwise.
So what was this mysterious paperwork that had stripped this young mother of all her rights with such ease?
I had to closely examine the document once I was home, because I wasn't sure what I was looking at at first. What I discovered was the first obvious abuse of power -- an outright illegal action on the part of MCFD.
The document was a Ministry of Children & Family Development SAFETY PLAN
Notice the purpose of a Safety Plan as stated right on the form.
This short-term safety plan is in place with the AGREEMENT of the PARENT(s) and it is understood that it remains in place until:
___ a) the parent(s) and the child welfare worker agree that the immediate safety concerns have been >addressed,
___ b) a new short-term safety plan has been put in place; or
___c) a longer-term safety plan has been put in place.
If at any time parents or other participants are unable or unwilling to their role in the Safety Plan, please notify the worker immediately.
Now my question to the readers is this ... Would ANY parent willingly create an agreement to have the Police called on them if they leave their house with their own child?
Of course not!
Besides common sense that this is not an agreement anyone would ever make, the real proof of this is that there is NO PARENT SIGNATURE on the form!!
Missing Parent Signature!
You can see where the two Social Workers signed. (I erased their names, but you can see some remains of their signatures.)
Hand-written on the form is:
PLAN STATED VERBALLY TO FAMILY AT (location)