Parents fight to get their babies back

NZ Herald 16 October 2017
Family First Comment: Not the first time this type of thing has happened. From 2014…
“A judge has awarded $60,000 to the parents of a baby girl wrongly seized by welfare authorities. The young couple, from Dunedin, have told the Sunday Star-Times of their harrowing two-year battle to regain custody of the girl, who was taken by Child, Youth and Family at just 14 weeks because the agency wrongly suspected she’d been abused. In fact, the baby’s multiple fractures were the result of rickets, caused by a lack of Vitamin D. The pair were forced to go to court to prove they hadn’t abused the baby.
A young couple are fighting a decision to take their two children – one a newborn baby – into state care because of a suspected child abuse injury which they believe is due to brittle bone disease.

The couple, who cannot be named for legal reasons, lost their daughter six weeks after she was born in the South Island in July last year because doctors considered the most likely cause of her broken ribs was “inflicted injury”.

In August this year the Ministry for Vulnerable Children Oranga Tamariki won a Family Court order to uplift the couple’s second child, a boy who was not yet born but was considered to be at risk of harm.

The mother was allowed just four days to breast-feed her baby boy in Auckland’s North Shore Hospital after he was born on September 25. He was held under 24-hour security until he was removed from the parents on September 29.

An advocate for the family, Sue O’Callaghan, said doctors initially failed to recognise that the first child had a rare genetic condition known as osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease – a diagnosis finally made on August 19 when the girl was found to have “a novel mutation consistent with Type 1 osteogenesis imperfecta”.

O’Callaghan said, in her view: “We are stuck in a situation of medical negligence,”

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