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Mother sues for “unlawful and careless removal of the children” by Dutch Social Services

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A mother whose children were taken from her care in 2012 is launching a law suit against the agencies responsible for their removal.

The mother, Ms Jelena Antonova, alleges that her kids have been kept from her without any lawful justification. Among the motives cited for the removal were neglect, that the children spoke to their mother’s native language of Russian at home, and that she allegedly tried to alienate the children from their father.

The Ministry of Justice and Security, the Salvation Army Youth Protection, and the youth protection service of Gelderland province are all named in the case.

It was also claimed that Jelena would possibly flee with them to Latvia to avoid the children’s estranged father.

The youngsters had “seriously conflicting loyalties” to their dad and mum, social workers who were working intently with their father stated. There was a time when the children stated they were afraid of their father and no longer wanted to see him.

Parental alienation can be a difficult matter to judge, particularly so when people haven’t been trained well enough. There is no record of violence involved from the father so it is hard to see why the children should ever have been scared of him.

The case become at first raised with the aid of former Telegraph journalist and family courtroom campaigner, the late Christopher Booker. Some of flaws within the conduct of Children Services emerged during questioning, the family claims.

The Dutch Court of Appeal made repeated rulings that the children should be reunited with their mother but these were overturned when the child protection board, part of the justice ministry, sought the extension of the care order in a lower family court.

There is no point just taking children away from parents. If parental alienation is happening — whether deliberately or inadvertently — it is best if social workers work with the parents, if at all possible.

The children were eventually permanently reunited with their mother in November 2014 after two years and eight months when a judge ruled that they should never have been removed from their mother’s care.

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