Poland accepts refugee mother who fled Norway’s child welfare services
WARSAW, Poland, December 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — A mother and child became the first Norwegian refugees since the Second World War when Poland accepted their application for asylum last week.
Silje Garmo, 37, fled to Warsaw with her 23-month-old infant Eira in 2017 when she suspected that Norway’s child protection agency, known as the Barnvernet, was about to take the child away.
Garmo is the mother of two daughters. In 2014, the father of her eldest daughter, now 13 years old, reported Garmo to the Barnevernet as an unfit mother. Garmo thinks the agency believed him simply because he was an influential businessman with friends among judges.
“Barnevernet accused me of abusing painkillers, leading a ‘chaotic lifestyle’ and having ‘chronic fatigue syndrome,’” Garmo told Poland’s Super-Express newspaper last September.
In Norway, Garmo said, this is sufficient reason to remove a child from his or her mother.
The mother was made to take a series of drug tests, but the results were always negative, she said. Garmo also alleged that her medical files were accessed without her permission, and nothing untoward was found there either.
Garmo said that in Norway all someone has to do to have a child removed from his or her parents is to contact Barnevernet and it removes the child automatically.
“Until 2014, for 10 years, no one had any objections to how I was as a mother,” she told the Polish paper.
Before Barnevernet could take Eira, Garmo fled to Spain, where she was eventually arrested, thanks to Interpol. But according to the director of Norway’s Christian Coalition, people began to help her.
“Luckily, insightful psychologists and investigators started to unravel what was going on when she returned to Norway,” Pastor Jan-Aage Torp told the Christian Post. And then “she fled to Poland with her baby.”
The Pentecostal pastor said Polish immigration services had concluded that Garmo and her daughter needed protection in Poland but that the Polish government had to make the final decision.
“ … The government had to approve as well in (since this could hurt) Poland´s relationship with a friendly nation, Norway,” Torp told the Christian Post.
“This week, Poland´s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, a devout Catholic, intervened and granted political asylum, making (Garmo) the first Norwegian after World War II to seek and gain political asylum in a European nation.”
Garmo is not the only parent to take extraordinary measures to fight the Barnevernet. Currently, it is named as the subject of five cases before the European Court of Human Rights.
Torp said Poland’s granting of asylum indicated that the “atrocities” of Norway’s Barnevernet against parents and children are “serious breaches of human rights.”
“The Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights have this year made strong decisions and verdicts against Norwegian atrocities,” he told the Christian Post.
“Silje is one of many parents in Norway that are being harassed by the anti-family policies that are reminiscent of the Soviet Union of old.”
Barnevernet was featured in international news earlier this year when it was discovered that a psychiatrist working for the child welfare agency had more than 200,000 pieces of child porn on his computer.
This year, LifeSiteNews reported also on the Barnevernet’s removal of a child from his homeschooling parents.