Norway Custody Row

March 24, 2012 by staff 

Norway Custody Row, If you’ve been following the twists and turns in the hairpin saga known as the Norway kids custody case, then you’re probably as dizzy I am.  It’s been quite a ride. Yes, Anurup Bhattacharya concealed facts about his troubled marriage. Yes, revelations about his wife’s so-called
psychological issues seem belated. Yes, he has lost sympathy and credibility by his constant flip-flops (in the latest version he has denied any marital rift though his wife, Sagarika says he has been ‘torturing’ her).

There’s been an incredible level of blame-gaming: Media for going ‘overboard’ and the ministry of external affairs for not exercising due diligence. But leave aside the flagellation for a minute and just consider the following:

1. Was removal of the children, including a breast-fed baby, justified even if one of the parents had psychological issues? Would not treatment, counselling or a similar remedial step have been a more judicious course of action? Many mothers suffer from postpartum depression, for instance. Should their babies be taken away from them?

2. Assuming there was marital discord, what prevented one of the parents from assuming guardianship? Surely there are enough successful single parents in India and Norway who are bringing up stable children.

3. It is now being said that the elder child, a three-year-old boy, had started showing ‘characteristics of autism’. In that case, Child Protection Services (CPS) should have organised medical, social and psychological support to the struggling family. How does taking the child away from his parents and placing him in foster care help?

4. Taking away the children until they turn 18 is extreme under any circumstances. If CPS was so concerned about their welfare they could have taken the children into temporary care and provided the family with support until things improved.

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