Indian geoscientist's children confiscated by Norway's "child protection services"

Indian geoscientist's children confiscated by Norway's "child protection services"
The two young children of Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya, a geoscientist who is working in Norway since 2007, were taken by Norwegian Child Welfare Services and placed in foster care in May 2011, on grounds that the couple failed to properly take care of them.
Traumatised by the prolonged separation from his parents, the three-year-old son of Sagarika and Anurup Bhattacharya has stopped speaking.
A collection of articles from a variety of media sources, 21 December 2011 --
Last uppdated November 15, 2013

NCHRs Comments:
Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland have a long history of confiscation of children. This Indian-norwegian case is a type-example of the Nordic welfare states’ policy of breaking up families and confiscating children and placing them in foster homes to live with total strangers. The children are invariably traumatised, and become the future clients of the ever expanding social welfare services.

The case of
Sagarika and Anurup Bhattacharya has even more disturbing features: the children are separated from each other and therefore they will not be able to develop their sibling relationship; the court has decided that the children should remain in foster care until age 18 - notwithstanding the fact that they are Indian nationals - indicating that they are covertly adopted to the foster parents and that they are also a part of the foster home industry.

The NCHR is pleased that the Indian Ministry of External Affairs has taken action in the present case. Unfortunately, the case of Domenic Johansson, son of Indian mother and Swedish father, has not received the same attention from the Indian authorities.

In 2005, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child had expressed concern "at the number of children removed from families and put in foster homes in Norway."
It also said Norway must protect the natural family environment and send children to foster homes as a last resort in the best interests of the child.

Ruby Harrold-Claesson, lawyer, president of the NCHR.


The Confiscation of the Bhattacharya Children by Norwegian Authorities – A Case Study
The gist of the Norwegian case against the mother was that the children feared and rejected her and were emotionally disconnected from her. This is belied, among other things, by the following home video that Sagarika has now uploaded on You Tube. Do have a look – it speaks for itself.
(...) If the confiscation of children by these agencies is not justified, then we have in the nations that support such action a situation of grave inhumanity. - November 11, 2012


Why did they take my children
By Sagarika Bhattacharya


Tearful Sagarika greets kids back from Norway
Kolkata. After nearly a year’s wait, a tearful Sagarika Bhattacharya Wednesday got her two children back in her lap. The children had returned to India from Norway the day before.
The two children, who were in foster care in Norway after they were separated from their parents on grounds of alleged negligence, were brought to Kolkata Tuesday.
Kolkata, Pravasi Today, - April 25, 2012

Family celebrates as kids return home from Norway
By Soudhriti Bhabani

Kolkata. Manotosh Chakraborty, the maternal grandfather of toddlers
Abhigyan (3) and Aishwarya (1), was distributing rasogolla since Tuesday morning. For him, happiness knew no bounds on this day.
He was excited as his
grandchildren, who were taken away from their parents by the Norwegian Child Welfare Service (CWS) last year, arrived back home after spending almost a year in foster care in the foreign land.
India Today, - April 24, 2012 

Norway custody row: Father relieved, but says this past year took a toll on his family
The father of the kids who were brought back from Norway, has said that the family had to go through a lot of pressure during the trial, and that he will come to India soon to meet his children.
NDTV, - April 24, 2012

Norway custody row ends; children arrive in India
After spending nearly a year in foster care in Norway, toddlers Abhigyan and Aishwarya are back in India. They arrived at the Delhi airport a little before 10 am today with their uncle, Arunabhas Bhattacharya; they are expected to leave for Kolkata tomorrow. The children's paternal grandparents received them at the airport.
NDTV, - April 24, 2012

Norway court gives custody of two children to their uncle
A Norwegian court has ruled that the custody of two children of an NRI couple will be handed over to the children's uncle. Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya have fought a long legal battle with Norwegian authorities to get three-year-old Abhigyan and one-year-old Aishwarya back to the family. During the hearing in the case involving two Indian children, which was held in Stavanger District Court on April 17, the Child Welfare Services (CWS) and the children's parents and the uncle submitted a joint statement to the court stating that they agreed to the solution that the children's uncle would be their guardian.
NDTV, - April 23, 2012

Norway custody row: Court verdict on children likely today
Reported by Noopur Tiwari

Stavanger:  Will the children of the NRI couple, engaged in a custody battle in Norway, return to their homeland? After several twists and turns in the case, a Norwegian court is expected to deliver its verdict today.
NDTV, - April 23, 2012

PM talks to Norway counterpart about custody row, stresses strong family values
Seoul: Dr Manmohan Singh has told the prime minister of Norway that he hopes there will be "a positive outcome" for the Indian parents fighting to bring their children back home from there. Sagarika and Anurup Bhattacharya have been trying their best to convince Norwegian officials that their young son and daughter should be released from foster care. Aishwarya (1) and Abhigyan (3) were taken away by child welfare officials in Norway who said the Bhattacharyas were negligent parents. Anurup was posted as a geologist in Stavager. His family's visas, and his own, expire this month
NDTV, - March 26, 2012

Norway can learn from Oprah’s visit to India
By V. Balachandran

V. Balachandran is a former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat. is a former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat.
Two contrasting examples of sensitivity to underdeveloped nations' cultural and family milieu were found this month. One was during talk show queen Oprah Winfrey's visit to India. The other was about two Indian infants who were taken away from their biological parents by the Norwegian child protection unit "Barnevenet". Although the infants were removed in May 2011, the heart wrenching case came to our attention in January 2012 through our visual media.
The Sunday Guardian, - March 18, 2012

Documents will reach Norway next week
Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Team of officers to hand over papers in person to prevent delay, says Brinda Karat
The External Affairs Ministry has said all documents required to seek handing over the custody of two Indian children, now growing up in the Child Protection Services in Stavanger (Norway), would be submitted to the authorities early next week.
The Hindu, - March 11, 2012

More inquisition in Europe Sri Lankan, Polish, Russian, Turkish, and other children are targeted
Av Vlad Gladkikh

The Marios say their children were taken away by Child Welfare Services
Even as Indian couple Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya anxiously await the verdict of a district court in Norway on the question of the custody of their children, a Sri Lankan family is facing a similar situation in the country.
The Hindu newspaper, - March 7, 2012

After Indian couple, Sri Lankan parents face similar plight in Norway
By Ananya Dutta

KOLKATA. The Marios say their children were taken away by Child Welfare Services
Even as Indian couple Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya anxiously await the verdict of a district court in Norway on the question of the custody of their children, a Sri Lankan family is facing a similar situation in the country.
The Hindu, - March 7, 2012

Meet the man who took away Indian kids in Norway
Much to the relief of Sagarika and Anurup Bhattacharya, child welfare officials in Norway have decided that they will recommend in court that the couple's children, who have been in foster care since May last year, now be placed in the custody of their uncle, Arunabhas Bhattacharya. One-year-old Aishwarya and three-year-old Abhigyan were taken away from their home after local child welfare officials decided that the parents were negligent. The man who took the kids away, Gunnar Toresen, tells NDTV that Norway "acted in the children's interest."
NDTV, - February 29, 2012

Norway custody row: 'It was a test for me, did it for my family,' says children's uncle
Much to the relief of NRI couple Sagarika and Anurup Bhattacharya, child welfare officials in Norway have decided that they will recommend in court that Aishwarya and Abhigyan be placed in the custody of their uncle, Arunabhas Bhattacharya. Talking to NDTV after the decision was announced, an elated Mr Bhattacharya said, "It is a very happy moment for all of us. It feels as if I have passed the exam."
New Delhi TV, - February 29, 2012

Norway row: Family’s cry turns chorus
Jayashree Nandi

NEW DELHI: National outrage over the separation of an Indian family by a government agency in Norway poured out on the street in Chanakyapuri on Monday. As the grandparents of Abhigyan and Aishwarya Bhattacharya, separated from their parents since last May, began their four-day sitin protest near the Norwegian embassy, common citizens and political leaders alike joined them to express solidarity.
Times of India, - Feb 28, 2012

Relief for NRI couple in Norway; uncle to get custody of children
In a big diplomatic win for India, the Child Welfare Services (CWS) of Norway has recommended that the custody of two children of the Indian couple, Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya, should be given to the uncle, Arunabhash Bhattacharya. This proposed solution will be presented to Stavanger District Court on March 23, which will take the final decision in the case.
NDTV, - February 28, 2012

Norway custody row: Krishna assures family
The Bhattacharya family's battle to get the custody of their children in Norway seems to be getting longer. The family was hoping that India's special envoy's presence in Norway will bring one-year-old Aishwarya and three-year-old Abhigyan to their parents Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya sooner. But that is not going to happen.
New Delhi TV, - February 28, 2012

Norway custody row: More talks, no action?
The Bhattacharya family's battle to get the custody of their children in Norway seems to be getting longer. The family was hoping that India's special envoy's presence in Norway will bring one-year-old Aishwarya and three-year-old Abhigyan to their parents Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya sooner. But that is not going to happen.
NDTV, - February 28, 2012

Norway custody row: Trauma in the name of child rights?
An Indian couple, Sagarika and Anurup Bhattacharya, whose children were forcibly put in a foster home in Norway, may finally see an end to the custody row today. A final meeting is scheduled to take place in Stavanger between the Norwegian authorities, the uncle of the two children and representatives of the Indian government. Sources say that a final decision regarding the future course of action may be taken in this meeting today.
NDTV, - February 27, 2012


What does Gunnar Toresen know about children?
By Suranya Aiyar

Much has been made of the differences between Indian and western parenting in the wake of the removal of two small children from their Indian family in Norway by the Norwegian Child Welfare Service. But there is something more invidious than racism at work here?
The children were two and a half and four months old at the time of their removal to foster care. Observe any mother with children, babies rather, of this age, and you will see that the mother is the centre of a small child’s world. For a young breast-fed infant of the age of four months, as was Aishwarya, the mother is almost her entire world. That is how infants and toddlers experience the world. So let us, first and foremost bring to centre stage this very un-adult, unscientific, but immutable truth of a baby’s reality before we start to speak of its rights.

- February 26, 2012

Norway keeps parents on tenterhooks with moves to keep back children
By Vaiju Naravane, PARIS

‘We hope to clarify what follow-up measures can be implemented to safeguard the children's health by the middle of March'
As Indian authorities made moves to prevent the Norwegian government from extending the visas of two Indian children placed in care so that they could be retained in Norway even after their parents return to India, officials in Stavanger refused to confirm or deny whether they had indeed sought to extend the visas of the children.
The Hindu, - February 23, 2012

Norway Custody row: Foster homes - Child welfare or lucrative business?
By Noopur Tiwari

Oslo:  As the Bhattacharyas wait for Norway to take a decision on the return their children to India, more people are speaking out against the foster care system in Norway. Activists say a very large number of children are taken away from their families every year and many expats lose their children forever because they are not as lucky as the Bhattacharyas to get the state's intervention.
NDTV, - February 23, 2012

Norwegian nightmare: State-sponsored child protection racket
By Namita Bhandare

Has there been anything more outrageous, cruel and insensitive than the Norway kids case? Dark as a Scandinavian winter, this unbelievable story shows no sign of ending soon.
On February 15, three weeks after the ministry of external affairs reached an understanding with the Norwegian government for custody of the minor Indian children, currently in separate foster homes, to be handed over to their paternal uncle, the ministry summoned Norway’s ambassador to India to express its concern about the delay in handing over the children.
Hindustan Times, - February 21, 2012

Norway custody row: 'They watched us as we met our children'
NDTV Correspondent

Stavanger, Norway:  Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya met their children after three months on Friday. For about an hour and five minutes it was family time as usual. They held the toddlers, fed them and played with them. Then, it was time to go. For the Bhattacharyas are allowed to meet their children only once in three months.
NDTV, - February 18, 2012

Norway is guilty of violating law which has global sanctity
By Anil Malhotra

Norwegian authorities illegally took away two young children, both holders of Indian passports, from their Indian parents. Sadly, the Indian mission did nothing
Barnevarne, a child care service of Norway, took custody of Indian children, Abhigyan and Aishwarya, from their natural parents, Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya, in May 2011, when they were two and a half years and six months old respectively, and lodged them in separate foster homes. They charged the mother Sagarika with “negligence and being unable to bring up” the children. A Norwegian court had ruled that the two children would stay in two different foster homes until the age of 18 and their natural parents would be allowed to meet them only once a year for one hour. Shockingly, the court added that only if the couple separated, the custody of the children could be given to the natural father who is employed as a geo-scientist in Norway since 2007.

Daily Pioneer, - 1 February 2012

Family still waiting for official word in kids' custody case
By Ananya Dutta

KOLKATA: Days after the news came in that it was only a matter of time before three-year-old Abhigyan and one-year-old Aishwarya, who were taken away from their parents and put into foster care by the Norwegian Childcare Services last year, are returned to the family, their grandparents are still awaiting official word on when they may be brought back.
The Hindu, - Jan 30, 2012

The iron hand that rocks the cradle
By Marianne Haslev Skånland

I must compliment Indian newspapers, not least The Hindu, for giving a thorough coverage to the case of the Indian couple deprived of their children by the Norwegian ‘child protection services' (CPS).
Very many of the comments to the articles, too, are exactly to the point. But you all need to know that this is the way the Scandinavian CPS carries on in general. Sweden is actually the worst of the Scandinavian countries.
The Hindu, - 30 January 2012

Reunion with kids soon for Norway NRI couple
By Indrani Bagchi & Debashis Konar

NEW DELHI/KOLKATA: The harrowing story of two Indian children taken away from their parents in Norway moved towards a happy ending on Wednesday, with the Indian and Norwegian governments closing in on a solution that upholds Norwegian laws while meeting the expectations of the parents.
Dr Arunabhas Bhattacharya, the paternal uncle of the children, Abhigyan (3) and Aishwarya (1), may be accepted as the primary caregiver if the parents nominate him, and if the 27-year-old bachelor is acceptable to the district court where an appeal is pending. Arunabhas may have to be in Norway for a while for the kids to get accustomed to him.
Times of India, - Jan 26, 2012

Norway agrees to hand over children to their uncle
By Aarti Dhar

New Delhi: There is good news for the family of the two Indian children who are in the custody of the Norwegian Child Welfare Services on grounds of “emotional disconnect” with their parents — authorities of that country have agreed to hand over the children to their uncle and he will be their “primary caregiver and give them an upbringing that meets their needs.”
The agreement has been accepted by the family, but their physical handing over will still take some time.
The Hindu, - 25 January 2012

India and Norway in diplomatic spat over children taken into care
By Dean Nelson

New Delhi: India and Norway are embroiled in a diplomatic row after Norwegian social workers took two young Indian children into care because they slept with their parents and their mother fed them with her fingers – both widespread and normal in India.
The Telegraph, - 24 Jan 2012

It's a child's play for us
We've always maintained that Indians know more about the world than the world knows about Indians. Case in point: if some busy body here finds a Norwegian couple making their children eat their meals with a knife and fork and - horror of horrors! - have toddlers sleeping in the next room in an ergonomically designed cot, there won't be any problem. Barring some aunty-jis making disapproving noises about older Norwegians snogging in their living rooms in India without drawing the curtains, such cultural nuances will be considered as, well, 'Norwegian' or 'European' and that will be that.
Hindustan Times, - January 24, 2012

India to take up child custody dispute with Norway
BBC News article

India says it will try to seek an "amicable" solution to a controversial child custody case in Norway.
BBC, - 23 January 2012

Indian couple have children taken away by Norwegian social workers because they fed them with their hands
By David Gerges

Authorities also complained that the parents should not be sleeping in the same bed as their infants
The Daily Mail, - 19th January 2012

Rally for release of kids taken away in Norway

KOLKATA: The city of processions is going to witness a rally with a difference on Monday. The procession - a non-political one - will be taken out to demand the release of two Indian children from a Norwegian agency
Times of India, - Jan 9, 2012

Separating kids from parents unjustified: India tells Norway
Norway News

Issuing a strong demarche to Norway, the second in nearly a week, India has said that its actions of separating two children from an NRI couple was unjustified. The government emphasised that the children be allowed to return to India so that they can be brought up in familiar surroundings under the loving care of their extended family. The Ministry of External Affairs yesterday issued "strong" demarches to the Norwegian embassy here voicing concern that the circumstances prevailing in this case may not justify an extreme step like long-term separation from natural parents.
Norway News
, - 06.01.2012

MEA: Release kids from foster homes

The Indian External Affairs Ministry has expressed serious concern over the separation of two children from their Indian parents in Norway after the kids were taken away by the Nordic nation's child welfare service citing incapability of their parents to take care of them.
Times of India, - 31 Dec 2011

India prods Norway over NRI children custody

New Delhi, Dec 30: The Indian External Affairs Ministry has expressed serious concern over the separation of two children from their Indian parents in Norway after the kids were taken away by the Nordic nation's child welfare service citing incapability of their parents to take care of them.
erala, - December 30, 2011

Allow Indian couple to bring back their children, Norway told
Press Trust Of India

India has conveyed its "serious concerns" to Norway over separation of two children from their Indian parents there and insisted that the kids should be allowed to return with the couple in case they decide to come back home.
New Delhi, Hindustan Times, - December 30, 2011

MEA appeals Norway to return Indian couple its kids

New Delhi. India has appealed to Norway to return the Indian couple its two children, taken away by a Norwegian agency on the pretext of poor parental care, saying that it was a case of cultural differences.
India Today, - December 30, 2011

Norwegian couple at Mamata door to be reunited with kids
Srinivas D (Norway, Oslo)

Forum discussion - 29 Dec, 2011

Mamata extends help to Indian couple in Norway
By Debashis Konar

KOLKATA: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has taken an active role to help the Indian couple, Sagarika and Anurup Bhattacharya, in Norway, whose children are in the custody of a Norwegian child care agency since May.
TNN, Times of India, - Dec 27, 2011

Norway: Indian couple fights for kids' custody
New Delhi: A diplomatic tiff is brewing with Norway ignoring the Indian Foreign Ministry's requests to look sympathetically into the case of an NRI couple whose children were taken away by Norway's childcare services in May.
India News, IBNLive, - Dec 24, 2011

Norwegian agency takes away kids from Indian couple on pretext of their 'emotional disconnect'

An Indian couple in Norway has accused a government agency in the European country of taking away its children.
The couple -- Anurup Bhattacharya and his wife Sagarika -- has been fighting to get their children back since May 11, 2011.

India Today, - December 21, 2011

Norway splits Indian family
Live video interview with Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya

Child protection services take away kids of Anurup Bhattacharya saying the kids do not have an emotional connect with their mother.
Headlines Today, India Today, - December 21, 2011

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