Hope Couple's Baby Seized by MCFD Hours after Birth
By Tim Amey
Monday, February 14, 2011 05:00 AM
Chilliwack, B.C. - Paul and Zabeth Bayne say they are completely devastated. At 6:30am last Thursday morning Zabeth gave birth to a baby boy. By noon the same day a Social Worker from Hope was telling them it was going into Foster Care.
The Bayne's three other kids have been in the care of Ministry of Children and Family Development since September 2007. It was after what they say was a misdiagnosed case of shaken baby syndrome on their then infant daughter.
Zabeth says she was just out of delivery, waiting for a private room when she was approached by a social worker. “I asked that they wait. You know I’m exhausted, I just delivered. And it wasn’t a good time and if they could just come back in the evening or if they could come back tomorrow.” They didn’t.
She says their newborn was premature and needs to bond and nurse. The baby is still in the hospital and Zabeth has been sent home. Needless to say she's completely crushed.
Their lawyer Doug Christie isn't crushed, he's angry. He says this never should have happened. Christie says they are waiting on a final decision from the judge on whether the first three kids can be returned. He's even sent the judge a letter asking that he speed up his decision. He says if a decision had come down by now, the newborn never would have been seized.
Christie says the Ministry of Children and Family Development does this kind of thing all the time. “What I have seen the Ministry do, as in many cases, has been totally irrational to me and cruel to parents and children. I have very little regard for the Ministry’s actions.” However he has never seen a newborn seized in his 40 years of legal practice.
Hawk News contacted the Ministry of Children and Family Development, and got this reply:
Got your media request re. MCFD process on child apprehensions – also, if you are asking about the Baynes case, we can’t comment due to privacy concerns and the fact this matter is before the courts.
That said, the safety and well being of any child is the ministry’s first priority and the first step to any child protection case is to assess and investigate if the child is in need of protection. If it is deemed that a child needs protection, MCFD, through its legislation, must go before the courts within seven days, where a Judge will determine if a child is in need of protection. The Judge would then make a decision whether a child would remain in Ministry care or be returned to the parent. Chris Ash, Manager, PAB, Ministry of Children & Family Development