Thursday, March 3, 2011

Surrey parents to wait another six months to regain custody of their four kids - THE PROVINCE article

Here is columnist Glenda Luymes' article in today's The Province. Read it here and reference it online.
(Quoted in its entirety.)
Paul and Zabeth Bayne and kids Kent, Baden and Bethany in 2009. The Baynes are fighting for custody of their kids after they were seized by social workers in 2007.
Photograph by: Submitted photo, Paul and Zabeth Bayne

A Surrey couple fighting for custody of their four young children is “heartbroken” by a court ruling saying the kids must remain in foster care for another six months.

In a case that gained significant online attention, Paul and Zabeth Bayne sought to have their children returned to them after they were seized by social workers more than three years ago.

On Wednesday, Judge Thomas Crabtree found the children — three-year-old Bethany, five-year-old Baden and six-year-old Kent — in need of continued protection. A fourth child — baby Josiah, born just four weeks ago — also remains in foster care.
“We’re really disappointed,” Zabeth said Thursday.

“We’re really disappointed,” Zabeth said Thursday. “But we feel the judge has laid out an opportunity for us to get our kids back, and we’re prepared to do what’s needed to see that happen.”

The Bayne family was split apart by the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) after baby Bethany was hospitalized with injuries doctors believed were the result of being shaken — a diagnosis Paul and Zabeth have always claimed was impossible.

In an interview before the verdict, Zabeth told The Province Bethany was a normal baby until an accident in September 2007 when her brother fell on top of her. The baby girl stopped eating and began vomiting, leading the couple to visit a series of doctors.

Bethany was eventually admitted to B.C. Children’s Hospital with fluid buildup in her brain and other injuries. Shortly after, the baby girl and her two older brothers were placed in foster care. Josiah was also taken away after his birth Feb. 10.

The couple’s lengthy and expensive court battle came to an end Wednesday with the judge finding that while “the family is the preferred environment for the care and upbringing of the children,” they remain in need of protection.

Crabtree rejected Zabeth’s explanation for Bethany’s injuries, pointing to inconsistencies and ultimately saying he was “unable to place any weight” on it.

In weighing the evidence of numerous doctors who presented evidence on shaken baby syndrome, the judge said he was not satisfied Bethany’s injuries were caused by shaking, but that they remained unexplained.

In returning the children to foster care for another six months, he said it was “time to move beyond this question . . . The opportunity is now in the hands of the parents.”

News of the judgment was greeted with surprise and dismay by hundreds of online supporters.

A blog run by family friend Ron Unruh received about 12,500 hits on Wednesday evening as followers waited for a judgment. Unruh said his blog [] receives about 3,000 to 4,000 hits each day, with over 200,000 hits in the past year. A Facebook page also has hundreds of followers, many of whom expressed concern about MCFD’s powers to seize children.

Unruh called the ruling “disappointing,” but said it provides a “vestige of hope.”

Despite everything that has happened, Zabeth said she is most concerned about her kids.

“It’s horrifying what they’ve been through,” she said. “They’ve been in four different foster homes [in three years].”

An MCFD spokesperson said that due to privacy concerns, the Ministry could not comment on the case, adding “the Ministry’s goal is always to return a child to his or her family, but only when it is safe to do so.”
© Copyright (c) The Province


  1. To those who commented on the Province site on how many children this family has, and on how criminal it is for people to have more than 2 kids.... Can people stop commenting on how many children we should or should not have. For crying out loud we live in a democracy. How many children we have is a choice, stop focusing on the negative. This family obviously loves their children so much, otherwise they wouldn't be fighting so hard to have them back in their home. Also, to those who comment on not having more than 1 or 2 children, and having any more should be criminal, well, have a lonely life! Children are a blessing, you were once a blessing. Children are life! You, worry about how many you have, why care about something so silly.

    Oh how we all want you to have your kids back, and your baby to bond and attach with its mom. How sad we are.

  2. Interesting how Zabeth says the children were in "four different foster homes"
    So the childrens grandparents are Foster Parents? They are an MCFD approved "foster home"?
    The Grandparents cared for Kent and Baden, until the parents contradicted an order and went on public television and therefore had the children removed. They were then placed in a home where Paul and Zabeth caused the family alot of stress by following them home at night, parking in their driveway and suddenly attending the same church as the family who then felt they could not resume care of the children safely.
    The boys were then placed in a home in Chilliwack, the same home as their baby sister Bethany had been in since coming into care. This family welcomed them and were willing to keep them until a new home in Surrey was found. (at the parents request) Paul and Zabeth had since moved to Surrey and requested the children be moved to a home there. So, a home was found, the boys went on, Bethany stayed where she had been since the beginning. The current Foster mom and the boys foster mom did a slow integration for Bethany into the home in Surrey (where the parents wanted them all to be) All 3 children were then together and have been since. Now Josiah is also placed there as well. I will also write to the province as I believe the public needs to be aware that the Grandparents were one of the homes, Bethany was never in 4 homes and that any moving was due to the parents requests or causing a placement breakdown.

  3. Commenters on this blog need to login to the Province site and leave comments before it is locked. Their are four now, starting at 7:33pm to 7:59pm today (odd because as I'm writing this it is 7:25pm), they are not nice at all.

  4. I left a comment. Why wont you post the truth? It is true that one of the "four" foster homes Zabeth refers to is her own parents. Is it not?
    Is that another secret? It is also true that Paul and Zabeth are responsible for causing a placement breakdown with the family the boys were placed with after that. Call them, ask them about Paul parked in their driveway and Paul and Zabeth suddenly attending the church they attended. Scary as a foster parent when you do not know the parents.
    Then the next placement with Bethanys foster family. They could have stayed there, the family was happy to have them but again Paul and Zabeth requested the children to be in Surrey where they were. THEY CHOSE to move! So the kids were moved. Were they happy then? NO! They then complained the children were traumatized from being moved 4 times!! This is why there are people that do not believe. There are too many lies. Are Paul and Zabeth not practicing Christians? Why can they tell untruths and you will not publish that part? Not fair!

  5. Anon 7:15 and 10:01 PM Same Person - Tracy and 4 foster Homes Theme

    Tracy, I wish you had not written with that tone to me and this blog. It was unnecessary. You should certainly know some of the details concerning this case since you were one of the foster moms. But why choose this moment to anonymously disclose these things when the parents have already received their verdict from the Judge? Don't for a moment tell me there wasn't an opportunity earlier. Your comments would have posted like others from those who do not share support for the Baynes. In the next few days as I review Crabtree's ruling, a chronology will appear that may actually record some of the information you seem to think is missing. The judge has heard it all. I was away from my computer for some hours tonight. Wasn't classy of you to presume that I didn't post your comments out of a bias. In fact, your comments do not deserve to appear here because of the way you finished in the second comment, speaking to their Christianity to make a broadside attack at the Baynes. So readers, look for 7:15 PM and 10:01 PM. Tracy wrote that.

    PS, if the 10:01 PM entry doesn't appear, I don't know where it went. I saw it one moment.

  6. Well all I have to say about that is that the truth sometimes hurts. I and many others are so tired of listening to the lies. In fact I received a letter this morning from a direct family member of the Baynes stating the same thing. Tired of the lies. And I was not at all attacking Baynes via their Christianity. I was simply stating something that many of us are wondering. If you want to play innocent and be credible then do it. Stop lying. I know I am one of the only ones brave or stupid enough to post facts that do not compliment the Bayne case at all but I cant help it. Its just too much knowing what I know and watching all these untruths be told to the public to gain another bleeding heart. I can understand how the Bayne supporters will be upset when they read this but there is always two sides to every story. The truth about one side may have been dealt with in court, the judge may be aware. I was never disputing that. In the public it has not all come out and doesnt the public have a right to know true facts?

  7. Tracy, if you feel you can trust me, please write to me at
    We can go from there.

  8. I have to admit that while I support the Baynes having their children returned it seems hard to swallow that their are no genuine concerns raised by MCFD that have made this case less cut and dry than presented here. In talking with a social worker friend there have been other cases of SBS where the older siblings were not removed because they were beyond the age range of risk for SBS. So the MCFD must have observed other things that raised concerns. Surely? However, I do concur with most that kids are prone to accidents and injury and this is not the result of abuse or neglect on the part of parents. I like to think that a few bumps, scrapes, broken limbs and stitches are signs of a healthy, active childhood spent away from the television. We shouldn't fear false accusations when seeking medical attention and the vast majority of us with kids don't experience that.
    I think Tracy raised a point - it was not the MCFD that was responsible for moving the kids "four" times. However, the fact that they are in care at all and have been placed in four different homes (including the grandparents, which I think counts at one) as parental circumstances changed is less than ideal considering that if the children had been living with their parents they would have experienced continuity of care when the family moved. So I think Zabeth has a right to complain; suggesting she is misleading people is a bit extreme.

  9. Tracy,

    As you seem to have information that the general public may not have, I would ask you to considered the source of the that information. If your information has come from the MCFD, do you really believe that they tell you truth all the time?

    I would also ask you to put your self in their position...If it had been you that had your kids ripped away from you and accused of something you did not do, and then see your children with "unexplained" injuries incurred during their care of the MCFD, would you not as a parent want to know what was going on in the home of the caregivers of your children? If you suspected abuse, would you not follow and watch the house wanting desperately to protect your children? I am not saying that this happened, but as you claim it did, I am responding that I as a parent would have done exactly that. I would have gone and checked out who was looking after my children and I would have gone to that church wanting to know that they were being cared all costs. Maybe if you had taken the time to go and have a conversation with them and addressed their concerns, you wouldn't appear to be so bitter and angry.

    As to attacking their faith, since when is a Christian above lying? We as Christians are just as human as the next. The difference is that we admit our faults and short comings and ask and rely on the grace of God to perfect us. I assure you that Paul and Zabeth would be the first to admit that they are not perfect, but they would also tell you that God is working them to His perfection. I have never seen a couple endure what they have and maintain their tempers and their integrity like Paul and Zabeth. I daresay if the MCFD did that to me, I would not be as forgiving of the wrongs. I would be angry and bitter and spiteful!

  10. Tracy, a foster worker, wrote:

    "Call them, ask them about Paul parked in their driveway and Paul and Zabeth suddenly attending the church they attended. Scary as a foster parent when you do not know the parents."

    Well, Tracy, let me ask you this:

    How scary do you think it is to have all four of your children ripped away from you, including your newborn baby? And without even a good reason given by the judge.

    You foster "parents" really all sound very similar to me. So offended that parents would dare to want their flesh and blood back. Always so ready to slander and fling about innuendo. And you pretend to be so high and mighty. Always so eager to have the public think the world of you.

  11. I recall an incident whereby my friend parked in the driveway of the foster parent's home, who had their daughter in care. The daughter had been left danger as the foster parents were not home and she was being exclusively cared for by another foster child. And that older foster child had given her permission to play outside by herself unattended on a busy street. When you are in the heart of the matter, it is very hard to determine what is the best course of action because you are so scared for your child's safety and you are so emotionally involved. So my friend knocked on the door and asked for them to watch their daughter more carefully. The other foster child refused because they were busy with other things. So what would you do? When the emergency social services number was called, they verbally ripped the parent apart, accusing them of being over-dramatic and trying to make a big deal where there was none. Inarguably there was a problem. The foster parents ended up being investigated which made them very upset and uncomfortable but the daughter was left in their care.

    Did Paul really park in the foster parent's driveway (there is no proof offered)? If so, I wonder why. There are always 2 sides to a story.

    And this foster parent has even damaged their own credibility with the above postings.

    Regardless, the core issue of this case has not been addressed. It has nothing to do with whether or not we like or even respect the actions of the Bayne family. Really it's about why the MCFD failed to get a 2nd medical opinion. There was no effort to consider reuniting the family or considering a second medical opinion likely because they KNEW that any 2nd opinion might disprove the diagnosis, and they didn't want that to happen. They had considered in their own eyes that they were wise enough to determine that these children were in need of their care. And so they circumvented the true court process by any means to keep the children in their care. That is the heart of this case. The issue at hand is whether or not we the people are comfortable that this Ministry, which is supposed to be supporting the people, is in fact bending the rules, so to speak. That they are placing themselves in the place of judge and jury and using delay tactics to bring about their own verdict. Would you be comfortable if this standard was being applied to you or your friends? We are only now at the stage in the court process where we should have been at years ago.

  12. I've been following a bit to this story and my only odd question is why did they have another child at this time? I don't ask this to offend anyone but I'm puzzled by it. I can not fathom why the ministry took the newborn right away at it's size and not just monitored the family while at least still in the hospital with him.... so that's my question, why did they take a preemie away and why did the couple choose to have another baby?

  13. Dear Anon 9:41 AM March 15

    One question may be easier to answer than the other. I am sure that MCFD will defend the custody of the baby based upon the suspicion that the parents harmed one of the other children and the ruling from the Judge had not yet come down. Further, MCFD has been pressuring the Baynes to consult with MCFD about a care plan for the baby in the weeks just prior to the birth, but the Baynes declined because she was ordered to bedrest and no stress and she has a history of premature births. MCFD will justify removing a 4 lb.15 oz baby from hospital because the pediatrician released the child.

    As to why Paul and Zabeth 'decided' to have another child 'at this time' I hope you understand is none of my business. It is not even a question I would ask them.

  14. I think it's a good thing that the family got there kids back. My family know's the little guys... and it is impossible that her brother at the age of two could create so much damage... think about it!


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