By Tim Amey Wednesday, July 27, 2011 11:54 AM
"Chilliwack/Surrey, B.C. - A four year ordeal for a former Hope couple is over. Paul and Zabeth Bayne are finally getting their kids back. Their youngest Josiah is coming home August 2nd, and the three others are returning August 25th.Tim wrote an article entitled Hope Couple's Baby Seized by MCFD Hours after Birth on Monday, February 14, 2011 05:00 AM, which I printed in Blog number 444, ‘Baby Seized by MCFD Hours after Birth.’
Back in 2007, the Bayne's took their then youngest to the hospital with a head injury. The Baynes say it happened after one of their older ones accidentally tripped over her. The doctors diagnosed it as shaken baby syndrome. The Ministry of Children and Family Development moved in and seized the three kids, and three years later seized their newborn, hours after he was born.
What ensued was a four year court battle to get their kids back. At one point it was reported by other media that the Bayne’s got hold of an email from the children’s foster parent to the social worker. The email said the girl was diagnosed with glutaric aciduria. According to the email it is a condition allegedly misdiagnosed with shaken baby. However the children still weren’t returned.
Earlier this year a judge threw out the shaken baby diagnosis, calling the original head injury an unexplained injury. Now Zabeth says everyone is coming home. “We did submit to the Ministry’s request of a parental capacity assessment. The result of that assessment is that the children be returned home. So now we’re facing very, very happy times. We have overnights with them. There is the transition period while we’re moving their things in, and doing the overnights but everybody is just so ecstatic and completely over joyed.” She said words can’t express how it felt when the judge finally ruled in their favour. She says it was an amazing feeling that they will never forget.
It is not totally over yet. A social worker will be stopping by from time to time for assessments, but Zabeth says they get along with this social worker way better than the original one. Plus they are feeling a little tentative. There was an order before for the return of their boys that fell through. So Bayne says sometimes it feels surreal, as in is this really happening or will it fall through again? Plus there will be some emotional scarring for them and the children. She says their lives were torn apart and this will forever be part of their past. However they are getting counseling and have a ton of support.
In the meantime they are just focusing on being a family again. They moved to Surrey and have a house. The kids are registered at a local school and for extracurricular activities. Zabeth says they just want to give them that love and stability that’s been lacking for the past four years."
Subsequent to my publication of Tim's article, the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) sent Tim a note in response no doubt to his inquiry of them. At Tim's request, I add that note here.
The Ministry of Children and Families say they cannot comment on any details in any case, however they did issue the following statement:
Due to privacy laws, we can’t comment on this specific case. However, the health and safety of children in British Columbia is the first priority of this ministry in every situation we deal with.
The removal of a child from their parents is always a last resort. Our goal is to find a way to support a child in continuing to live in their homes with their families. We always try to work closely with the family to make whatever changes are needed to ensure that the home is safe for the child.
If supports cannot be put in place to make the home safe for the child, we would remove the child with a goal of returning the child to their home as soon as it’s safe to do so. That may mean putting in place additional supports for the family, providing the family with training or counselling, or other supports depending on the specific situation.
Have a great long weekend everyone.