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March 8, 2012 permalink
Latest reason for taking children: Eating too much chocolate. That's one of the reasons given for taking Marlin and Meloni Mario from their Sri Lankan parents living in Norway.
Social workers in Norway 'took children into care for eating too much chocolate'
Social workers in Norway took two young Sri Lankan children into foster care because they shared a bedroom and were given too much chocolate, their parents have claimed.
Their allegations follow similar claims made by an Indian couple whose children were also taken into care because they slept in the same beds as their parents and the mother appeared tired and depressed. The mother was also criticised for hand-feeding her children.
The decision provoked an outcry in India where the foreign minister demanded their return to India and opposition leaders accused Norway of ignorance of Asian culture. Many children in India sleep with their parents and it is common for mothers to hector their children to eat.
Norway now appears set to return the children of the Bhattacharya family to India to live with their grandparents.
Joseph and Jacqueline Mario, a Sri Lankan couple living in Norway, said there is no immediate prospect of their children being returned.
They told The Hindu newspaper their children, Marlin, 12, and Meloni, 8, were taken into separate foster homes last November after social workers told them they did not know how to raise them.
"Our son and daughter shared the same room and slept on the same bed, which the Child Welfare Services objected to," he said. A 100 page report said they had "giving the children too much chocolate" and rejected their explanation that children were raised differently in their culture.
"Our son and daughter really miss us. Each time a visit is scheduled, they bring little gifts of flowers or some artwork they have done in school for us. They tell us over and over again that they love us and ask when they will be coming home," he said.
Norway has been criticised by campaign groups for the high number of children taken into care.
Source: Telegraph (UK)