Poland has granted asylum to a mother and her 2-year-old daughter who fled Norway after child services tried to remove the child from the mother’s care based on what she says are false allegations of drug abuse.
European family rights activists are rejoicing after Silje Garmo and her daughter, Eira, were granted asylum by Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday.
The two had fled Norway because the mother was trying to retain custody of Eira as Norway’s controversial child services agency, Barnevernet, tried to take the child away from her mother in 2014, based of unfounded claims made by the father of Garmo’s first child.
Garmo’s eldest daughter is 13 years old and remains in Norway as Barnevernet continues to thwart any attempts for a reunion, according to Norway’s Christian Coalition (Kristen Koalisjon).
A spokesman for Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs told The Christian Post that in Garmo’s case, the agency took into account “the constitutional guarantees regarding the protection of motherhood and parenthood, protection of family life, protection of parents and parental authority against the arbitrariness of public authority and protection of the rights of the child that serve as our guidelines on how to proceed in matters related to children and families.”
“It must be stressed that the final decision to grant asylum rests with the head of the Office for Foreigners,” the spokesperson explained.
The Christian Coalition, an Oslo-based group that advocates for Judeo-Christian foundations and seeks to mobilize values-based Christians, reports that the asylum was formally granted about 10 months after Polish Immigration Services concluded that Garmo and her daughter needed protection in Poland.
“However, the government had to approve as well in [since this could hurt] Poland´s relationship with a friendly nation, Norway,” Pastor Jan-Aage Torp, chairman of the Christian Coalition, told The Christian Post in an email on Friday. “This week, Poland´s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, a devout Catholic, intervened and granted political asylum, making her the first Norwegian after World War II to seek and gain political asylum in a European nation.”
Torp, who visited with the family in July, believes there was “no valid reason” for what he calls a “child abduction” by the Norwegian government.
As Garmo detailed in an interview with the Polish tabloid Super Express, she was accused by the father of her first child of “abusing painkillers,” leading a “chaotic lifestyle” and having “chronic fatigue syndrome.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith