Norwegian Children Seized by Welfare Services See Parents for First Time in Three Months

bodnariu-compressedFive Norwegian children who were seized by the country’s child welfare services department were allowed to see their parents this week—for the first time in three months.

As previously reported, in November, the Barnevernet seized Marius and Ruth Bodnariu’s two daughters, two sons and their baby, Ezekiel. The two eldest children were reportedly removed from school without their parents knowledge, and then Barnevarnet representatives arrived with police at the Bodnariu home, where welfare services seized the remaining children, minus the baby.

The organization returned the following day and removed the infant as well after the family tried to resolve the matter after being arrested.

Marius Bodnariu’s brother, Daniel, who is a pastor, explained in an online statement that the matter began when the children’s principal contacted welfare services after expressing concerns over how they were being raised, including in regard to the family’s Christian beliefs.

“The process of confiscating the Bodnariu children started when the Vevring School principal, the middle school attended by Eliana and Naomi, called the Barnevernet and expressed her concerns regarding the girls’ religious upbringing, her understanding that the girls are being disciplined at home, and that she considers the parents and grandmother to be radical Christians; an overriding concern that the principal’s perception of the parents’ and grandmother’s religious beliefs inhibit and handicap the girls’ development,” he outlined.

But the discussion also turned to abuse allegations as Barnevernet expressed concern that the children might have been spanked, which is illegal in Norway.

In a website created to provide updates on the situation, Ruth Bodnariu’s father states that the children were not abused and that the parents never even raised their voices.

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“We who live here in the home and have had the children around us since they were born, must be the ones who know best how the children have been with their parents,” he wrote. “Grandmother has at times taken much care of the children. When they came from school and the parents were not at home, the kids were with us. When their present home was being refurbished, the whole family lived with us for six months, and we thereby had full insight into their upbringing.”

“We can assure that we have never seen that violence has been used against the children,” the grandfather continued. “Not even that they have raised their voices to them. The children themselves have never told us that the parents have been nasty to them.”

He reiterated that the family’s faith was indeed cited by the school principal in her initial phone call to Barnevernet, as she asserted that the Bodnariu’s beliefs about sin and judgment “inhibits the children.”

On Tuesday, for the first time in three months, the Bodnariu’s were able to see their children for three hours.

“It was such a happy reunion, for everybody had so much to say: Naomi couldn’t stop talking; Ioan, the two-year-old boy, had learned a few more words and had a lot to say also. Baby Ezekiel was happier than ever,” Pastor Cristian Ionescu, a friend of the family, outlined on the support website.

“They talked, they played, and then they sat at the table to eat, but only after they prayed and sang a little prayer-song they used to sing before eating,” he said.

But Ionescu also noted that the Bodnariu’s were concerned about a comment relayed by one of their daughters.

“Naomi said something worrisome to the parents, that she doesn’t want them to die so soon because she still has many things to learn from them,” he explained. “Who would put such things in the minds of children?! Where is the superior interest of the children when terrorizing them with the thought that their parents would die?!”

“The children cannot understand why they can’t stay with their parents but, instead, have to go to stranger,” Ionescu continued. “It is more clear by the day that in spite of their official smiles and the assurances that they are looking for the good of the family and the superior interest of the child, Barnevernet’s goal is to permanently keep the children…”

The Bodnariu’s must still go to trial and Barnevernet is seeking to have the children evaluated by a psychologist.

Protests have been held in countries throughout the world in support of the Bodnariu family.

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  • acontraryview

    Well I hope they didn’t have to wear those ridiculous outfits.

    • Josey

      I’m pretty sure it’s the official Norwegian garb, like kilts that the Scottish wear…lol

      • acontraryview

        yet another reason I have no desire to live in Norway.

        • Jarle Tveitan

          Nobody has invited you to live here either. Feel free to stay out.

        • Jarle Tveitan

          Eh nwm, I misunderstood what you meant >.>

          • acontraryview


    • Guest

      Those are traditional costumes worn on holidays and special events like baptism.

      • acontraryview

        I’m glad we don’t have a custom of dressing like Pilgrims on holidays and special events like baptism. i never looked good in hats.

    • bobbyhead1

      I like them clothes.

      • acontraryview

        Then you should get some!

  • Guest

    Praise God! It is a small step, but it’s still a step. Praying brothers and sisters, please daily uphold them in prayer.

  • bobbyhead1

    The school staff should be lined up against a wall and……. you know what I mean. I am in rage what these godless school officials all over the world do to a Christian families.

    • acontraryview

      “I am in rage what these godless school officials all over the world do to a Christian families.”

      Who are the school officials you are speaking of and how is it you are aware that they are “godless”? What is being done “all over the world” by school officials to Christian families?

      • The Last Trump

        Can you say, “Google”!
        Research is your friend, lazy one.
        You’re welcome.

        • acontraryview

          Why yes, I can say Google.

          I don’t research other people’s claims. You seem to have yet to grasp the concept that the person making the claim is the one who needs to provide the proof.

          • The Last Trump

            You thought people were required to prove stuff to you, did you?
            Hee, hee. What a riot.
            No wonder you’re so confused and full of questions all the time!
            Eh. Stay ignorant. Education isn’t for everyone. It takes work. 🙁

          • John N

            Well, if some Christians are prepared to line up people against a wall for being godless, more rational people would like to see evidence this is indeed the case. And second, evidence ‘godlessness’ is a crime to be punished by death.

            Now if you needed education to understand that, something is verrrry wrong with you.

          • Guest

            The Last Trump’s comment was about THIS article, so no further citation is needed. Do try and stay on topic.

  • Peter Leh

    “But the discussion also turned to abuse allegations as Barnevernet
    expressed concern that the children might have been spanked, which is
    illegal in Norway.”

    Most likely the main reason the children were taken and less about them being chrisitans. The Norwegian government is serious about spanking.