Mother pleads for return of special needs kids
MONTREAL - A mother in the Laurentians is pleading with provincial bureaucrats for the return of her two adopted special needs children.
The family, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, consists of four children ranging from seven to 23 years of age.
Two of the four - an 11-year-old girl and a seven-year-old boy - were adopted as newborns and have Downs Syndrome and autism.
Authorities came to their school last September and took them away, effectively ending their time with the family.
Some who know the mother, including their family doctor, share her shock.
“She's completely dedicated to these children,” said Dr. Barry Breger. “I've said many times that she's an angel sent from heaven to take care of these children. She absolutely loves these children. These are her children.”
The issue began when a former helper reported to authorities that the mother used excessive control on the kids, including having them on a dairy-free, gluten-free diet.
The family has attempted legal recourse but it’s a tough-go in the courts, according to their lawyer.
“The law provides that the department of youth protection must make a case in front of the courts, it's up to them to make the proof,” said lawyer Politimi Karounis. “What actually happens is, God forbid youth protection sets their sights on you, you are guilty until you prove your innocence.”
The mother says that the nine months without two of her four children has been painful.
Youth protection authorities from the Laurentians were not permitted to comment on the case.
The Montreal office, however, explained the rules of the procedure.
“We speak to the children, we speak to the parents, we speak to the caregivers, we speak to whoever is in that child's life who can give us information about the specific allegations,” said Madeleine Berard of Batshaw.
Meanwhile the mother, who has worked as a foster mother for 25 years and has a MA in Special Education, fears that her autistic son is deteriorating in his foster family.
“I haven't even had the chance to speak to him once on a telephone and it's been two weeks. Not once to see him or touch him or to touch his little cheek to tell him that I love him,” said the mother of her son.