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Swedish couple forced to give back adopted son

The Local/dl · 15 Jun 2011, 06:49

Published: 15 Jun 2011 06:49 GMT+02:00

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The couple, which had spent years trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant, finally decided to join the queue to adopt a baby.

In April 2010, they learned that a young woman had decided to put her soon-to-be born child up for adoption, the Dagens Juridik newspaper reports.

Within hours of the boy's birth on June 1st, 2010, the couple arrived at the maternity ward to pick up the newborn.

"We were overjoyed," the adoptive mother told the newspaper.

"We were the first parents he got to meet. His biological father wasn't around and his birth mother didn't want to hold him," said the adoptive father.

While the adoptive parents cared for their new son, they continued to work through the lengthy administrative process associated with finalising the adoption.

In August, the boy's biological mother signed the consent forms confirming that she wanted to give him up for adoption.

But in February, the biological mother had changed her mind and withdrew her consent.

And because the adoption wasn't finalised, the biological mother had the right to reclaim the boy, according to Gunilla Cederström, an investigator with Sweden's National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen).

"As far as I can tell from previous legal cases, someone who has custody can take back their consent up until the adoption is finalised, in other words, when the court has ruled on the adoption and the ruling has come into force," she told Dagens Juridik.

The biological mother's sudden change of heart has dealt a crushing blow to the parents who had cared for the boy for the last eight months.

Not only must they give up the boy, but they were also required to take an active role in helping him get to know the biological mother he's never met.

"It feels like we're being mocked. We supposed to help her bond with our beloved child, who they now want to take from us," the adoptive mother told the newspaper.

Story continues below…

The boy was handed back to his biological parents in April and they now have joint custody of him.

In the wake of the decision, the adoptive parents want to see a review of Sweden's adoption laws to ensure they have the child's best interests in mind.

"We're not saying that a single girl who once chose to give up her child for adoption is unfit to be a mother, but we want the law to require a thorough investigation to see what is best for the child," they told Dagens Juridik.

The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

07:41 June 15, 2011 by Already in use
There's two sides to every story and I have the impression we're only reading one. The biological mother must have had a good reason wanting to give up her child, maybe she's had serious problems that are now resolved.
08:16 June 15, 2011 by karex
The adoptive mother is correct however in my view. Parents are not allowed to shout at their children for instance, because it could "psychologically damage them", but it is perfectly alright to take away from a child the only parents its ever knnown and somehow this should have absolutely no psychological effect on the child? The whole system needs to be reviewed and changed. Clearly the child's best interests were not taken into account.
08:37 June 15, 2011 by RationalG.
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
09:33 June 15, 2011 by Central European
Unfortunately ther are a three sides in this story.

The little boy has lost all his universe, his soul is crashed and I really do wonder, what ´d be his future life like.....

This is not a computer game, delete 8 mth of life and go to the start position again.

In my country ,couple of years a go, changed two girls in hospital in their age of one day, they returned them to parents in similar age of 9mth.

They did it in couple of month procedure with meetings, one nights oversleeps with helps of psychologists etc ....

Results ?

Both parents says, if they have a new choice they ´d keep the "false kids" couse they still love them more then others.

Futhermore both mariages are almost ruined now
10:22 June 15, 2011 by StockholmSam
This is a truly sad story for the adoptive parents and I feel the biological mother should not get the child back. A contract with intent was entered and there should be no loophole at this point.
10:43 June 15, 2011 by J Jack
Blood rights. 1st time Mum with no experience and barely mature. I smell money. The novelty & cash will run down dressing up little Barbie / Ken. Not bonded. Want old freedoms back. Hasn't anyone heard of Caylee Anthony? This is a no brainer. I'm sure that anyone adopting a child has already been screened as fit and the biological single parent should also be screened in comparison.
10:47 June 15, 2011 by Terriyakki
Wow... Caylee Anthony... ugh! I was living there when it all happened, in Central Florida. I'm watching-from-afar the trial, and ughhhhh it's awful. As far as what is happening here, omg... it's WRONG :(
14:24 June 15, 2011 by wenddiver
The adoptive parents should be allowed to claim baby sitting fees for the time they watched the girl's baby. Only fair, Baby's are very expensive.
20:00 June 15, 2011 by karex

I think the adoptive parents could care less about the money. Their world has been shattered, their lovely child taken away. No money in the world can take that kind of pain away.
07:09 June 16, 2011 by calebian22

If the bio mom had to face a hefty payment for service rendered for her child to the adoptive parents maybe she would be less eager to reclaim her baby.
05:00 June 17, 2011 by bido1
Don't change the laws! Until an adoption is final, it's not final. Once it's final, it's final. Simple.

In the US it's not that simple, and it has lead to many cases disputed for years. Biological parents, often fathers, end up fighting a contested adoption literally from days after the child is born, until the child is 3 or 4 years old. That is when the adoptive parents usually lose a final court ruling compelling them to return the child. The years of delays are because the courts allow many appeals over the "best interests" of the child. When the courts disagree, the adoptive parents then argue that things have changed since the last court ruling, as the child has gotten older, and another "best interest" hearing has to be held. That leaves both sides and the child in a tense situation for years.

It seems in Sweden the decision is made in 2 months not years, and an 8 month old child would have a much better adjustment than a 3 year old child.

Don't change to a US style adoption policy. It is not good, and families who have been through it on both sides are lobbying to change the laws.
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