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CYFS steal baby at birth.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on April 21, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

CYFS steal baby at birth.
Friday, 09.03.2007, 08:12am (GMT12)

But unfortunately my experience of CYFS and the Family Court system, is one I have found to be incredibly adversarial and abusive.My daughter was traumatically removed from me within hours of her birth and as I was still under the effects of morphine (only administered for pain relief – I do not have any drug or alcohol issues), I could not move. Despite my pleading requests, I was denied the use of the phone for hours, so ultimately my baby was removed, whilst I had no representation present. I was supposed to be recovering from a Cesarean section birth. My sister says: if you could call the chaos I was thrown into recovering.

Mental Health said there was absolutely no need to remove my baby, nor in the manner they did. I was misdiagnosed four months post partum as being bi-polar and having a personality disorder, with persecutory delusions. I have since attracted a completely different and far more understandable diagnosis by a leading maternal mental health psychiatrist, Sara Weeks. Most of it she attributes to the trauma and lack of relationship with my child, as well as the schema of CYFS interaction. Still the other parties believed I had a personality disorder and other things such as drug and alcohol abuse were thrown into the equation. I have never had a drug or alcohol problem.

Recently my ex-partner has drafted an affidavit in support of my application for contact. He has been incredibly shocked at the whole drawn out saga, as have my immediate and extended family. I met with Rodney Hide and several other politicians, in the hope that they could help me, where the legal aid and justice system wasn’t. Rodney Hide said” he is surprised that I am still alive to tell my story” (my sister and many others have said the same).

Shortly after my child was ripped off me, my blood pressure shot up to 210 over 110, which is pretty much stroke material and an emergency admittal to hospital resulted. I have never had my health compromised like this before. And I was then expected to drive large distances (against my specialist advice, if I wanted to see my baby – with cesareans, you are not supposed to drive for several weeks afterwards).

I don’t wish to bore you, or to dramatize the situation, however it was “absolutely hellish” to say the least. The lack of ethics of CYFS, or CYFS not even following their own protocol, or the relevant legislation that they were supposed to be working with, was mind blowing. Six-monthly reviews only occurred haphazardly and sometimes not at all. CYFS kept stating in letter after letter to me and to every other party involved, that they were supporting access between my child and me, however it was going through the court system. Time after time I was denied legal aid and at times was told by the judge “that you are a very articulate young woman, that you can represent yourself”, so I did… Needless to say I was emotionally and physically drained (as well as financially) and not a legal expert at all !!! I strongly state CYFS were merely paying lip service. They couldn’t be bothered responding or acknowledging any of the letters myself or my family wrote describing our view and asking questions re the horrific situation we found ourselves in.

I have gone from having lots of friends, wonderful friends, to being a complete recluse; you may as well say hermit ! I now suffer from anxiety, almost on a constant basis, now that I am waiting for a court hearing for an access order. The previous trauma caused from being thrown into court case after court case and dis empowered overwhelmingly has taken a distinct and heavy toll on me. I have not seen my child now, who I love dearly and have a great rapport with for more than 6months now. The father wouldn’t let me see my child recently on her 6th birthday, or even allow me to give or even just to send her a card and present. Obviously I took this period badly.

The father is a liar, womanizer, compulsive gambler and manipulator, but above all has been believed and supported with custody. While obviously I haven’t. CYFS seemed more concerned at churning out their letters at a particularly large volume, than they did at actually supporting anything at all to do with my daughter, pertaining to the maternal family. Counsel for the Child (I know it’s now called Lawyer for the Child) was very biased and this played a huge part in my child’s misplacement. The father has been convicted of two serious assaults on me, whilst my daughter was inutero and only stopped kicking (very hard-soled shoes) and punching me all over, with his clenched fists after he broke his hand on my head. Although I now have a protection order in place, he still to date deliberately drives past my place on his way to work, when he could actually drive directly along a main road instead of using side-streets to “check-up on me” ! I know this because I have witnessed it, when I have been driving to my place and he has been going to work, plus he has questioned my ex-partner – assuming my ex-partner owned the premises I am in.

I have put on 5stone from the stress of all of the court cases and this whole ghastly experience, that myself and my daughter have had our relationship compromised significantly by. I was galled when the Crown Solicitor got away with knowingly and deliberately committing perjury in a court of law and as a result had my access stopped altogether for three months, but effectively for 10 and a 1/2months and at a crucial bonding time for my child. (I can substantiate this with written evidence). No attachment with me was ever envisaged or wanted by the other parties or CYFS. None even, just from the maternal side was ever encouraged and supported on a long-term and significant basis. CYFS told my family not to have any contact with me and sadly, have now succeeded with this.

I cannot believe in what is supposed to be a civilized, democratic country like New Zealand that corruption on this level by government departments exists and when it happens to somebody like me, is insurmountable. Unless you have copious amounts of money (which I don’t), no civil ligation expert lawyer, wants to know you. So although the system (high court, etc) is supposed to work, it didn’t. I started taking it to the high court, but then found out although I was doing all the paperwork and filing myself, that if I lost, I would be culpable for every other parties expenses. I had no choice, but to let go.

Very little defense of me, or what was being said about me, as this dreadful saga unfolded was ever made by my legal representatives (that was if and when I had any, due to the appalling treatment from legal-aid). Even when I rang their head office in Wellington and spoke to Managers’ both there and at my local office in Takapuna. Instead their Managers’ swore down the phone at me. This severely hindered and compromised my case, while determining a negative outcome.

I apologize for this chaotic sounding email, but I’m sure you’ll appreciate, I am not a legal expert, nor do I profess to be a non-stressed individual from all of this. I find it difficult to write and where to start or go with it.

It seems incredibly wrong to me that CYFS and Mental Health can get something this important, so wrong and then CYFS “proceed to throw their arms up in the air and state that they are no longer involved and that it has nothing to do with them”. Also that an incorrect and untrue misdiagnosis of such severity can jeopardize a mother/daughter relationship.

I have recently engaged with a lawyer who handles custody/access matters, as well as civil litigation against CYFS. This lawyer has said to me that because I have been denied access to my child for more than six months now, that I would probably have to go the “long slow boat to China”. I reflected on these comments for about four days and decided “enough, is enough” ! I believe to only be offered supervised contact with my child, to be an absolute travesty, when I have never done anything wrong or inappropriate to her. I will be fighting tooth and nail for the access that is well overdue for my child and myself.

So much for CYFS mission statement of “maintaining and strengthening families” ! I have yet to see how they align their role with these words. The two don’t seem to marry-up in my experience.

Thanks for all the abuse CYFS. You may have destroyed my physical health, my quality of life and left me financially impoverished, but you obviously under-estimate my bond with my child and that justice will prevail, in the end !!!

A grieving mother 😦



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