Czech mother Eva Michalakova is ready to fight Norwegian authorities until she wins her two sons back, she said during the court proceedings that started dealing with her appeal against stripping her of her parental rights and the adoption of the younger son yesterday.
The court in Hokksund will deal with the case until Friday. However, the verdict will be only issued within four weeks and sent to the family in writing.
Michalakova said she would prefer to return with her children to the Czech Republic, but the father, her former Czech husband who is also living in Norway, is against it.
“So I naturally must accept the other option: to remain in Norway and cooperate with the Barnevernet and the psychologist so that the judicial system let the children return to the family,” she said.
The Norwegian Child Welfare Service (Barnevernet) took the boys from her and her former husband in May 2011.
“Unfortunately, I have no information about the children,” Michalakova said.
The Hokksund court deals with the case behind closed doors. Neither journalists nor Michalakova’s lawyer Pavel Hasenkopf were let in the courtroom.
The Norwegian media do not follow the case since they respect the principle of confidentiality in cases involving children. Apart from Czech journalists, the French Arte TV is following the case because its reporters are documenting cases of foreigners from whom their children were taken away by Norwegian authorities.
The two sons of Michalakova, Denis and David, now 11 and seven years old, respectively, were both born in Norway. Barnevernet took them away from the family due to suspected abuse, neglect and cruelty five years ago and placed them into foster families. The suspicion has not been proved, but the court decided that the situation was so serious that the two boys should stay with their foster parents. Each boy is living with a different family.
In 2014, Michalakova asked for a revision of her case and for the boys to be returned to her. Last autumn, Norwegian authorities stripped her of parental rights and approved the adoption of her younger son.
The father, whose parental rights were not terminated, appealed against the adoption, too.
The Czech state has supported Michalakova in the case. It sent its position to the court, referring to the U.N. convention on children’s rights according to which adoption abroad can be considered surrogate care if it cannot be provided at home.
The Czech state noted that the mother could not see her sons although she wanted to. The mother has not seen David since August 2015 and Denis since early 2014. The Norwegian authorities say Denis does not want to see his mother.
According to the Czech supporters of Michalakova, the mother is the only person who can raise the two sons together and the Norwegian authorities do not inquire whether Michalakova is able to be a good parent now.
The Norwegian side has refused to comment on the case from the beginning, citing the protection of privacy of the two boys. The Norwegian Embassy in Prague said previously Barnevernet had good reasons to take the Michalak boys away from the parents and Michalakova did not tell the whole truth to the Czech authorities.