05 Aug, 17:10
The story of the Bodnariu family has divided Romania in two.
On the one hand, there are those who say that the parents were unjustly deprived of their children and that they must be help to get their children back.
On the other hand, there are the Romanians who argue that the Norwegian law protects children and that Marius and Ruth Bodnariu have definitely done something wrong that it has gone so far.
Our colleagues went to the home of the family who are trying hard to take their children back . The valley where Ruth’s family has been living for six generations, is now different. For two months, the Bodnariu children have been living among strangers. Apart from each other.
In the big empty house, toys are lying untouched in corners, Marius and Ruth struggle with an unnatural silence.
For weeks, every morning seems ripped from the movies. Children do not come into their bed and every minute is filled with pain.
Marius is not allowed to see his older children. He visits his baby every week, under the supervision of social workers who question the way he fulfilled the role of father. Reports accuse him of having abused his children, but his memories contradict that.
Only that now, magic does not help bring them back. Marius and Ruth are actually facing a long battle in the courts.
Lawyers defending human rights believe that all is not lost in their case. The Bodnariu story has determined parents worldwide take the streets and they became the subject of discussion at the ECHR and the European Parliament.
A parliamentary delegation from Romania stood in front of those from the child protection in Norway. Messengers came home full of hope, but with no promises from the foreign authorities.
The same as with the Bodnariu family, other hundreds of families have had their Norwegian dream turned into a nightmare. Now, all these parents hope that the authorities would shed some light in this.
The Bodnarius children - of Romanian Marius Bodnariu, IT engineer, and of his wife Norwegian Ruth, a nurse – the youngest of whom was only a few months, were taken from their parents by the Department of Child Protection in Norway, Barnevernet in November after the two girls, the eldest in the family, had allegedly said they received physical correction from parents. Parents are charged with abuse and religious indoctrination and the Norwegian authorities have started adoption proceedings.