Norwegian Social Workers Seize Children From Indian Parents Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya over Culturally Different Sleeping and Eating Habits
An Indian couple living in Norway have been stripped of custody of their two young children because of culturally different sleeping and eating habits.
According to Mail Online, Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya lost custody of their three-year-old son and one-year-old daughter eight months ago after Norwegian Child Protective Service officials found aspects of the couple’s parenting to be “inappropriate.”
Just what prompted social workers to seize the children?
The Bhattacharyas were feeding them by hand and sleeping in the same bed with them, both of which are culturally acceptable in India, but apparently not in Norway.
Speaking to India’s NDTV, Anurup said: “They told me ‘why are you sleeping with the children in the same bed?’ [I told them] this is also a purely cultural issue. We never leave the children in another room and say goodnight to them.”
About the “inappropriate” feeding method, Anurup added: “Feeding a child with the hand is normal in Indian tradition and when the mother is feeding with a spoon there could be phases when she was overfeeding the child. They said it was force feeding. These are basically cultural differences.”
This shocking story caught the attention of the Indian government, which has reached out to Norwegian authorities in an attempt to reunite the family. But the Bhattacharyas have been told that they will only be allowed to see their children twice a year for an hour at a time until they turn 18.
According to Mail Online, Norway’s Child Protective Service has come under fire for being too quick to take children from their parents.
“There has been a report in UN in 2005 which criticized Norway for taking too many children in public care,” lawyer Svein Kjetil Lode Svendsen told Mail Online. “The amount was 12,500 children and Norway is a small country,” he added.
Tagged anurup and sagarika bhattacharya, anurup bhattacharya, India, indian couple has children removed by norwegian social workers over hand feeding, Norway, norway child custody, norway child protective service, norway social workers, sagarika bhattacharya, Svein Kjetil Lode Svendsen