Norwegian authorities’ decision to take five children from their family spurs protest in Romania

21 December 2015

Over 300 people protested on Saturday at the Embassy of Norway in Bucharest after the Norwegian social services had taken the five children from a Romanian family living in Norway. The authorities have already opened the international adoption procedure for them.

Protesters rallied to support the Romanian IT engineer Marius Bodnariu and his Norwegian wife Ruth Johanne Bodnariu, who is a nurse.

The Romanian protesters displayed banners with messages such as “Norway, give us back the children you stole!” or “Why are you silent Europe? Norway is kidnapping your children”, and also said prayers in front of the embassy.

The Norwegian children’s protection service took the five children from their parents in November, after receiving a complaint from the family’s two elder daughters in the family. The girls said that the parents had physically abused them and their siblings.

The Bodnarius have also been suspected of religious indoctrination of their children.

The Norwegian authorities have placed the children in three surrogate families and recently opened international adoption procedure for them, according to representatives of the Bodnariu family.

Romania’s National Authority for Child Protection and Adoption will suggest the Norwegian authorities to place the children in the family of the paternal uncle living in Romania.

The protesters in Bucharest have rallied on Facebook where there is a group called Norway, Return the children to the Bodnariu family, which has over 14,000 fans.