Attorney Martin George has sent a pre-action protocol letter to the Children’s Authority, demanding the return of two infant children to their mother.
George said his client, a single mother, has not seen her children or had any meaningful contact with them since they were taken from her by the Authority on September 20.
The woman will not be identified to protect the identities of her children.
Yesterday George said the allegations made against his client of ill-treatment and abuse of the children were false. George said the reports were made by his client’s mother and grandmother, who have since both recanted and apologised in writing for their allegations.
The children, a 20-month-old girl and a five-month-old boy, were first taken from their mother on August 26 and placed in the care of their grandmother.
The children remained with their grandmother until September 17, when their mother removed them and took them to the Scarborough General Hospital for treatment, as George said they were not being properly cared for and were both ill.
His client then took her children back to her home. Three days later, the Authority took the children again, this time placing them with a foster family.
“Twenty-three days now, she has not seen her children, she does not know where they are, she has not interacted with them, she has not been able to breastfeed the younger child, that’s the five-month-old, she has not been able to play with her children, hold her children, hug her children, she has not been able to give that motherly love to her children because she does not know where they are,” George said yesterday.
He accused the Children’s Authority of acting in a ‘rogue and unprecedented’ manner, furthering the distress of his client, who was the recent victim of domestic violence.
George said if both children are not returned to their mother by Friday, he will file a habeas corpus writ in the High Court for their release.
“We are calling for an investigation into the Children’s Authority and their abuses of power in this matter and we have given them a deadline of Friday at 4 pm, if they do not return those children, then we will be approaching the high court for an action of habeas corpus against the Children’s Authority,” he said.
The pre-action protocol letter was also sent to Social Development Minister, Donna Cox as George wants her ministry to investigate the Authority.
“It appears to be a flawed and failed institution in this country, one which is not exercising its power in the best interest of the children of our client in this circumstance and it is certainly an abuse of their power, the way they have acted and behaved in this regard,” George said.
Guardian Media reached out to the Children’s Authority but up until news time, there was no response.