Swedish Appeals Court Ends Parental Rights

Domenic Johanssn family
Domenic Johanssn's family pleaing for his return. (ADF)

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First the Swedish government took their son away. Now an appeals court has terminated their parental rights--all because they homeschooled their son.

Domenic Johannson has been in state custody since 2009. Ruby Harrold-Claesson served as his father's, Christer Johansson, attorney in the transfer of guardianship case.

CBN News Repoter Dale Hurd has been following this story from the beginning. He recently spoke with the family's former attorney about it.

In June, the boy and his family experienced a glimmer of hope when a district court ruled the Johannsons could retain their parental rights. Now an appeals court has reversed that decision.

"We won in the District Court in Dec. 2011 when the court refused the municipality's demand for an interim decision to transfer Domenic's guardianship," Harrold-Claesson told CBN News. "And we won a decisive victory in June 2012."

From February to June 2010, Harrold-Claesson represented the family until the boy's public counsel had her removed from the case, claiming she had interfered in the "care" of the boy because she went to his school with his parents on May 11, 2010.

"I didn't even get a glimpse of Domenic," she said.

"The laws concerning the taking of children in their care are like a rubber band," said Harrold-Claesson, who serves with the Nordic Committee on Human Rights. "You can stretch it in any direction and the social workers never do wrong. They always have the backing of the administrative courts."

She also served as one of the Johansson family's attorneys in their complaint to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.

"One social worker said to me, the administrative courts, they're our courts. You know the courts are supposed to be for the people," she said.

But it's a problem in all the Nordic countries, she said. Harrold-Claesson is filing reports on human rights violations against all "child protection systems" there.

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