West Kelowna  

Newborn to be taken from mom

Sydney Freeman and his pregnant girlfriend Amber Forsyth will not be able to keep their daughter when she is born. They were informed Wednesday that the Ministry of Children and Family Development will be taking her.

They were told they will lose the infant because of their personal learning disabilities.

A few weeks ago they were informed of the possibility of losing the child, so Grandfather to be, Ian Freeman and his wife, offered to take on the new child as her guardians.

According to the couple, this also wasn't good enough.

The family is set to have a meeting with the Ministry of Children and Family Development this Friday. The young couple says they've been told the reasons behind the decision will be explained in full.

“We would like some honest answers instead of the run-around. That is what we are looking for,” said Grandfather-to-be Ian Freeman.

Both Sydney and Amber feel they are being discriminated against based on an unsubstantiated bias against those with learning disabilities.

“They target anyone with diversity. They think just because a parent has a low IQ they cannot parent at all because they don’t think that they can look into the babies needs,” said mom-to-be Amber.

“Why not give this couple a chance? Even put them on probation for a few months and make sure they are doing a good job and we are doing our job,” says Freeman.

“The Ministry does what they want, they have no one to answer to. They have biases, which I believe they have against Amber and Sydney, so their minds are already made up.”

Amber says the Ministry and the available foster care does not and will not put her children's needs and health first.

Amber claims she has seen this first hand. She already has a five and half year old son that was taken away and put in foster care.

“My son was neglected so bad in foster care that now he is going to be receiving counselling and expensive orthopaedics, because of how he was brought up,” claims Amber.

She says they are fighting for their daughter to prevent her from having to live away from parents and grandparents who will love her.

“My fear is that my daughter would be abused and neglected, the same way my son was in the foster home.”

The father, Sydney Freeman, already has a 10-year-old daughter, which the couple says he will be getting custody of soon.

The parents feel the Ministry is making a decision on old and outdated information.

She says the only 'parental capacity' report done on her was once, four-years-ago, and despite their lawyer's request to the Ministry for new reports, the Ministry has refused.

With their lawyer's assistance they will be battling the decision on Friday, but they want the public to know about their situation.

“I've done research about the Ministry and even though they are mandated to keep families together and are supposed to be concerned about the child, their concerns are not about the child.”

Amber is due on Feb. 26.




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