23 July 2013

On foster children

By Else Sommer


Else Sommer, who unfortunately died last year, lived in Jutland in Denmark. She worked for many years against harmful forcible removals of children from their parents carried out by the Danish Child Protection Service. She also wrote very good articles in several fora about this as well as about other aspects of social politics.

Else's wish was that I should make use of what she wrote wherever it could be useful and I therefore hope that she would have liked this publication in English as well.

The article was published in Danish
on Barnevernet.origo on 5 February 2008, on Forum Redd Våre Barn on 7 February 2008, and on mhskanland.net on 23 July 2013.

This translation was made by me.

Marianne Haslev Skånland


Let me tell you a nice story:

I, ES, recently talked with a kind and friendly young man – let us call him Ole – who once lived with a good and well paid foster family.

Ole: The family got 100,000 per month for having me. [100,000 Danish crowns equals somewhat over 12,000 Euros.]

ES: Are you sure?
Ole: Yes, they showed me the cheque from the municipality themselves. (A remark is due: The municipal records regarding Ole are such as to fill anybody with utter alarm.)

ES: And how did they treat you?
Ole: Very well. They made no difference between me and their own children. They gave me all the pocket-money I wanted and all the clothes I fancied.
But I did not feel that I belonged. So I made off. Home to my mother and then we went into hiding. That was a good period. I made do with nothing, even if I had been used to having my pockets stuffed full with money.
My mother and I, you see, we care for each other.

ES: You chose freedom rather than the money?
Ole: Yes, and my mother.

- -

Mother is as poor as a church mouse. She and the boy had to beg and go hungry "in freedom" on the run from the child protection service. Still, he holds that short space of time to have been "my happy childhood, which is unfortunately over".

Children are a mysterious people,
and they live in an entirely different land.

Just think: choosing love and freedom over unlimited riches and slavery!