23 July 2013
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
5 February 2008, on Forum Redd Våre Barn
7 February 2008, and on mhskanland.net
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.
The family got
100,000 per month for having me. [100,000 Danish crowns
equals somewhat over 12,000 Euros.]
Are you sure?
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.)
And how did they
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
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.
You chose freedom
rather than the money?
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
Children are a mysterious people,
and they live in an entirely different land.
Just think: choosing love and freedom over unlimited riches