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Russian woman's four children taken to Finnish family

December 08, 2012, 16:10 UTC+3
The Finnish social services have given no official comments, as there is a non-disclosure requirement in the local legislation
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HELSINKI, December 8 (Itar-Tass) —— The four children of Russian Anastasia Zavgorodnyaya and her husband, a Finnish citizen of Sudanese origin, are taken to a Finnish foster family, Finnish human rights activist Johan Backman told Itar-Tass on Saturday.

Explaining that the Finnish legislation has no notion "depriving of parents' rights", but has "taking away for guardianship" and "urgent taking away" from a family, he said that the children were removed by the social services of the city of Vantaa from the family because the woman allegedly refused to cooperate with social workers in accordance with the rehabilitation plan worked out for the family. All the four children are taken away, including the baby who was born in September, he said.

The Finnish social services have given no official comments, as there is a non-disclosure requirement in the local legislation.

According to the human rights activist, Zavgorodnyaya even in the difficult situation still has chances to return her children. It will be very difficult. It may take several years to return the children, but she must try, he believes.

The Finnish law allows biological parents to see their children in a foster family, but not often and under rather hard conditions for children and parents.

Russian presidential commissioner for children's rights Pavel Astakhov reported earlier that Finnish social services decided to deprive Anastasia Zavgorodnyaya and her husband of the guardianship right, remove their children from the family and hand them over to foster parents.

The scandal around Zavgorodnyaya's family has been continuing since September 2012 when the social services in the city of Vantaa took her four children away, including her newborn baby. The parents were suspected of home violence. Thanks to the help of diplomats, the Russian woman could again be together with her children.

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