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Question
Posted by: MiCh | 2010/07/02

Late husbands mom &  her family taking my kids away from me...

Hi, I really hope you can give me some advice...

After my husband passed, his mom &  her family went to the welfare to take my kids away... They have NOTHING against me - I work full time, Im not an alcoholic, dont do drugs... But somehow they got the kids.... Problem: The social worker has NEVER been to my house to check it out - she doesnt even know where i live!!! What can i do????? I WANT MY KIDS BACK!!!!!!!!!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFamily law expert

In terms of Section 19 (1) of the Children's Act, a mother obtains full parental responsibilities and rights by virtue of the fact that she has given birth to the her child, regardless of her marital status. In terms of Section 23 (4) of the Children's Act, parental responsibilities can only be taken away by a court order. Section 23 (1) of the Act stipulates that any person having an interest in the care, well-being or development of a child may apply to the High Court or the children's court for an order granting to the applicant on such conditions as the court may deem necessary 1. contact with the cild; or 2. care of the child. The court must then consider what are in the best interests of the child, what the relationship the applicant has with the child, the degree of commitment that the applicant has shown towards the child, the extent to which the applicant has contributed towards expenses in connection with the maintenance of the child or any other fact that should be taken into account. Remember that it is the functionality and not the structure of the family that predetermines parental capacity to socialise children adequately. Placement of a child should be decided with the best interests of the child in mind and not the rights of the parents in mind. Emphasis needs to be as far as possible on perserving continuity of relationships, of environments and routines.

The actions by the Social Worker was wrong. I would very much consider approaching the court if I was you to give effect to your rights in terms of the Children's Act.

Bertus Preller
Family Law Attorney
KWJ Inc.
info@divorceattorney.co.za

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Our users say:
Posted by: family law expert | 2010/07/03

In terms of Section 19 (1) of the Children's Act, a mother obtains full parental responsibilities and rights by virtue of the fact that she has given birth to the her child, regardless of her marital status. In terms of Section 23 (4) of the Children's Act, parental responsibilities can only be taken away by a court order. Section 23 (1) of the Act stipulates that any person having an interest in the care, well-being or development of a child may apply to the High Court or the children's court for an order granting to the applicant on such conditions as the court may deem necessary 1. contact with the cild; or 2. care of the child. The court must then consider what are in the best interests of the child, what the relationship the applicant has with the child, the degree of commitment that the applicant has shown towards the child, the extent to which the applicant has contributed towards expenses in connection with the maintenance of the child or any other fact that should be taken into account. Remember that it is the functionality and not the structure of the family that predetermines parental capacity to socialise children adequately. Placement of a child should be decided with the best interests of the child in mind and not the rights of the parents in mind. Emphasis needs to be as far as possible on perserving continuity of relationships, of environments and routines.

The actions by the Social Worker was wrong. I would very much consider approaching the court if I was you to give effect to your rights in terms of the Children's Act.

Bertus Preller
Family Law Attorney
KWJ Inc.
info@divorceattorney.co.za

Reply to family law expert
Posted by: MiCh | 2010/07/02

I am in JHB... Can I please mail you privately? I need to get info!

Reply to MiCh
Posted by: G-Dad | 2010/07/02

Which area are you, if there is no court order that remove your children then lay a charge of kidnapping against his mother and family at the police, as long as you have not signed anything and the children court has not issued an order.

A friend was in a similar case, this was worse than yours, this mother left her child alone at home while she went jolling in DBN, the child asked my friend for food and shelter, my friend then contact the social workers, they gave her a letter to place the child in her care for safekeeping, well when the mother got back months later she wanted her child back, the child did not wanna go back, the mother then simply lay a charge of kidnapping, my friend had been informed by a legal expert that there is no court order placing the child in to her care and that she has to give the child back to the mother immediately or she will be arrested.

Remember the social worker do have to go to your house if they find signs of abuse or neglect then they can act.

I would try this option if I were you.

Reply to G-Dad

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