The mother of the newborn whose apprehension from a Winnipeg hospital streamed live on Facebook last week says she hopes to learn Wednesday whether her daughter will be reunited with her family.
In a written statement provided to the media by the First Nations Family Advocate in Manitoba, the Winnipeg mother says that prior to her daughter’s birth early last week, she had arranged for her aunt to take guardianship of the baby. She is “disappointed” this was not done, she says, adding that her family continues to press for the baby to be placed in her aunt’s care.
Because of the Facebook video of the infant’s removal, which has been seen more than 300,000 times, the case has received international attention and cast a spotlight on the issue of newborn apprehensions. A total of 354 infants were removed from their families in Manitoba in 2017, 87 per cent of them First Nations; and 259 remained in care 12 months later, putting them on the fast-track for permanent wardship.
“Like all mothers, I love my baby very much and want the best for her, which includes having a close bond with me," said the mother, who cannot be identified because her child is in care. "I had no idea that babies were being apprehended every day from their mothers. I am sad this occurs so frequently.”
She says a lack of compassion shown to her and her family during the apprehension was “traumatic,” but she is thankful if she and her baby have shed light on the issue in Manitoba.
The infant has spent the past five days in an emergency placement with either a foster family or in a Winnipeg infant shelter.
Manitoba’s Ministry of Families referred comment on the allegations surrounding the circumstances of the removal to the province’s General Child and Family Services. The authority has not yet replied.