During the week you should have seen the testimony of this mother who lives near Rennes whose 2 children have been placed. Back to this controversy that arouses as many emotions as questions …
It’s the kind of story that automatically evokes emotions: Raphaël and Noémie are young parents and live in Vitré, near Rennes. To warn of a procedure they consider abusive, they testified on social media about their story, which went viral in a matter of days: everything seemed to be going well for this couple who are raising 2 year old Nausicaa and who had just welcomed Lou on June 3rd.
The unassisted delivery (ANA) went smoothly in their home. It gets tough when Raphaël declares his child at City Hall on June 7th. He is refused registration on the grounds that he has no certificate certifying that the child is in good health, as Noémie says:
“The lady panicked when she saw that we had no medical help at home. »
On June 8, Raphaël presents himself again to the Civil Status Office, this time together with Noémie and the newborn, which makes it possible to ascertain his existence, in the absence of his state of health, and therefore proceed with the registration. The Maternity and Child Welfare Services (PMI) are then notified by the Civil Registry.
On June 10, the couple and the child end up going to a pediatrician, who according to them does not notice anything abnormal in Lou. A visit with PMI’s services in Denmark is also planned this time.
But it’s the gendarmerie that arrives at the end of the day. The two young children are removed after notification from the social services and because of one “suspicion of abuse”. ONE “removal” plain and simple; for Raphaël and Noémie, who strongly challenge this decision.
In a video, Noémie recounts, visibly in shock, the horrific circumstances she has since learned that she would not be able to see her two children for three weekspending the judge’s decision.
Since then, the couple has tried to assert their rights and has received a lot of support. A mobilization is organized, especially supported by feminists involved in the issues of gynecological or obstetric violence, including Marie-Hélène Lahaye, who mean on Twitter it “ these placements take place in the overall context of a witch hunt against women who make the (clear and informed) choice to give birth outside the hospital. Out of the doctor’s control “.
A cat to fund the legal proceedings for Noémie and Raphaël has been put online.
Is unassisted birth the cause?
If the story is undeniably moving, are the reasons for the withdrawal of the children really abusive, as the parents claim, who believe that the PMI made this decision because of the unassisted birth?
In a press release published on Tuesday, June 14, the town hall of Vitré describes the circumstances that led to a report to the PMI. She points out that the newborn’s birth certificate was registered without objection from the agent, which, however ”Reminds of the importance of having the child visited by a doctor to ensure its state of health, without this advice seeming to find a positive resonance with the father. » :
“Under these conditions, in view of the risk to the health of the child, the civil registrar transferred the birth to the PMI, as prescribed in the rules of each birth, while informing it of the special circumstances and the absence of a medical examination.
The Civil Service thus complied with the regulations by registering the birth within the time limits, without requesting documents that were not stipulated in the regulations.
If the children have been removed from the family, this can only be done by the social administration for matters that have not been notified to us.
Rennes prosecutors also clarified the reason for the placement “not directly related to the birth taking place in the home” :
Only considerations regarding the health of these two children and their care motivated this decision of the prosecution.
Still, it’s good birth, which is quoted first in the provisional placement order quoted by Checknews together with other observations regarding the health of the baby, but also the health of his 2-year-old sister :
“Lou X (1) was born on 06/03/2022 at home in unsafe conditions; that it was not monitored by the PMI; that she has only taken 10 grams on the side of the birth; that meetings at home with PMI are put in check by the parents; that Nausicaa X’s state of health is worrying that she is in a state of apparent malnutrition; that the mother, Noémie X, refuses to be examined and that a departure plan has been issued for the east of France for a period of fifteen days and that no PMI follow-up can be made. »
To ask the right questions beyond the Vitré case
If the conditions of birth could therefore be one of the reasons the prosecution withdrew the two children aged 2 years and a few days, to their parents, the other causes are not yet developed, regarding the risks and dangers to which the two children would be exposed.
Currently, the two children are far from their parents. Whether the measure is perceived as disproportionate or justified, it points to a form of distrust of medicine and the conditions under which we today give birth in French maternity wards.
For the association Parents and feministsit is necessary to take into account in this business the disapproving gaze that is still often borne by unassisted birthin France : “The Rennes prosecutor in charge of the case stated that ANA was not included in the justification for the placement. But can we rule out that this unusual situation had no bearing on the case when we see the radical and inhuman solution implemented?”.
The association believes that it will also be necessary to question what drives so many women to make this decision:
“This story reveals the shortcomings of our system and demands that it be prioritized: so that every woman gives birth as she pleases, with or without an epidural, accompanied by the co-parent or not, in a physiological or squatting position, at home or in a medical setting, master of “her choice and over this unique moment. To understand this requires a feminist analysis of parenthood. She is still greatly missed.”
Places in kindergarten, gender-neutral school, parental leave … what do we expect from the presidential election on the parents’ side?
Photo credit: Emma Bauso via Pexels