New York - Habiba a mother on anguish was separated from her 15 month’s baby, because she refused to stop breastfeeding her child.
New York – Habiba a mother on anguish was separated from her 15 month’s baby, because she refused to stop breastfeeding her child.
On May 30, 2011 (IMMF – Instituto Madrileño del Menor y la Familia), the Minor and Family Institute in Spain, separated a child from her mother because the latter refused to comply with their demand that she wean her child and use medication to dry her breastfeeding milk.
Habiba is of Moroccan origin, a mother who was forced by economic hardships to seek help of the IMMF and live in its residence for young mothers in Madrid with her 15 month-old daughter, hoping that she would be better off than in her current situation.
However, the Minor and Family Institute decided to take away the baby girl from her mother, allegedly because she did not complete the objectives of the psychotherapy program set by the institute. This program dictates how mothers should nurse, feed and care for their babies. It also implies that mothers should abandon breastfeeding of their children because it is considered “chaotic” and “detrimental for babies”.
Habiba was also criticized for the way she was dealing with her child, in that she sometimes co-fed and co-slept with her. Accordingly, she was considered mentally unstable and thereby her daughter was taken from her without any legal notice.
According to Dr.Olza, the psychiatrist who evaluated Habiba “”I’m under the impression that Habiba is a sensible and loving mother, with a healthy attachment to her child.” He also added that “Based on Habiba’s thorough psychiatric evaluation, I have reached the conclusion that this woman does not suffer from psychiatric disorders, nor does she have a drug habit. In my opinion, she is a very capable, loving woman who is now suffering enormously from having been abruptly separated from her child.”
The affected mother was not even given the chance to say goodbye to her baby daughter, which is likely to create long-lasting emotional distress for both the mother and daughter. Dr.Olza noted, “suddenly separating a fifteen month old child from her mother, transferring her to a government facility with no one the child is familiar with causes great damage that could have enduring psychological consequences”.
Habiba was not only turned away from the center the moment her daughter was taken away from her. They brazenly told her that she is no longer allowed to stay in the center because she is not the caretaker of her child. She was then given humanitarian assistance and legal aid.
This story of a tern family went viral and gained steam worldwide. Women organizations, human rights advocates, Bloggers and social media activists have been petitioning to reunite the mother with her daughter, denouncing the atrocities, and the emotional distress caused by this gruesome attack on human rights and children rights.
Facebook group (Worldwide Mothers support Habiba! IMMF Give her baby back) of more than 8 thousands worldwide human rights advocates has been created to support the mother and child; the group condemns the inhuman affliction and the grisly violations of the IMMF.
No information is yet known whether the Moroccan embassy in Madrid has interfered to solve this problem and offer legal, social and emotional help to the mother. On her facebook account a human rights advocate blogged: “Habiba is a citizen of Morocco. Has the Moroccan Embassy in Spain been contacted? They should be helping her!!! She has committed no crime. Her rights have been violated.”
Change.org has been petitioning on support for the cause of the Moroccan woman. On the petition, the social media for change advocacy stated: “We consider the case of Habiba and her daughter to be a severe violation of Human Rights and Children Rights. The damage is already done, but if mother and daughter can reunite it can be healed. We demand the immediate release of the child to her mother.”
The image accompanying this article was created by Louma Sader Bujana / AmorMaternal.com