The past few years have seen a continuing rise in the number of requests to put unborn children under the supervision of the child protection services. Just 132 such requests were filed in 2009 compared to 251 in 2011.
On Thursday a spokesperson for the child protection services confirmed a report by current affairs programme De Vijfde Dag (The Fifth Day) to this effect. The mothers whose children are being placed under supervision are often addicted to drugs or struggling with psychological issues.
The courts can impose compulsory measures of supervision from the 24th week of pregnancy. It is usually a doctor or obstetrician who report their concerns to the child protection services, which will then evaluate the information and decide whether or not to submit a request to the courts.
Safety of children
The spokesperson said the increase in the number of supervision requests was mainly the result of an increased focus on the safety of children:
''When parents are unable to provide a safe environment to their child, we have to prepare them for a situation in which their baby could be taken away immediately after birth. That is an extremely stressful event for a mother.”
She did emphasise that the actual number of cases is quite low. “More than 180,000 children were born in the Netherlands last year. Compared to that, 251 supervision requests is not really all that much.”
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