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Czechs disinvite Norway over forced adoption

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Czechs disinvite Norway over forced adoption
Eva Michalakova with her two sons in a photo posted on Facebook in September. Photo: Private
21:33 CEST+02:00
The Czech government has withdrawn an invitation to Norway's Ambassador to attend national day celebrations at Prague Castle in protest at Norwegian authorities' decision to put a Czech boy up for adoption.
Norway's controversial Child Welfare Service, or Barnevernet, last month put the six-year-old son of Eva Michalakova up for adoption and stripped her of her parental rights to the elder boy, who is ten.  
 
Michalakova's battle to get her sons back after they were seized by Barnevernet in May 2011 has become a cause célèbre in the Czech Republic, with the country's President comparing  Barnevernet to the Nazi Lebensborn programme. 
 
Siri Ellen Sletner, Norway's ambassador, confirmed to Norway's Dagbladet that she had been disinvited. 
 
“The case has received a lot of press coverage in the Czech Republic because it applies to a Czech family,” she said. “From the embassy's side, we have received it, and informed the authorities in Oslo about it, and we are now in dialogue with the authorities in Oslo on further follow-up of the case.” 
 
Barnevernet's apparent low threshold for taking children into care, which some claim applies particularly to certain groups, such as children of Roma Norwegians or foreigners living in Norway, has led to several high profile cases in recent years. 
 
Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya, a geophysicist and IT specialist, battled for nearly two years to get back their two children after they were taken into care in 2011 before becoming successful.
 
This year, the struggle of Gražina Leščinskiene, a Lithuanian woman, to win back her son has become a high profile story in the Baltic state, with a prominent talk show broadcasting a Norway expert arguing that the country was kidnapping foreign children to offset its high rate of inbreeding. 
 
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