Visitation rights after removal of child from custody
Supreme Court judgment of 23 October 2017, HR-2017-2015-A (case no. 2017/614), civil case, appeal against judgment
I. A (Counsel Torhild Holth) v. The municipality of Oslo (City Advocate Tomasz Edsberg)
II. B (Counsel Øystein Storrvik) v. The municipality of Oslo (City Advocate Tomasz Edsberg)
Justices: Berglund, Endresen, Bårdsen, Høgetveit Berg, Øie
The municipality had taken a seven-week old boy into care pursuant to the Child Welfare Act section 4-19. In a case raised by his parents to obtain a right to visit the boy, who was then three and a half years old, the Supreme Court concluded that there must be special and strong reasons for denying such access, also when the connection to the child's parents is merely biological. The fact that the boy neither knew nor had any bond with his parents was not deemed decisive, as even in such cases a child will benefit from having a certain knowledge of his or her biological origin. Based on the purpose of access, the boy's age and his vulnerability, the Supreme Court decided to allow visitation together with the boy's foster parents, with a duration of one hour once a year under the supervision of the child welfare service.