A newborn baby was taken from a young Whanganui couple earlier this month because a social worker thought she smelt marijuana.
That was the reasoning given to Laurence and Freyja Maisey by the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, four days after their new son Charlie had been removed from their home, NZME reports.
He was only eight-weeks-old at the time, and neither police nor the social worker gave the new parents any warning, however they returned Charlie a few days later, when satisfied his living environment was okay.
That came after an admission the social worker thought the couple had been taking drugs. The Maiseys immediately got a drug test, which came back clean, and their baby was brought back.
Freyja Maisey’s midwife Annette Turner-Steele said it had no reasonable rationale for taking Charlie.
She said the ministry wanted to take Charlie when he was born, telling her the Maiseys were “smelly and a bit slow”, but that with a plan in place they would be given a chance.
“There had been no problem. They seem to be able to do whatever they want and get away with it and they don’t have to justify it,” Ms Turner-Steele said.
“I don’t know what their concerns were – none of their concerns were justified at all, and they were just covering their own backs basically because they took a child wrongly.”
Ministry acting Manawatu regional manager Monica Miranda told NZME the ministry woulld continue to work with the baby’s family around support that can be offered and the child’s well-being is the “absolute priority.”