16. 03. 12. - 14:57
Appeal for baby Jonas to go back into care
Social workers ordered to hand back a 12-month-old boy to his mum after they took him into care because his grandmother had been fined for speeding have launched a legal challenge against the ruling.
Baby Jonas, from Lambach, Austria, had been living with his 18-year-old mum Ann-Katrin Leitner and her partner Andreas when he was seized by the local social services department.
The social workers claimed the child was at risk, because if his 50-year-old grandmother Heidi was unable to pay a 1,200 GBP speeding fine, she could be jailed and then could not help her daughter care for the youngster.
But despite the family paying the fine instantly, social workers refused to hand Jonas back to his heartbroken parents.
"When they took him into care we rushed to borrow the money from family and friends and paid off the fine. But they didn't bring him back.
"After seven weeks he had already changed foster families twice," said his anxious mum.
Gran Heidi added: "It has had a devastating effect on my daughter. She missed her baby's first Christmas and his first tooth. These memories can’t be replaced."
After the story was published in the Austrian Times and other local media judges ordered social services chiefs to return the baby.
A spokesman for Wels social services refused to discuss "individual cases" but it has now been revelaed they have appealed the ruling.
Lawyer for the family Roland Gabl accused the social workers of breaking the law after using private information about the ticket to act against the family.