An Irish mother is taking her fight to leave New Zealand to the UN, claiming she is denied a fair trial. More here: link
24 October 2014
Are you affected by the subject matter of this article? there is a Facebook support group you may want to contact https://www.facebook.com/ExpatStuckMums. Also, you may wish to join the discussion at the end of this page.
Please also follow this article NZ Trapped Parents Watching Dorothy Lee Barnett Case
Continuing in our series of Migrant Tales – first hand accounts of the immigrant experience in New Zealand, taken from locations around the net.
The following was taken from an immigration forum and highlights a problem experienced by many migrants in New Zealand – that of a parent being refused permission to take their child out of the country when a relationship breaks up. This by no means applies only to mothers being trapped in New Zealand, fathers have the same problems too.
The problem isn’t unique to New Zealand but the country’s isolation, and the many problems working & living in NZ presents, make a sad situation even more heart-breaking for the children and the families involved.
Many parents are caught between a rock and a hard place and find that they have no option other than to remain in the country if they still want access to their children, even if the child was born outside of NZ.
I am in a heart breaking situation and i wondered if anyone else had been in a similar one. If so they I would love to hear from you, or any other thoughts.
I am British and my daughter was born in England in 2007, her father is a kiwi and he was on a working holiday over in London. The relationship was never really ideal, but we decided it was a great idea to move to New Zealand to give our daughter a great childhood etc, so that’s wehat we did when she was 7 months old.
Unfortunately New Zealand and I never really gelled, and I really have tried hard. I was disappointed with my job prospects over here mainly having enjoyed a great and lucrative career over in the UK, and missed the family support that I had at home in England. Unfortunately my relationship with my ex-partner dissolved for various reasons. When did finally separate we had been living in New Zealand for 2 years. We never married or anything.
I had been thinking for quite some time about returning home to England, but my ex-partner refused to allow our daughter to come back with me. I then appplied to the NZ courts to allow myself and our daughter to return to England. This was back in January and I have been on an emotional and isolating journey ever since. Unfortunately the law in New Zealand is not on my side and I am feeling very much the foreigner over here. I really wish I had known the risks before I came over here. It seems that New Zealand are very reluctant to allow a child to relocate out of New Zealand once they have been resident here. I have provided my lawyer with so many examples of reasons for us relocating back to the UK such as finances, family, friends, house, my parents being ill, but nothing is taken into account with any of this and I am so shocked by it!
I have never tried to do a “runner” or anything like that (I’ve read other scary stories about people who have tried it!) and am friendly and supportive of my ex and his relationship with our daughter. It’s a such as sad situation, especailly for our daughter but I feel that I can’t face living in New Zealand until she turns 16. So I’m faced with the likelihood that my daughter is trapped in New Zealand and therefore so am I. I am desprately miserable here, but what can I do? I could leave anyway without my daughter, and from speaking to my lawyer the courts here would happily take that situation and keep my daughter here in NZ.
Hopefully we will get to a court hearing in January, which is a year since I applied to the courts. Feeling very lost. Would love some opinions.” (NB. emphasis ours)
Please read the comments left below from people in a similar situation.
Other reading (links from Expat stuck mums)
- Habitual Residence under Brussels II (revised) – Nick Allen, of 29 Bedford Row, looks at the interpretation of habitual
residence under Brussels II Revised following the recent judgment of Marinos v Marinos
- Fordham Law Review – International Child Abuduction and the Escape from Domestic Violence – An academic paper outlining the shortfalls of The Hague Convention with regards to Mums who’ve ‘abducted’ their kids to escape domestic violence.
- University of Minnesota CEHD Global Justice – Groundbreaking Research Shows Hague Convention Rules Disadvantage Battered Women