Mom plans to give birth in secret as politicians hold emergency meeting on child welfare - APTN NewsAPTN News

Mom plans to give birth in secret as politicians hold emergency meeting on child welfare

Brittany Hobson
Indigenous leaders, provincial and territorial leaders and advocates are heading to Ottawa next week for an emergency meeting on child welfare where the overrepresentation of Indigenous children in care will be at the forefront of the conversations.

Minister of Indigenous Services Jane Philpott called for the meeting last November. In a letter sent to her provincial and territorial counterparts she said the rate of Indigenous kids apprehended in Canada was the highest in the world.


Manitoba has the highest rate of newborn apprehensions in all of Canada


In Manitoba apprehension rates are the highest in the country. It is estimated a newborn child is apprehended every day.

The situation has become so dire one expectant mother has decided to give birth in secret.

“I’m feeling that I have to protect this birth from people who have the potential to sever my bond with my child,” said the woman.

Sitting in her home in Winnipeg she showed APTN News her home birthing kit. She cannot be identified because her teenage daughter is currently a ward of the province.

Two years ago she gave birth to another child in hospital. She said at the time she was forced to fill out paperwork detailing her prior involvement with Child and Family Services along with her income status.

She now worries her involvement will serve as a red flag.

“Now I’m sitting here two years later and I’m going to have another baby and I don’t want to be in that building when it happens because I’m afraid they’re not going to let me leave,” she said.

Cora Morgan is the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs’ Child and Family Advocate for First Nations. PHOTO: APTN

First Nations Family Advocate Cora Morgan isn’t surprised to hear of this woman’s plan.

“We hear it every day because you know Manitoba has the highest rate of newborn apprehensions in all of Canada,” said Morgan.

Manitoba also has the highest number of Indigenous kids in care. According to the province there are approximately 11,000 kids in care with 90 per cent of those being Indigenous.

These numbers will be the focus of the emergency two-day meeting next week. The meeting is set to take place on Jan. 25 and 26.

In a release Minister Philpott’s office said the goal of the meeting is to identify shared priorities and a path forward in reforming Indigenous child and family services with distinctions based approaches to put the needs of children and families first.

Morgan said she hopes to see some significant changes to the child welfare system after next week’s meeting.

“After 150 years of the theft of our children that there is a meaningful commitment to First Nations asserting jurisdiction over children and families,” she said.

“And that we have opportunities and resources to be able to do prevention at the community level outside of our current system.”

The Manitoba government has recently implemented a reform on the child welfare system.


We have opportunities and resources to be able to do prevention at the community level


Minister of Families Scott Fielding said the province recognizes changes must be made to the system.

“We’ve got a big problem. That’s why we’re taking it head on as a government,” said Fielding.

The new reform will see incentives and subsidies for foster parents who wish to become permanent guardians.

The province also formed a seven-person committee in December to review the current legislature and suggest changes that could be made to address the staggering number of kids in care.

But the mother giving birth in secret says more needs to be done.

“I think these changes are going to impact how the system operates and how foster families operate,” she said. “And that’s not enough.”

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6 Responses to “Mom plans to give birth in secret as politicians hold emergency meeting on child welfare”

    Jennifer Kuschel January 22, 2018 at 6:30 pm #

    It isnt just the indigenous people. Its any people of poverty standards. If you are in a low income bracket with next to know support system in your community the cas will target you. It has nothing to do with having a loving family or having the knowledge or ability to care for a child, it is based on money.

    Jocelyn January 22, 2018 at 2:44 am #

    I think she should be allowed to have her children returned home ans if need be free services provided to her!

    Chris January 22, 2018 at 2:16 am #

    Disgusting what our government is doing to our institution of family. These poor children ripped from their families and put into provincial care for CAS profit. Shame on our government for allowing this to happen. These children will never be the same. Taking children away does more harm than working to keep families together.

    Don Campbell January 21, 2018 at 2:40 am #

    why Can’t your child protective services, Children’s Aid Society get this Mother back up with her daughter?

    The Government has done grave damage to its indigenous people for generations. Maybe they should start repairing their carnage by returning children safely to their biological relatives one child at a time until most of them are safely home.

    How should this woman feel being “officially sanctioned” as not fit to care for her offspring by her “betters”? So she has to have her child in secret. Hopefully she can raise him up to an age where she will be deemed capable. Or, they may take him at age five because she concealed him from evil and dispicable tyrants with the State.

    willard January 20, 2018 at 11:49 pm #

    For a system to work you must have buy in from aboriginal parents…..the government cannot just keep making rules like they they are the only ones with parenting experience!

    Joann January 20, 2018 at 6:33 pm #

    Instead of paying incentives for people to become foster parents why not spend that money to teach parents skills so they can keep and raise their children