Date: May 19, 2016
Host: Jim Schneider
Guest: Mike Donnelly
Mike Donnelly is the director of global outreach for the Home School Legal Defense Association where he coordinates support for home schooling freedom all over the world. Mike is also staff attorney for members in the states of Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, West Virginia and Tennessee. Mike is an adjunct professor at Patrick Henry College where he teaches constitutional law. He is a member of the bars of several states and the U.S. Supreme Court. He’s an internationally published writer and speaker. He and his wife home school their seven children.
This Crosstalk revolved around a Romanian/Norwegian couple. Marius and and Ruth Bodnariu met when they were ministering to Romanian street children. Eventually they married, moved to Norway to be with Ruth’s parents, and began building a family that is now comprised of 5 children ages 9,7,5,3 and 7 months.
Apparently there had been some kind of incident that the children had witnessed at school earlier in the year. The principal was investigating and during a conversation with the children he asked what happens in their home. This principal, as well as other teachers, knew that this family is very Christian. The principal then made a phone call to the Norwegian child protective services agency (called Barnevernet) due to his concern that these parents are teaching about sin which some feel causes stress in children. This principal also knew that the Bodnariu’s spank their children.
Last November Ruth noticed one day that her children were not on the bus that normally brings them home. Instead they arrived in two cars with adults who communicated that they were taking the kids from them. The officials indicated that they would be contacting the Bodnariu’s to let them know how they can get their children back.
Eventually the youngest, who was 3 months old at the time, was also taken. Like the older children, this one was placed in a foster home.
By the end of November the social services agency had filed papers in court to permanently terminate the parental rights of the Bodnariu’s and the children would have been adopted out possibly to the foster families they were staying with.
A trial is coming up in Norway at the end of this month where a judge will hear the case and decide the fate of the children.
Many Romanians were shocked and outraged by this incident and have taken an interest in this case. They have organized all over the world to demonstrate , protest and draw attention to this issue.
To intercede on behalf of the Marius and Ruth Bodnariu family in Norway:
Royal Norwegian Embassy–202-333-6000
U.S. Department of State—Office of Nordic and Baltic Affairs
Director Nathaniel Dean
Deputy Director—Hugo Guevara
Norway Desk Officer—Gary Schaefer
To see the story on the HSLDA website go to: