I came across this story on the web last night, and it is one of the most unbelievable things I have ever read. A women named Habiba, who is a Moroccan immigrant living in a battered women's shelter in Spain has lost custody of her 15 month old daughter for refusing to wean her. Seriously. Habiba checked into the shelter, Instituto Madrileno del Menor y Familia (Madrilean Institute for the Minor and Family, or IMMF) and their policy encourages mothers to wean their babies as soon as possible, sometimes even giving drugs to make the process of weaning much quicker. WTH? Habiba, according to this blog, who was not financially stable, nursed her daughter on demand and sometimes for comfort (the IMMF reportedly considers that "chaotic" and "damaging") as well as fed the baby food from her own plate and co-slept. Because of her defiance to conform to the way the IMMF deems acceptable, they labelled Habiba mentally unstable and her baby was taken away her. She is now only allowed to see her daughter once a week. Habiba wasn't even allowed to say goodbye, and after removing her daughter they kicked her out on the streets because the shelter was for mothers and their babies, and since her baby was no longer in her custody, they had no place for her. Talk about a freaking outrage!
I am in absolute shock that this could possibly be happening to this poor women. I would be in major distress if this were to happen to me. It really irks me when people push their own parenting ways onto you, and it really gives me a heavy heart that the IMMF would take a baby away from their mother when she is doing what comes naturally (and perfectly normal!) for her and her baby. I think taking the baby away from her mother is way more "chaotic" and "damaging" then comfort nursing - at least that's my opinion.
It seems many moms feel this is a complete injustice for Habiba and her daughter, so a Facebook page called We Are All Habiba has been created and over 6,000 followers are following her progress. Letters are being sent to Spanish consulates and the IMMF and a even a petition site was set up on Change.org. I hope Habiba is reunited with her daughter sooner rather than later. Please join the Facebook page, sign a petition and support this mother in being reunited with her baby. We did.