Agency Involved in Autism Case No Stranger to Controversy

Ayn Van Dyk

How Much Longer??

In a follow up to our most recent update on Ayn Van Dyk, there have been more disturbing details brought to our attention that are worth passing along. Apparently, this is not the first time the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) in British Columbia has been involved in a major controversy involving the removal of a child from their home.

Back in October of 2007, Paul and Zabeth Bayne of Surrey, British Columbia (Canada) embarked on a four-year-long nightmare when all three of their children were seized and taken away after authorities suspected Shaken Baby Syndrome in their then-two-month-old daughter. The Bayne’s were adamant that the child’s injuries were sustained when an older sibling tripped and fell directly on top of the little girl, but their claims fell on deaf ears.

Despite unsubstantiated evidence, the children were stripped away from their parents and placed in foster care, shuffled from family-to-family over the years. To make matters worse, during the ordeal, a fourth child was also taken away by Ministry officials only five hours after Zabeth gave birth and was still in the hospital.

The Bayne’s horrifying ordeal finally ended in August of 2011 when they were exonerated and all four children were returned to them. However, the damage had been done, courtesy of the "shoot first" and ask questions later tactics of Ministry officials. You can read the full account of the Bayne story here.

Now, jump to June of 2011, when Derek Hoare briefly lost sight of Ayn, his nine-year-old daughter with autism. She had been playing in the backyard, which was surrounded by a six-foot high fence. Hoare immediately called police when she went missing and a search ensued, finding Ayn safe in a nearby neighbor’s backyard.

As with the Bayne children, Hoare’s daughter was seized by MCFD authorities, who claimed they were simply lightening the load of an overwhelmed single father of three. Ayn was placed in a psychiatric facility and given powerful and dangerous antipsychotic drugs and has been in foster care ever since. Hoare has unsuccessfully fought for his daughter’s return and his next court date is scheduled for the end of 2012. The judicial process will have Ayn’s earliest possible return in February of 2013, assuming there are no more delays. To add insult to injury, MCFD officials, at their discretion, can return Ayn at any time back to her father.

The cases involving Derek Hoare and the Bayne family are strikingly similar, not only for the gross injustices suffered at the hands of government officials, but because they both involve the same MCFD division in British Columbia. As if these cases weren’t enough, there is also the heartbreaking case of Betty-Ann and Allan Burnett — yet another family who’s lives were turned upside down by the MCFD in BC.  You can learn about the Burnett story here.

These cases (and others like them) are so upsetting in nature, someone needs to start asking some tough questions.

Things are seriously wrong when government authorities can arbitrarily take children from their homes without due process, leaving parents at the mercy of a painfully slow judicial system. 

Ironically, the MCFD claims to have the best interest of children at heart, but it’s these types of hair-trigger reactions that cause irreparable harm to to the very children they are purporting to protect. Undoubtedly, there are legitimate instances when children need to be removed from their homes due to abusive or unsafe environments, but at the same time, common sense must be administered.

Much like the Bayne family, Derek and Ayn have passionate advocates and Internet volunteers petitioning on their behalf. Let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself and they don’t have to wait another 3 years to be reunited.

4 Responses to Agency Involved in Autism Case No Stranger to Controversy

  1. Lisa Arlin says:

    My name is Lisa Arlin another parent who has suffered gross injustice because of a hair triggered reaction which caused irrepable harm; when a child is ripped away and be arbitarly taken from their homes and your right absolutely without due process Something is seriously wrong and tough questions do need to be asked. I dealt with the same MCFD division my child removed based on allegations 1997 I did not get a decision or hearing until 2002 I fought all that time only to be denied custody or access I appealed it to Supreme court again my application was dismissed I was forced to represent my self as I was denied legal aid. Since Supreme court I appealed to the Court of Appeal only to have my application dismissed and forced to give up my child for adoption because of so called missed visits. In 2005 when the adoption order was made my partner committed suicide was an over dose of anti depressant drugs when he was alive the MCFD treated him like he never existed. Since what happened did in 2005 I appealed my case to the Legislative assembly and was granted a further review yet some how again denied at this stage of the proceedings I had a interview with the Director Bruce Mcneill who said you have presented me with new information which wasn’t available at the time of the hearing that says you are currently able to parent. I have this letter and the information I presented to the Director and will provide it upon request the MCFD did have this information as it is marked 2002 the time of the hearing. Ultimately my child will never get to have a relationship with his dad because of gross injustice and as a parent you have to live wth that and there is nothing you can do MCFD will never be accountable I will keep fighting until there is justice!

    Lisa Arlin

    I am on face book and PAPA (parents assisting parents associaton)
    MCFD can take our kids but where dose that leave parents?
    keep fighting MCFD and never give up!

  2. Leo Young says:

    You are just scratching the surface. MCFD is a monster without a leash. I get it that they are there to avoid the worst case scenarios and in going too far the other way, they do significantly more harm than good.

    It all makes sense if you realize that their job is not to protect children but to prevent, even one, child abuse case from hitting the front page of the newspaper and embarrassing the government.

  3. Heather H. says:

    I am a mother of 3 children. My children were adopted out as of January after a 3 year battle with mcfd. I fled a abusive relationship of 7 years to save my children from having to witness anymore violence and so I could do what I needed to for my children because I was not allowed to do in his fears and embarrassment of his doings. The only way I could get away safely was to flee while he was at work packing 2 cars with as much of our necessities. My oldest son is diagnosed autistic and adhd. The first night at my mother’s house my 6 yr. old oldest son woke up early in the am and figured out the lock and got outside. I woke up and had him inside within 10 min. But mcfd was called and showed up at my doorstep a few days later. I did need help getting on my feet but instead the mcfd eventually had all my kids in foster care. This also made it so I could not get any supports or benefits because without my children in my care I was seen as a single person. Over time they twisted every bit of information. Also moving my file to person to person so that just read the miscued information and without even really talking to me or meeting me or my children were in charge of our lives. My oldest was put on medication was so skinny in care and was neglected, but no one ever even responded to my voiced concerns. He one morning escaped out of his foster home wandered into a nearby construction site got to the second level and ran right into a hole where he fell to cement. He fractured his skull and hip and was in a wheelchair. They disallowed me to see him for a month after this accident saying it was because the foster family was on vacation and a family friend was staying with him that did not know me. I was forced into adoption, I could not get all the things necessary for them to be in my care financially in the time line without any help. I have never been had or suspected of substance abuse, nor have ever been abusive or neglectful. This is only the tip of the iceberg of my story you can read more at under the title my children are gone and Im grief stricken. In the end I was told I was not a bad mother I just been through too much. And that I should grieve. I feel like I live a half life now, everyday I miss them and I am completely flat as a human after all this. How anyone can think that your kids being gone and missing their childhood and all those moments that mean the world to a parent is not a big deal and you will get over it is heartless.

  4. Corinne Young says:

    Grandson taken by MCFD no real reason given. Mother had been airlifted to Kamloops as her son had respiratory issues. Unable to clear schedule, so wasn’t with her for 3 days. Was with her in hospital room from that point on. On day 6 MCFD removed the baby, no reason given to parents or grandparents. Neither side of family was asked about medical history or any relevant information about his care. Mother’s health was poor due to the fact her baby was induced and she had a great number of complications that caused her and baby a great deal of suffering. MCFD showed no concern for the mother’s health there wasn’t even a doctor on the floor. Poor girl was crying so hard, blood pressure sky rocketed and nurse said the mother was at risk of having a stroke that could be fatal.
    First time we got a copy of things we were supposed to have done wrong. The first line claimed she had been airlifted to hospital to have a C-section. WHY would she NEED a C-section? Her son was put in an incubator and they were airlifted to Kamloops. One could write a novel based on the things people were supposed to have said and done. Grandmother confined to wheelchair, was the best one. Baby was supposedly crying and grandparents and parents ignored his needs. Social Worker could see that baby was sound asleep. He had been nursed, burped had a diaper change and was sleeping.
    Parents and grandparents take care of their health, first doctors appointment the doctor was shocked at MCFD had taken the baby. If not for government cut backs baby could have been treated at home and MCFD would have no reason to take our 6 day old grandson.

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Did You Know?

  • * In 1970, Autism affected 1 out of 10,000 children
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