Today is day 271. This represents the number of days Ayn Van Dyk has been held by Canadian authorities and kept away from her family. It also represents how long one British Columbia father has suffered indescribable pain. We’ve covered this story extensively in the past, but for the benefit of our new readers, here’s the situation in a nutshell:
On June 16, 2011, Ayn Van Dyk, a ten-year-old girl with autism, was playing in her back yard. Derek Hoare briefly lost sight of his daughter after she scaled a 6-foot-high fence. Police were notified and after a several-hour search, Ayn was found playing safely in a nearby neighbor’s yard. If the story ended there, this would’ve been a happy ending to a terrifying ordeal. However, unbeknownst to Derek at the time, his nightmare had just begun.
Three days later, Canadian authorizes apprehended Ayn at school and she has been in State custody ever since. British Columbia’s Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD), who
is no stranger to controversy, claimed they were simply "lightening the load" of an "overwhelmed" single father of three. No charges of abuse or neglect were ever levied against Hoare and despite having two other children at home, MCFD only took away Ayn.
A few days after the seizure, Ayn was heavily medicated with powerful and dangerous antipsychotic drugs and has since been separated from her father and siblings. She is currently in foster care and Hoare has faced a painfully slow system marked by stonewalling, incompetence and threats. His next court hearing doesn’t take place until the end of this year, with the earliest possible date of Ayn returning to her family being sometime in 2013. What makes matters worse, MCFD officials, at their discretion, can send Ayn back to her family at any time they see fit. This case has brought a lot of scrutiny from the media and one begins to wonder if Hoare’s outspokenness against the MCFD is now being repaid with delays and stonewalling as a form of punishment.
Last week, Hoare provided an update on another site. Here are some excerpts from that post:
"… as I am sure most would understand the last 8 ½ months have been beyond nightmarish. Tortuous does not begin to describe this either, the reality is that I have dedicated my life to my kids. I have dropped everything to ensure their happiness and development and to have this culminate in an attack by my own government, who has taken no time to understand my children or my family yet claim some authoritarian power over it is monstrous. To make matters worse this is being done under the guise of “help”. They throw around phrases like “child’s best interest” as if they empower them with some dictatorial aura, yet have no idea what those words even mean…Per Derek’s request, we are asking our readers to share, tweet and +1 this story as much as possible to help get it further circulated. I hold hope that our society has not become apathetic to the point where we ignore stories involving governments arbitrarily removing children from their homes without due process.
…We are now 8 ½ months in….. 263 days….. and my daughter has yet to see an autism expert….
….I have spent dozens and dozens of hours trying to explain the situation to them, trying to explain how to appropriately treat a child with autism, to try to get them to understand the concerning behaviours of autism and how it was this terrible mistake was made….
…Within the first six months Ayn had already had 4 different social workers, this fact has been used as a consistent excuse by MCFD who justifies their inaction and ignorance with a claim of “staffing issues”…
….I have faced: broken promises, lies, threats, stonewalling, willful ignorance, silence…
…..I am facing an escalating battle not an improving one, one which is taking place on many different fronts; my time on [Facebook] will be limited, my time in front of cameras or in print will be on the rise, and the time I need to spend studying will also continue to be pressed only to the limits of my fatigue. I ask for everyone’s help spreading the word about this and keeping up a dialog on how it is we got to this point and what we can do to inform others of what is happening, not simply in regards to Ayn, but to the “child protection system” which has strayed so far from its goal to now become an imposing threat to the safety of children and not the heroic saviour they would like to cast themselves to be. If the populace knew how this worked it would not be tolerated, and in fact will serve as a clear exemplification of why the granting of such powers under blanket liability protections is a terrible and dangerous thing…
….Her name is Ayn… she has hopes, dreams, fears and loves…. I am one of them and I will not let her down."
Please take the time to care and share. The next time, it could be your own child.
Freedom For Ayn: http://freedomforayn.blogspot.com