Aboriginal mom fights for custody of infant twins in dispute with ministry

Nicolette Moore says just hours after giving birth to twins, the Ministry of Children and Family Development said they would be removed from her care. (Facebook)

Nicolette Moore says just hours after giving birth to twins, the Ministry of Children and Family Development said they would be removed from her care. (Facebook)

Nicolette Moore says she’s been clean and sober for 2 years, but the ministry still took her twin babies

CBC, June 19, 2015

An aboriginal woman from the Nisga’a First Nation is fighting to gain custody of her infant children after she says she turned her life around.

The Ministry of Children and Family Development seized custody of Nicolette Moore’s infant twins this month. Moore says the ministry cited concerns about her past addiction.

“I was told future behaviour is predicted by past behaviour. I honestly don’t know where my past ends and my future begins.”

The ministry won’t comment on specific cases.

Moore says she has been clean and sober for more than two years and expected that change to be enough to allow her to raise her children.

“Everything I’ve done has been what [the Ministry] wanted,” she told CBC. “I’ve basically lived up to my end of the bargain.”

Other children put in care

Moore previously had her six other children removed from her care, but doesn’t dispute those ministry decisions.

“When they took them that time, I was no longer blaming the ministry or anyone else. I had them removed from me so many times and I got them back, then lied about my addiction problems and covered it up.”

Moore says after losing her six children she “hit rock bottom” and had a moment of realization that if she wanted to keep her family together, things needed to change.

She eventually left her minimum wage job to enter the aboriginal trades program and committed to being clean and sober.

When she gave birth to her twins in early June, she says she had been clean and sober for more than two years. However, just hours after giving birth, she says the ministry removed the infants from her care.

“With my other children I fully admit they deserved to be taken and needed to be protected from me. I don’t ever deny that and I have faced all those things that have cost me my children in the past.”

Ministry responds

In an email sent to CBC, a spokesperson from the Ministry of Children and Family Development wrote:

“The safety and well-being of children and youth is always the ministry’s first priority. Taking a child into care is always a last resort — and is done to reduce the risk to the child if there are no other viable alternatives. Whenever possible, we try to place children with extended family and/or persons known to a child who are assessed to be safe and appropriate to provide care.”

Moore says she’s hoping to work out an agreement with the ministry in order to be given custody of her twins, though the immediate future is still unclear.

“We have worked out a plan for my aunt to take the twins and live in my home [Moore will live elsewhere] so that we can transition in later. I’m just looking forward to the day where I don’t have to answer to somebody over my parenting.”

Mother’s support

Moore’s mother Danielle Swanson backed up her daughter’s sobriety claim in an email to CBC earlier this month.

“She has been clean and sober for over 24 months with a support system second to none. Today, [the] ministry is removing the girls in spite of the recommendations of the [Truth and Reconciliation] report.”


Posted on June 20, 2015, in Colonization and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. She has been clean and sober two years why does Ministry still have the Right to take the infants away? Where is the risk?

  2. Indigenous children are taken for reasons of assimilation not for ‘protective’ reasons. Actually in white western culture and systems ‘protective’ and protection are myths across the board, because the only concern is economic and you will be afforded every bit of human assistance and protection, or would be if you where a fiat dollar or a ponzi scheme but not as a person, as a person you are not important! What is important is assimilation of children so when they grow up they won’t think the system is sick and won’t do anything about it.

    And also basically all these child care protectors are really doing is ensuring that their care, when age catches up with them, it will be provided by people just as contemptuous of their needs and care as they are of the children who’s lives they are destroying. What goes around comes around always, that is why you do not go out of your way to fuck other people up.

  3. It seems to me that requiring regular drug tests in such situations would be a viable and much less expensive alternative to removing children.

  4. This is a very sad ,situation,if the ministry was aware of the impending birth why did they not assertane what the situation wasbefore tHe apprehention,if this is in bc then i am not surprised. I hope she is able to get her children back,everyone deserves to be able to change

  5. Seriously, this is absolutely disgusting! My sister lost her kids due to being a drug addict. She decided to make some life changing decisions and got clean, stayed clean for over a year and she got her kids back. Still to this day she’s clean and doing very well. So.. if ppl like myself and like my sister can change and be given a second chance than why can’t this poor mother be given a chance to be a good mom? No one is perfect! Ppl make mistakes.

  6. That is so wrong, Ministry of Children and Families should give there head a shake, geez

  7. This is wrong she has been clean for over two years she has done everything the ministry has asked And then they fall flat on their part i call power trip and down right disgusting for a woman to admit her addiction and better herself and recover to be slapped in the face is the worst i will be praying for nicolet and her babies to be reunited as for the ministry get over yourself and do your job where it actually needs to be done you are nothing but a bunch of bullies!!!!

  8. This is how it is for all Aboriginal’s. We have been fighting for our children since before residential schools, and now the government apprehends our children before they do any testing or investigations, and if they child actually does go to family, it is only cause the media is involved. These people are the most racist system out there….and go by what they are told or what they write down… and when it’s written down and not true, they still keep it in their files and that is on the individual’s record for the rest of there life’s…. and if one of the children that has been apprehended grows up and has children and become involved by chance with this evil agency, well sadly because their mom/ dad has a record. ..they automatically have one and the agency automatically moves to apprehend their children. .. this is what happens if you are Aboriginal in Canada. Don’t believe me Contact Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto….

  9. to everyone who thinks this is unfair, did you not read the part about already having six children removed from her care. That means AT LEAST 6 years of addiction. She even admits to previously lying and hiding her addictions, so how do they know for sure she’s okay now? Doing random drug tests and just hoping for the best? That’s not what’s best for those children. What a terrible, sad situation for the kids. It’s women like this who give natives a bad name.

    • Perhaps you didn’t read the part where it states she has been clean for the last two years, which her own mother verified. The woman even agrees that the previous apprehensions were justified. But according to your logic, any Native person who has had addiction problems in the past must never have children in the future.

      • Thank you , its hard enough admitting but I have gone far beyond that I have addressed my Addictions and all other barriers that caused the loss of my other children and I was in a relationship with a drug dealer for 8 years the kids dad and now suffer from battered wives syndrome and severe PTSD and have 2years of trauma councilling and self help groups so I’m not just demanding my children i ve earned every right to be their mother and I believe I am what’s best for them and all my mistakes will be their greatest asset coming from me and my bars of parenting that I will never fall under again. Thank you for your support!

    • I’ve known Nicolette for years. She is a very good mother, the man she used to be with was into drugs, very abusive, wouldn’t allow her around family and friends. Ever since she’s went to treatment, I’ve noticed a significant amount of change in her. My heart aches for her and her children. Everyday she would make this known. It hurts because it feels like we have tape over our mouths, our hands tied behind our backs and blind folded from all sides(MCFD.) Her newborn twins were just apprehended from her family a few days ago and now it’s like a death all over for her and her partner. Imagine if you had your child taken from you? This would be a different story, as First Nations I hope and pray every morning and night that this will be in their favor. It is a terrible and sad situation yes! Her older kids are already growing up not knowing who or where they come from. Certainly not their choice, I leave my reply hoping you see this situation through her eyes.

  10. my heart goes out to you and you family! no one deserves to be treated in this manner especially after admitting her mistakes publicly and then making positive changes through counseling and treatment.
    we natives never receive fair treatment when dealing with the power drunk social services for family and children in bc canada, even when the victoria bc office had nesika workers meant to help bridge the gap between social services and native culture the nesika workers were never native, usually white women, some jewish workers even but never any native workers. i always wondered what was the difference? it was just more white women telling us what to do and how to raise our kids to be more like them. it truly is a sick system.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: