Lev Tahor child back in mother’s care
An Ontario judge allows baby placed in foster care to return to 17-year-old mother in Chatham
An Ontario court judge has allowed a mother, who is a member of the Lev Tahor community, to have custody of her child again, after the infant was placed in foster care in Toronto.
The judge imposed conditions, one of which forbids any contact between the baby and her father.
The infant’s mother, 17, lives in Chatham-Kent, Ont., with about 200 other members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect.
The baby, along with six other minors of the Lev Tahor community, were placed in foster care after the families tried to flee Canada.
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The mother and her baby were apprehended in Alberta, while other Lev Tahor members were intercepted in Trinidad and Tobago.
The community had been under investigation for a wide range of issues, including hygiene and the treatment of children. In court-filed affidavits, police also said they were investigating allegations of child abuse and under-age marriages.
Lev Tahor members have always denied the allegations.
The court case for the 17-year-old mother to determine if she will keep custody of her infant will resume in July.
The cases for the six other children taken by Ontario child services will be heard May 7.