SA Family Services Will Not Return My Child - What to Do?

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18 June 2015
Hi. I have been looking for hours to find some answers and help and have came across your website.

I am a young mother to a little boy who is 11 months old. He was removed from my care because to my husband. I took him in for testing for easy bruising (that was at 6 weeks), then when he was 8 weeks FSA removed him and found he had multiple healing rib fractures. They were saying multiple times and excessive force.

At the time, we did not know what cause the fractures. All we knew is we did not abuse him. 8 months later, we took them to trial and that is when their medical opinion changed to 1 time event from the timeframe of birth to 1 week old. That is when I told my lawyer about the accident I had had with my son when he was a week old thinking this was the answer, so she contacted our expert and he confirmed that could be the cause of the fractures, however due to the lack of this information to CPS and FSA, until now we were consenting to the 12-month order, with the thought we would be working towards bringing him home, as we only had to work through the process as such since we are in the system and therapy and parenting classes would help FSA feel that if an accident happened again we would speak up about it without fear.

Then all of a sudden they have gone back on their word and are not taking this accident for the cause of the fractures and have continuously brought up orders such as GOM18, and nothing is moving forward until one of us comes forward which has never changed. We have not abuse our son (threats basically, they use our age against us, me being 21 and my husband being 24). We took responsibility with his injuries with the accident we have told them yet they have made it very clear only abuse is the option despite the midwife supporting us and the local GP (as well as our whole community).

My questions are the following...

1. What else can we do under family law? We have run out of funds (spent nearly 100k on trial and experts).
2. Should we go public with this as we believe due to the Chloe case they will never allow a non-abusive reason for anything, in fear of what they failed to do so before, however not realizing they are causing harm to my son this way?
3. My constant fear is if my Husband and I were to fall pregnant during this battle (so far they have a GOM12 order), and that would cause them to refuse to return our son despite us doing all parenting classes they make us do and therapy sessions, etc. and the fear they would remove our future child despite no proof of their allegations (we have a medical opinion supporting our side).
4. My fear is that they continue to lie and try to go for an order of GOM18 despite us working with them. What could allow them to do so?
Please help me. Please answer all my questions.

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria
Hi Meg21,

This is an extremely serious and complicated matter. It is complicated because much of it hinges on your evidence against that of the FSA. It also hinges on how you present your case and how satisfactorily you respond to FSA concerns. It is further complicated by the multiple steps involved and many forms/applications/documents/hearings you'll likely encounter up ahead. I strongly suggest you see a Family Law lawyer. You can have one recommended to you here: Get Connected with the Right Lawyer for You -, or some free information/services here: Legal Services Commission of South Australia - Family Law -