International Attorney Petition for the release of Bodnariu children

On Friday, May 13, 2016 a group of over 100 attorneys from various countries around the world, including four (4) members of the European Parliament, submitted an International Attorney Petition to the Prime Minister of Norway, the Honorable Erna Solberg, demanding the immediate and permanent release of the Bodnariu children to their biological parents, Marius and Ruth Bodnariu. The Petition was delivered electronically, by fax, and through the Offices of Norway’s Foreign Ministry. It was also delivered to the Norwegian Embassy in Washington, DC. The delivery to the Embassy coincided with the trip to the United States, and the visit to the White House, of His Majesty, King Harald V of Norway.

The full text of the Petition, as well as the identity of all signatories to date is below. NOTE: The Petition remains open for signature and we encourage friends and supporters from around the world to sign it. Any attorneys, law professors, or parliamentarians who would like to have their name added to the Petition are asked to email their request to Thank you!


Her Excellency, Erna Solberg
Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Norway
Office of the Prime Minister
Postboks 8001 Dep, 0030

          Re.: International Petition in Support of the Marius and Ruth Bodnariu Family

Your Excellency:

We are attorneys from multiple countries and different continents concerned about the violations of the religious freedom and parental rights of the family of Marius and Ruth Bodnariu from Naustdal, Norway. The family’s five (5) children were unlawfully seized by the Norwegian Child Protective Services (Barnevernet) on November 16 and 17, 2015 due to the family’s sincerely held Christian beliefs. The children were between three (3) months and 9 years of age at that time.

We have familiarized ourselves with the facts of the matter and are deeply disturbed that the children’s seizure was motivated by the family’s Christian faith. Barnevernet’s own documents attest to the fact that the family’s faith and religious values were at the core of the officials’ discussions when debating the children’s seizure. Barnevernet disapproved of the parenting style of the parents because, it concluded, it was “based on the Bible.”

We have also familiarized ourselves with the legal aspects of the matter, both as they relate to Norway’s domestic legislation and international law. Norway’s Child Welfare Act imposes an obligation on Norway’s authorities to preserve the religious identity of the children it removes from their biological families. (Section 4-15 of the 1992 Child Welfare Act). That has not been done.

The Bodnariu children have been placed with foster homes. They no longer go to Church, are raised by individuals who do not share the Christian faith or the belief in God of the children or of their biological parents, and have no interest in or appreciation for Christian values. On the contrary, some of the foster parents have been dismissive and derisive of the children’s religious feelings when the children attempted to pray or display religious inclinations.

This is a violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child as well. Among others, Norway’s Barnevernet has violated Article 8 of the Convention which imposes on States the obligation to “preserve [the child’s] identity,” as well as Article 14 which emphasizes that States “shall respect the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.”

We are also outraged by the extreme hardship which Barnevernet has inflicted upon the Bodnariu family. The children’s seizure has resulted in the family being dismembered into four (4) parts, with the parents living in Naustdal and the five (5) children being dispersed in three different cities around Norway where they live with three (3) different foster families. The parents’  meetings with the children are sporadic, occur whenever Barnevernet determines, in its exclusive discretion, that they be allowed, and, when the entire family reunites for one or two hours, it is subjected to unwarranted government supervision and monitoring. This violates Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights which stipulates that “everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life.”

We find the facts of this international incident unacceptable not only on legal grounds but also on humanitarian and moral grounds. We view these transgressions as grievous breaches of domestic and international law. We are also cognizant of the severe mental pain and anguish which Barnevernet’s unlawful actions have inflicted on the parents, but especially on the children. It will take a long time for their mental wounds to heal. Therefore, it is important that Norway immediately release the children back to their biological parents.

We were encouraged, however, to learn that in early April the youngest of the children was returned to the parents, but disheartened that the remaining children have not.

In closing, we respectfully ask you Madam Prime Minister to use your position and the avenues available to your Office to ensure that the youngest Bodnariu child permanently remains with his biological parents and the remaining four (4) Bodnariu children are immediately and permanently returned to their biological parents.

List of Signatories

  1. Peter Costea, JD, Ph D, Houston, Texas
  1. Paul Susman, LLM, PhD, Brussels
  1. Michael Donnelly, HSLDA Attorney, Purcellville, Virginia
  1. Michael P. Farris, JD, LLM, Chairman, Home School Legal Defense – Association, Purcellville, Virginia
  1. Home School Legal Defense Association, Purcellville, Virginia
  1. The Honorable Titus Corlatean, Senator, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and former Minister of Justice of Romania
  1. G. Scott Fiddler, JD, Houston, Texas
  1. Roger Bridgwater, JD, Houston, Texas
  1. Samuel Setliff, JD, Lithuania
  1. Robert Clarke, Attorney, Director of European Advocacy – ADF International, London
  1. William G. Harger, JD, Richmond, Texas
  1. Martyn Iles, LLB, Canberra, Australia
  1. Andrea Tokaji, JD, LLM, Australia
  1. Sorin Leahu, JD, Chicago
  1. Andrew Reed, JD, Houston, Texas
  1. Mihaela Trusca, Bucharest, Romania
  1. Tom Sanders, JD, Houston, Texas
  1. Ryan Zimmerman, JD, Houston, Texas
  1. Valentin Rada, JD, Adjunct Professor, Trinity Law School, California
  1. Naomi Sarega, JD, Whittier Law School, California
  1. Loyst Fletcher, JD, Trinity Law School, California
  1. Adeline Allen, JD, Trinity Law School, California
  1. Trevor Roberts, JD, Trinity Law School, California
  1. Donald Roberts, JD, Trinity Law School, California
  1. Raul Radu, JD, Riverside, California
  1. Mark Sessums, JD, Florida
  1. Erika Becker, JD, California
  1. Venus Griffith Trunnel, JD, California
  1. Claudia M. Morehead, JD, California
  1. Neil Rodgers, JD, Trinity Law School, California
  1. Lora Friedman, JD, California
  1. Andrew Westover, JD, Certified Family Law Specialist, California
  1. Dr. Rev. Steve Barke, JD, California
  1. Steven Meline, JD, California
  1. Andreea Popescu, Strasbourg, France (former Staff Attorney, European Court of Human Rights)
  1. Josef Jelinek, Attorney, Czech Republic
  1. Jackson Wisdom, JD, Houston, Texas
  1. Glen Lavy, JD, Scottsdale, Arizona
  1. Horatio G. Mihet, Chief Litigation Counsel, Liberty Counsel, Orlando, Florida
  1. Chris Branson, JD, Houston, Texas
  1. Pavel Svoboda, Attorney, Czech Republic (Member of the European Parliament)
  1. Tomas Zdechovsky, Czech Republic (Member of the European Parliament)
  1. Radu Carp, Professor of Public Law and Political Science, University of Bucharest
  1. Sorinel Cimpoies, JD, Chicago
  1. Andre Ordeanu, JD, Chicago
  1. Ben Williams, JD, Illinois
  1. Peter G. Bakas, Lisle, Illinois
  1. J. Mark Brewer, JD, Houston
  1. Jan Kunčár, Czech Republic
  1. Daniel Heller, Czech Republic
  1. Zbyněk Domanský, Czech Republic
  1. Daniel Buda, Attorney, Romania (Member of the European Parliament)
  1. Mark Roberts, JD, Texas
  1. Raya Restel, Ref. Jur., Germany
  1. Stephen P. Shepard, JD, Huntington Beach, California
  1. Ryul Kim, JD, Irvine, California
  1. John Mendoza, JD, Huntington Beach, California
  1. Harold N. Peters, Placentia, California
  1. Dana C. Clark, Assistant Dean, Trinity Law School, Santa Ana, California
  1. Joy Statler, JD, Long Beach , California
  1. Steven Adamian, JD, Pasadena, California
  1. Marty Nicholson, JD, Temecula, California
  1. Mark C. Allen, JD, Seal Beach, California
  1. Ronald Larson, JD, Mission Viejo, California
  1. Eric D. MacKey-Fitzgerald, JD, Orange, California
  1. Andrew R. DeLoach, JD, Pasadena, California
  1. Thaddeus J. Williams, JD, Rancho Santa Margarita, California
  1. Natalie LeVeck, JD, Los Angeles, California
  1. Michael Peffer, JD, Huntington Beach, California
  1. Ray Comer, JD, Irvine, California
  1. Erin P. Moriarty, JD, Tustin, California
  1. Adam Rakovský, Prague, Czech Republic
  1. Lubomír Nágl, Ohrozim, Czech Republic
  1. David J. Quan, JD, Houston
  1. Peter Johnston, J.D., Texas
  1. Mark Oberti, JD, Houston
  1. Edwin Sullivan, JD, Houston
  1. Kenneth N. Bigham, JD, Texas
  1. Cionca Raul, Attorney, Romania
  1. Marius Cristian Barladeanu, Attorney, Romania
  1. An Baeyens, JD, Brussels, Belgium
  1. John Eidsmoe, Senior Counsel, Foundation for Moral Law, Montgomery, Alabama (Past President, Gyda Varden        Lodge, Sons of Norway)
  1. Fred Ross III, Esq., MCR. Professor of Law, South Korea
  1. Eric G Enlow, Esq., Dean and Professor of Law, South Korea
  1. Lili Yang, Attorney, JD, China
  1. Qian Qian YU, Attorney, Beijing, China
  1. Ji Eun Shin, JD, Pohang, Korea
  1. Jin Son, JD, Gyeongju, Korea
  1. Min Son, JD, Gyeongju, Korea
  1. Junoh Park, JD, Seoul, Korea
  1. Shinyoung Byun, US Attorney, Seoul, Korea
  1. Ioana D. Secara, Attorney, Romania
  1. Jonathon Paul Hauenschild, JD, Arlington, Virginia
  1. Mihai Turcanu, Romania (Member of the European Parliament)
  1. David Barton, JD, Georgetown, Texas
  1. Kevin Oliver, JD, USA
  1. William A. Estrada, Esq., Director of Federal Relations, HSLDA, Virginia
  1. Neydy Casillas, JD, Mexico
  1. Hee Eun Lee, Associate Dean and Professor, Handong International Law School, South Korea
  1. Jonathan Halsey, Solicitor, London
  1. Mark D. Haas, JD, Conroe, Texas
  1. Gregg Cunningham, JD, California

103. John Park, Professor of Law, Handong International School of Law, Korea

104. David Mundy, Professor of Law, Handong International School of Law, Korea

105. James Davis, Professor of Law Handong International School of Law, Korea

106. David Collier, Professor of Law Handong International School of Law, Korea

107. Kenneth Chinn, Professor of Law Handong International School of Law, Korea

108. John Murdock, Professor of Law Handong International School of Law, Korea

109. Gabriela M. Lucuta, B.Sc., B.A., LL.M, International Human Rights Law Lawyer, Ontario, Canada

110. Dr. Claudius Taubert, Attorney, Trier, Germany

111. Reg Willis, Johannesburg, South Africa

112. Nelu Prodan, JD, Dallas

113. Jon Mureen, JD, President, Christian Legal Society, Dallas

Eminent Persons

114. William G. Boykin, LTG (R) US Army

115. Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform

116. Maggie Gallagher, Columnist, USA

117. Morton Blackwell, Political Consultant, Virginia

118. Brittany Corona, Milton Friedman Foundation, USA

119. Stephen Baskerville, PhD, Patrick Henry College, USA

120. Steve Stockman, former US Congressman, Texas

121. David John Beevers, Civic Leader, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

122. Teodor Caciora, PhD, Professor, Emanuel University, Romania

123. Virgil Nemoianu, PhD, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC