Swedish authorities removed Dominic from his parents in June 2009. They did not have a warrant nor have they charged the Johanssons with a crime, rather, they did not believe homeschooling is an appropriate way to raise a child and insist the government raise Dominic.
"This is one of the most disgraceful abuses of power we have ever witnessed," said Home School Legal Defense Association attorney Mike Donnelly. "The Swedish government is exercising its authority under the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child to unnecessarily break up this family."
The Johanssons are suffering. Visitation was limited to two hours per week but now Swedish social services have curtailed that to one hour every fifth week and no visit at all for Christmas because the social workers will be on vacation.
"This is a very dark time in Sweden," said Donnelly. "The Swedish Parliament is reviewing an essential ban on homeschooling. We have heard that other homeschooling families in Sweden are having more difficulty with local officials. We fear that all homeschooling families in Sweden are at risk in what could be the beginning of a widespread persecution."
On December 17th, a Swedish court ruled that social services was right to take the child. The court cited the fact that Dominic had not been vaccinated as a reason to remove him permanently from his parents and also repeated the false charges that homeschoolers do not perform well academically and are not socialized. Dominic is reportedly making academic progress, but the family claims government intervention has traumatized the family.
In light of the unprecedented actions taken by Swedish authorities, the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) and Home School Legal Defense Association are joining forces and making themselves available as legal advisors to the Johanssons in order to persuade the Swedish government to return Dominic to his parents. The two organizations also plan to increase the visibility of this case to help reunite the family. ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like- minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith.
"Parents have the right and authority to make decisions regarding their children's education without government interference," said ADF Legal Counsel Roger Kiska. "This is about a socialist government trying to create a cookie-cutter child in its own image. Without help, the parents in these cases are really powerless since the system is so one sided."