Winnipeg newborn seized during livestream video returned to family

A newborn, whose apprehension was livestreamed on social media earlier this year, is being returned to her family.

A Winnipeg judge awarded guardianship to the mother’s aunt during a child protection hearing Thursday.

In January, the mother’s uncle recorded police officer and social workers removing the child from a Winnipeg hospital days after the mother had given birth.

The video quickly went viral with approximately 400,000 views.

In the video the mother can be seen crying while rocking the newborn girl back and forth.

The day after the apprehension the family held a press conference with the Assembly of First Nations.

The mother said she had made a plan with Winnipeg Child and Family Services to transfer care over to her aunt but Winnipeg CFS would not work with her.

In court documents Winnipeg Child and Family Services said they had concerns over the mother’s mental health and addiction issues.

CFS workers from the agency said they did background checks on a family member and it came back with “concerning results.”

The agency said further work was needed to gather more information.

Shortly after the apprehension the case was transferred to Island Lake First Nation Family Services at the family’s request as the mother is from northern Manitoba.

The aunt said a month ago the agency brought the baby to her home to stay while court proceedings were going on.

“When she was brought into my home I had my cry and I’m still going to have my cry when I get home that’s how happy I am,” she said.

After Thursday’s hearing the mother said despite the traumatizing experience she is happy about the final outcome and can now focus on bettering herself.

“I’m just grateful that she is where she needs to be while I can take care of me,” she said while wiping tears from her eyes.

The video prompted First Nations leaders to call for change within the child welfare system, especially when it comes to apprehensions.

It is estimated a newborn is apprehended everyday in Manitoba.

“I am grateful that this specific case did go viral so we could all really see what happens during these apprehensions,” the mother said. “It was not right in any way, shape or form.”

“If anyone can benefit from our experiences I would be happy to have helped another family,” she added.

The family cannot be identified due to the province’s Child and Family Services Act.