Article in “Heute” Austrian newspaper 26.11.2012,828518


It is the nightmare of every mother. Beth S. (28) is feeding her twins, Samuel and Benjamin (three and a half years old), as the doorbell rings. Four police officers enter the home and take her children away! Reason: A court in a custody battle granted the father sole custody on the basis of a dubious report.

The sad story: Since January 2010, Beth has lived apart from her husband and the father of the children; the battle for custody of her sons landed in court. The children’s father, a trainee doctor, repeatedly alleged his wife was “mentally ill” and even tried to commit her to a mental hospital. In response, the court commissioned a psychological examination. The result: the mother had “reduced child raising capabilities.”

And so, a judge in the second district court of Vienna ruled against Beth and ordered her children to be taken away. But the dubious report, on which the judge’s ruling was based, is a scandal: Two new reports (of which this newspaper has copies) have proven that Beth is not mentally ill in any way. On the contrary, these psychologists have challenged the first psychologist report: The mother has never had any history of mental illness. The first psychologist report is unreliable and illogical.

The mother, a Cambridge graduate, is fighting for her children. “My husband was violent during the marriage,” she says. “I had to flee to a women’s refuge. He now has the kids and they are in a terrible condition. “It breaks my heart.” The father declined to comment.


Isabella Martens

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