Friday, March 11, 2016

Child abuse? Blocking contact with a child's kidnapper - the only mother she has known 18 years?

AP   A woman in South Africa has been found guilty of kidnapping a newborn nearly two decades ago from a hospital and raising the girl as her own, just a short distance from where her devastated real parents were living.

Zephany Nurse, now 18, was reunited last year with her biological parents, Morne and Celeste Nurse, after the couple's second daughter befriended a girl at school who looked remarkably like her.

After a police investigation and DNA tests, it turned out they were sisters and that the new friend was the Nurse's missing child. [...]

After she was found, the girl chose to continue using the name given to her by the kidnapper.[...]

Celeste Nurse was dozing in her hospital bed when three day-old Zephany was kidnapped by a woman disguised as a nurse back in 1997. [...]

The girl was not in court and is taking final exams to graduate from high school.

The much publicised reunion between the girl and her real parents has been tense, with South African media reporting infighting among the Nurse family.

The girl, struggling to adjust to her newfound family, has pleaded for her privacy, and in a statement appeared to give the woman who raised her the benefit of doubt.

"Don't you think for once that that is my mother? Whether it is true or not is not for you to toy with," she wrote, addressing journalists. "Take all the professionalism away and think how it would be if this was you and your family, and your reputation gets swept through the disgusting gutters of filth."

After her arrest, the court ruled that the kidnapper could not make contact with the girl.

Television images showed the man who raised the girl as his own weeping outside the courtroom. The defendant testified that her husband never knew that the child was not his.

The defendant, 51, had pleaded not guilty to all three charges. During the trial she testified that she adopted the child.

"I didn't know the baby was stolen," the woman testified, according to the African News Agency.


  1. The girl's an adult and can make her own decision whether to be in touch with the couple that raised her.

  2. I am addressing this to Dass Torah, I am asking that you please find another photo to use with your articles. I find the photo you use to be troubling since if I am not mistaken it is the photo of an abducted child . Please a photo of nature would suffice would it not?

  3. Why is the woman not in jail? The story is a horror.

  4. See C. M. 235:9 that in certain monetary areas adulthood is at age 13 but in others, where the subject is more likely to make a bad decision, adulthood is first at age 20. Till then he is עדיין לא נתיישבה דעתו בדרכי העולם.

  5. IIUC,if the girl were Jewish, the mitzva of kibud av v'em would be to only her biological parents. Beis din might not force her, because it is מ"ע שמתן שכרה בצדה, but certainly they would inform her of her obligation.

    My guess is that the girl is in denial, which is good, or at least healthy for her. Otherwise she'd be likely to come close to losing her mind. Give her time to come around, maybe....

  6. She had been stolen and kidnapped. Shlomo haMelech said she goes back to her natural mother. Her thoughts are along the Stockholm syndrome, if they stole then they deserve punishment, if they bought/ adopted they are machzik yedei ovrei aveira. In any case, they should not be rewarded with the childs love. They inflicted a cruel misdeed and not befit of parenting, meuves asher lo yuchal letaken, and definitely not in deserving the childs love.

  7. She has never had any meaningful contact with her family for 18 years. On the other hand she seems to have well taken care of by the kidnapper and her husband. It not the Stockholm Syndrome - but simple reality. The kidnapper has succeedeed in stealing her from her natural parents and it is not clear that the damage can be undone. My point was that given that her identity etc are with the kidnapper - is it being abusive to take her away?

    A similar - though less extreme case - a child who has been raised primarily by one biological parent - is it abusive to remove him/her for reasons unrelated to psychological stability and identity such as the other parent can afford giving a better education?

  8. In my humble opinion, I would have thought that under normal circumstances there is a universal bond to an offspring of mother to child and visa versa even before it is born. The mothers heartbeat is a rhythm the fetus seeks out and recognizes before and after birth. Chochmat Shlomo haMelech demonstrates that a Natural mother cannot be duplicated. The real mother was willing to sacrifice a lifetime of love and nurture for the sake of the life of her child, while the potential adoptive mother was willing to have him cut up alive as gam li gam lach lo yihye. This tells us that what a biological mother will do for her child no one in the world without exception - will.

    Outside of that, it is hard to guage whether material things can ever make up for such outside of the biological parents. A normal child/ toddler will never trade in their parents, the natural bond is much too strong and such children have been robbed of their treasure for a lifetime. You cannot even compare a kidnapped child to an orphan that has been adopted and raised well by loving parents with consent of all parties concerned. In custody cases, the authorities will seek out arrangements that would be in the best interest of the child. To deny *either* parent from having nachas of their own children of flesh and blood for selfish reasons and just because you can, is like ripping out the heart from them alive and my heart cries for them as well as for the children!

  9. Can you provide some constructive criticism? My comment to MG was to say that she isn't necessarily qualified to make her own decision. Did I write/word anything indicating that she should stay with the kidnappers?

    (See also my comment below.)

  10. What are you saying? Did I say otherwise?

  11. Am in full agreement with you. All I'm adding is that she is a Tinoket shenishbo!

  12. I am with you man. See my comment above. She now is traumatized and needs time to sink in that all those years were stolen love. Peace be with you my friend.

  13. Dear Mr. H.R.
    Please forgive for this misunerstanding. I am fully supportive of your comment.

    Since she had been fed by these hands, it is an inner contradiction and conflict not to be grateful. However, as I pointed out about Shlomo haMelech, there is nothing in the world that can compete or replace true motherly love. What these kidnappers did was to steal a child from the mothers loving arms for purely selfish reasons. The Judges decision to prohibit showing any gratitude for the kidnappers is correct, since they should not be rewarded for their stolen act. Once the child found out that all this came from an illegitimate source it takes some time to accept such, if she ever only can and must deal with it.

  14. If you start these kinds of comments with "Yes, ..." or "True, ... or etc ---you won't have to spend your precious time clarifying. But that's for the next guy; I learned already. :)

    שפע ברכה והצלחה

  15. ROFL! Ok, guilty with explanation, Your Honor.

  16. My comment has to do more with this particular slot rather than responding directly to your comment. Otherwise, if I state it at "Join the discussion", it would be repetitive. Please forgive for standing on your shoulder to suffix umosif nofach misheli. It is not just a mere yes and clarifying, it is bensinas taam lishvach.


please use either your real name or a pseudonym.