The following tweet has been widely circulated on Twitter, with the video it references getting over 2.2 million views:
According to the caption, New Zealand cops were filmed following orders to steal a baby from its mother. The 2 minute long video filmed in a hospital included in the tweet shows an officer explaining to the parents that the baby needs the procedure as soon as possible, as another walks towards the baby to take him. The father then shouts at the officers, calling them criminals and accusing them of “medically kidnapping” his baby.
What is going on here?
Without any background information to provide context for the aforementioned video, we conducted a key word search on the claim, looking for medical kidnapping in New Zealand. We found several articles from News AU, Radio New Zealand, and Insider, describing the case as being a blood donor battle in New Zealand.
According to the articles, the baby has a congenital heart defect, needing urgent open-heart surgery to survive – but the operation has been delayed by his parents’ insistence that only blood from donors not vaccinated against Covid-19 be used.
The baby’s parents believed there were “spike proteins in the blood of people who have been vaccinated and that these proteins were causing unexpected deaths relating to transfusions”. They had thus demanded the New Zealand Blood Service take a donation from a person chosen by the family, but the agency refused and said it does not make a distinction between vaccinated and unvaccinated donors. The decision was made as doctors said that using blood donated from outside the normal channels was “impractical” for the situation and doing the surgery without donated blood was “not an available option.”
Subsequently, New Zealand’s High Court had taken custody of the baby on December 8 where it was ruled that it was in the best interests for the court to take custody of him temporarily until the surgery could be completed. The baby was placed under the guardianship of the court from December 8 2022 until he recovered from surgery, but no later than the end of January.
While the officers had indeed taken the baby from their parents then, the claim that the officers had stolen the baby from his mother is misleading, missing context that the baby was critically ill, having a heart valve disorder requiring urgent surgery. The claim had also neglected to mention the doctors had temporary guardianship of the baby for his medical care only, his parents were still agents of the court for all his other care.