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Man says he's father of newborn seized in hospital by Manitoba social workers


WINNIPEG _ A man has come forward saying he is the father of a newborn seen in a social media video being taken from her mother by police and social workers.

A child protection hearing in Winnipeg on Wednesday was adjourned for a week at the request of the man’s lawyer. The request was relayed by a lawyer representing the First Nations child and family services agency in charge of the baby.

The mother, who was at the courthouse but did not take part in the hearing, has said her goal is to have the baby placed in the care of her aunt.

No participant in the hearing can be named under Manitoba law.

The apprehension of the child was broadcast live on Facebook by the mother’s uncle in January.

The video showed the mother sitting in a Winnipeg hospital bed and cradling the two-day-old baby as social workers and police explain the child is being taken into care.

WATCH: Outrage over seizure of newborn by CFS

The woman cries softly before police place the newborn in a car seat and take her away.

The video led to an outcry online and First Nations leaders have said it shows a child-welfare system biased against Indigenous people.

Statistics from the Manitoba government show that newborn apprehensions occur, on average, about once a day. About 90 per cent of kids in care are Indigenous.

The woman’s family has said the apprehension was based on a false accusation that the mother was drunk when she arrived at the hospital to give birth.

Cora Morgan, a family advocate for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, has said the woman previously sought help for addictions and with parenting from Child and Family Services, but she was not intoxicated when she arrived at the hospital.

The family has previously said they’ve had visits with the baby and are fully co-operating with the agency.

The General Child and Family Services Authority, which oversees the social workers who apprehended the baby but is no longer involved in the case, has not revealed any details and has only said it stands by its decision.