Cape Breton Post

Thursday, January 7, 1999

Custody battle moves to court

Children's aid society prepares to file charges against couple

By Tanya Collier
Cape Breton Post

A protracted and bitter legal dispute between the Cape Breton Children's Aid Society (CAS) and a North Sydney couple could make legal history in Nova Scotia. Lisa and Bernard McCarthy are claiming the CAS illegally removed their child from their care and placed the child for adoption which became final Christmas Eve. The couple is linked to a web site outlining their allegations against the agency and over the Christmas holidays blitzed local malls and other locations with pamphlets accusing the agency of abducting their child and a number of other wrongdoings.

CAS executive director Frank Sampson said the agency is not impressed with the actions of the McCarthys and plan on having them charged under the provincial Children's and Family Services Act. "We have never done anything like this before. In fact, I don't think that it's been done within the child welfare system," said Sampson.

"The integrity of the child welfare system is really being attacked at this point. It undermines what I believe to be the growing confidence in the community in what the agency is prepared to provide - protecting the interests of children and their welfare."