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Dutch family case highlights Poland’s pro-family policy – Justice Min

Dr. Leonard Hermans and his children found asylum in Poland
Rafał Guz/PAP

On the basis of absurd allegations, Dutch and Belgian authorities tried to take away the children of Dr. Leonard Hermans and his wife, and the family found asylum in Poland; The case is another proof of the pro-family policy of the Polish government, said the Ministry of Justice (MS).

Thursday conference on the case was attended by the deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Marcin Warchol, minister-member of the Council of Ministers Michal Wojcik and Leonard Hermans with his wife and children.

As the Justice Ministry explained, Leonard Hermans, a doctor from the Netherlands, and his children found safe asylum in Poland. 

The authorities of the Netherlands and Belgium tried to take away the couple’s four children, based on absurd allegations against Mr. Hermans. 

The Ministry explained that the Polish court revoked the European Arrest Warrant issued by the Belgian authorities against Leonard Hermans. “Unlike the soulless officials in the Netherlands and Belgium, in Poland there were no reasons to hand over the children to the Dutch authorities and arrest their father. The evidence presented by the Belgian side, which was supposed to prove the ‘disturbing’ situation of the children, turned out to be far-fetched. As a result, the father and his four children can stay in Poland,” the Ministry of Justice said.

“Mr. Hermans and his children are the best proof that Poland is a country of freedom, where the well-being and the safety of families comes first,” Wojcik said at the conference.

“This shocking case is another proof of the pro-family policy of the Polish government. Including the Ministry of Justice, which protects citizens and takes care of families, intervening whenever necessary. Polish services do not pick up children based on anonymous denunciations and do not break up families because of difficult economic situation,” said Deputy Minister Warchol.

Leonard Hermans explained his decision to flee to Poland by saying that he knew that “Poland is a family-friendly country and its authorities do not interfere in the lives of normal, happy families.”

MS explained that Hermans’ dramatic story began in 2019, when they received a letter from Veilig Thuis, “a Dutch organization with as bad a reputation as the German Jugendamt (Youth Welfare Office – PAP)”.

“According to an anonymous report, the Hermans’ children were allegedly neglected by their parents. The parents refuted these allegations, but they did not get access to their case files, and the clerical machinery of the organisation took over. A decision was made to place the children in a foster family. Terrified at the prospect of taking their children away, the Hermans decided to leave for Germany and then to Belgium. However, Veilig Thuis caught up with them there as well. When they received a summons to the Belgian family court, the desperate father decided to flee to Poland with his children,” the MS reported.

The ministry added that the Belgian trial – initiated by the Dutch authorities – was held in absentia, and Hermans and his wife, accused of abducting and detaining children outside the country, were sentenced to four years in prison. 

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