Distressing video has emerged of the moment a young baby is forcibly removed from his breastfeeding mother by authorities in dramatic scenes at a Byron Bay commune.
The confronting footage taken last week shows the topless mother clutching her little boy to her chest as she pleads with police to leave her alone.
‘This is not right, this is my baby. Please don’t take him,’ she repeatedly says.
In the video, the young mother argues with several officers and support workers from family and community services, who arrived in her commune in Byron Bay last week to remove the little boy.
Family and friends claim that the mother had adopted an ‘outdoor lifestyle’ and wanted to raise her child away from ‘harmful chemicals and toxins’.
While the lifestyle is unorthodox, those close to the situation insist the woman is a ‘great mother… doing what she thinks is best for her baby’.
But one of the support workers can be heard on the video saying she has ‘concerns for the safety and well being of the baby’ and that ‘this is not going to end any differently at the moment.’
A months-old baby was forcibly removed from his mother’s care while she was in the process of breastfeeding him
The officers initially try to reason with her and convince her to hand her baby over, before eventually trying to peel her off him.
They repeatedly tell her she is ‘hurting the baby’ as she tries to keep a hold of him.
One of the support workers at one stage hears the baby cry and tells the woman that there is no other outcome than him leaving her care.
‘He’s crying… We’ll sort stuff out but he’s going to have to go. This is not going to end any differently at the moment.’
The woman then says she has ‘concerns for the safety and well being of the baby’.
Family and Community Services cannot comment on individual matters, but a spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia the department ‘takes concerns about children’s safety and wellbeing extremely seriously.’
Friends of the young mother and her boyfriend said they are raising a ‘gumnut baby’ – a reference to author May Gibbs and her book about ‘bush babies’.
While the lifestyle is unorthodox, those close to the situation insist the woman is a ‘great mother… doing what she thinks is best for her baby’
The officers initially try to reason with her and convince her to hand her baby over, before eventually trying to peel her off him
The couple, who cannot be named, reportedly do not support vaccinations and live an entirely ‘organic lifestyle’ in a remote commune near Byron Bay.
The baby’s father expressed concerns about the way he is being supported in the care of authorities.
He said he was particulary worried the chemicals in which his baby is being bathed in and the thought of him sleeping alone.
‘He sleeps in between [his mother] and I… Never by himself. When he wakes up at night, mumma is right there with her breast,’ he explained.
‘He never cries, is always smiling and laughing. We don’t know when he will return but we hope to be reunited soon.’
The graphic footage has sparked outrage online among the community, many of whom criticised the support workers for telling the young mum that she was ‘hurting’ her baby in the video.
Confronting footage shows the shirtless mother clutching her little boy close to her chest as she repeatedly asks the officers to leave her alone
One of the women said: ‘He’s getting squeezed and he’s crying. You’re squeezing him when you do that action.’
In response, the mother said that her ‘chest isn’t even on him’ and again reiterated that she did not want to hand her boy over.
When she realised she wasn’t making progress, she asked officers for five minutes’ privacy to finish up breastfeeding.
The video then shows two male officers peeling the mother’s arms back off her baby and a female swooping in to bundle up the child.
A male’s voice can be heard saying ‘go, go, go’ as the mother and several onlookers scream, begging officers to ‘use their hearts’.