On Friday, the Family Court of Australia overturned an injunction filed on June 5th that banned a mother from breastfeeding her 11-month-old on the absurd basis that her recent tattoo endangered the child.
The Family Court unanimously overturned the decision made by Judge Matthew Myers, citing the fact that Judge Myers based his ruling on an internet search. According to Family Court judge Murray Aldridge, “Judges must not mistake their own views for being either facts not reasonably open to question or as appropriately qualified expert evidence. That those views may have been obtained by the judge searching the internet compounds, rather than alleviates, the difficulty.”
The court also found that Judge Myers failed to weigh the benefits of continued breastfeeding, as well as the possible harm incurred by a sudden weaning.
Despite the fact that the matter came to court originally because the father had failed to return the baby to its mother, this judge not only ordered the mother to stop breastfeeding, but also ordered that the child spend six hours per day, four days per week with its father. The Family Court changed this to two days per week, five hours per day.
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