Detroit doc charged with female genital mutilation could lose parental rights

Posted at 6:20 PM, May 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-19 18:20:05-04

Wayne County Juvenile Court Judge Frank Szymanski has set parental restirctions in a case brought by the state against Dr Jumana Nagarwala and her husband.

The state’s action would be to take away their parental rights of two children a boy, 6 years old and a girl, 12 years old. Nagarwala is charged with performing Female Genital Mutilation on two 7-year-old girls brought from Minnesota.

Two other families are also here facing similar action from the state. An attorney for one, Stephen Rabaul, tells Action News these parents cooperated with federal investigators and two teenage daughters could now be taken away from their parents.

The children have not been removed as the cases continue next month.

Szymanski ordered the children in all three families can not discuss the child custody or criminal cases with their parents.  If they talk on the phone it must be in English and monitored by an adult. They also can’t travel out of the state without court permission.

An expert in Pediatric Medicine has testified the 9-year-old daughter of Dr. Fakhruddin Attar and his wife Farida had Female Genital Mutilation performed on her.

The state has also taken those parents to court to end their parental rights after the two were criminally charged with assisting Nagarwala in performing FGM. These are the first cases to be charged in the United States since it became a federal crime.

Dr. Dena Nazar testified in a hearing before a Referee in Oakland County that she examined the 9-year-old girl at Kids Talk, a child advocacy center and found several physical indications that FGM had been performed. She concluded the scarring and fused tissue were not from any medically necessary procedure.

All the families are members of a Muslim Community known as the Dawoodi Borha based in India and attend a Mosque in Farmington Hills. Two other Oakland County parents are also facing having their parental rights terminated.

The Attar’s case now moves to a Judge in June. They are locked up in federal detention and their daughter is living with grandparents. She can talk with them on the phone but it must be in English and they can’t discuss the parents’ trouble. They were not at the hearing today, but arrangements are being made for them to attend court sessions at the next level.