My trial has finally started in Arizona. My family's case isn't tiny; nobody's is when it involves children's lives. For my family, it has been 14 months since both my daughters Kayla and Hannah Diegel were taken. I have seen the most horrifying images. They are etched into my brain as if a hot iron has seared it there. I not only had my children taken, but now I have become an outspoken advocate, a writer, an activist, a fighting mother that was falsely accused. Suddenly, I have found myself amongst thousands of families who are now intertwined with mine, and I can feel their pain because I know their pain...... because I LIVE THEIR PAIN. I too know what it is like to have a child ripped from my arms and taken from my home. Time keeps moving, but it's like my heart has stopped.
Arizona Continues Record Pace of Taking Children out of Homes into State Custody – Now 1 of every 100 Children in Foster Care
Ever since the inception of MedicalKidnap.com in the fall of 2014, we have been reporting that the State of Arizona has the highest percentage of any other state in the U.S. in taking children out of their homes and putting them into foster care. Are we to believe that there are more criminal, abusive parents in Arizona than anywhere else? Reports show that these state-sponsored kidnappings are only getting worse in 2015. Local media reports that the numbers are still rising. Arizona State democrats have also criticized Republican Governor Doug Ducey in a recent blog post, noting that 1 in every 100 Arizona children is now in foster care.
On Wednesday June 3, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. the Arizona Medical Board will review the complaint against the State of Arizona’s expert witness on child abuse cases, Kathryn Coffman, M.D. The meeting will take place at 9535 E. Doubletree Ranch Road, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Dr. Coffman is named a defendant in a federal lawsuit currently pending in the U.S. 9th Circuit Court by Leanna Smith, who has sued the State of Arizona, CPS, and doctors in the medical kidnapping of her two daughters. Leanna Smith had her daughters removed from her custody based on the testimony of doctors who accused her of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, but what Leanna Smith claims was an attempt to cover up medical malpractice. Dr. Coffman was the lead doctor and expert on "child abuse" involved in the case. The public will apparently have 3 minutes to make comments in the case against Dr. Kathryn Coffman in her hearing before the Arizona Medical Board. Parent advocates are encouraging any other parents who may have become victims to medical kidnappings in Arizona due to the testimony of Dr. Coffman to attend the hearings.
We reported last year how local media in Phoenix was reporting that Arizona social services are removing so many children from their families that they do not have enough foster homes to place in, so many children end up sleeping in the social services offices. (See: Arizona’s Exploding Foster Care Intake: Kids sleeping in State Office Buildings.) KPHO in Phoenix is reporting that the situation has not improved here in 2015, but actually has become even worse.
Melissa Diegel has until Monday (May 18th) to turn over all the contact information, including phone numbers and emails, of every single person that she has communicated with about her daughters, or an Arizona judge says she will go to jail. Does an Arizona court have a right to your name, address, phone number, and email, if you communicated with Melissa Diegel? If you are one of the many parents going through a similar situation, and you reached out to Mrs. Diegel as an understanding ear, are you willing for her to give all of your contact information to a judge? Will this order have a chilling effect on the public's Constitutional Freedom of Speech?
Current laws in the United States that give legal authority to social workers and law enforcement to remove children from their families and place them into foster care often use the term "in the best interest of children." This sounds like a noble reason to take children away from their families, but what do measured outcomes of such actions really instruct us about the definition of "the best interest of children"? Are children truly better off in foster care than they would be if they had stayed with their natural parents who are accused of some "abuse" or "neglect"? Let's take a look at some statistics to find the answer to that question.
On Friday April 17, 2015 9:00 a.m. the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit heard the Leanna Smith v. State of Arizona case in the medical kidnapping of Leanna Smith's two daughters by CPS and Arizona doctors. The contrast between the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and the Arizona Juvenile Courts is the difference between transparency and darkness; the difference between fairness and corruption; the difference between hope and despair. The entire trial was recorded in the court room in San Francisco, and you can view it here.
It has been a year now since Melissa Diegel's daughters, Kayla and Hannah, were seized by Arizona CPS and Phoenix Children's Hospital, one year since that horrible week last April when the Diegel sisters joined the ranks of not hundreds, but thousands of children in foster care in Arizona, many of whom are believed to be there unjustly. The Diegel story helped to thrust the issue of medical kidnapping into the national spotlight. In commemoration of the painful anniversary, other families and supporters joined together for an Arizona State House Umbrella Rally, to "rally for the 17,000 Arizona children currently in State Care." Umbrellas have become a symbol for these children, starting out as simply a tribute to the Diegel sisters because Hannah has always loved umbrellas. As the number of supporters grew, the umbrellas have come to symbolize much more, as a rallying cry for activists fighting to bring these children home: "All children belong under the protective umbrella of loving parents."
Leanna Smith has been fighting the State of Arizona for several years for allegedly taking away her two daughters illegally in a massive medical cover-up and fraud case. Now she gets her day in federal court on Friday April 17th in the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco. But will justice prevail? Leanna Smith has over 1700 audio recordings of alleged interviews with government and medical personnel in the case, which have been sealed. Why have these recording been sealed for so long in Arizona courts? Will they finally be released, and will Leanna Smith be able to present her case against the State of Arizona and medical authorities in federal court? Health Impact News has published the stories of several families who claim their children were medically kidnapped in Arizona. One of the most tragic stories we have published is the story of Leanna and Darrell Smith's two daughters, which perhaps most illustrates the depth of corruption that many families have reported exists in the Arizona "medical kidnapping" system. The Smith family was completely destroyed, as they lost 2 of their 3 children, and they have been embattled in years of legal proceedings. Now, their case will be heard outside of Arizona in the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit excused two Arizona social workers from liability for threatening to take John and Tiffany Loudermilk’s children into state custody if they didn’t immediately consent to a search of their home. This result is deeply disappointing. It allows CPS workers to continue to coerce parents into cooperating by threatening to take away their children. It endorses their tactic of calling in the police to intimidate parents in their own home. And it sharply discourages parents from seeking legal counsel to find out what their rights are. This is why we at HSLDA take cases like this one. We will be asking the Supreme Court to review the case.