Oregon has a foster care problem. Too many foster children, and not enough foster homes to put them into. A 2016 lawsuit was filed against the state for housing foster children in hotels and offices. Richard Wexler, director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform (NCCPR), states: "Oregon tears children needlessly from their parents at a rate far above the national average." Since 2017, the rate of foster children being shipped out of Oregon to facilities in other states has more than doubled. Most of these are troubled youth being sent to psychiatric wards. Earlier this year (2019), Oregon Public Broadcasting reported that Oregon was shipping some foster children to facilities known for abuse. In an investigative report by Troy Brynelson of the Salem Reporter this week, it was revealed that two state Department of Human Services workers in Polk County, a supervisor and a paralegal, "remain on paid leave and stationed at home after the state investigated them for child abuse that involved indecency." The incident allegedly happened in Dallas, Texas.
As we have frequently reported here at Health Impact News, legislative efforts are underway in many states to remove parental choice for childhood vaccines, with new proposed bills removing religious and philosophical exemptions to childhood vaccines which are mandated as a requirement for school attendance. In general, the public is opposed to removing parental consent to vaccines, and most bills seeking to remove parental authority have been met with stiff opposition and been defeated at the state level. One bill that was successful, was SB277 which was passed in California in 2015 removing the religious and philosophical exemptions to vaccines. Today, the only option parents in California have to get an exemption to vaccines as a requirement for school attendance, is to get their doctor to sign a medical exemption. However, the pro-pharmaceutical lobby in California has not been satisfied with the results of SB277, and are now going after doctors who write medical exemptions for vaccines. Most doctors in California now fear writing medical exemptions to vaccines as they would risk losing their license to practice medicine in California. Parents who now want to protect their children from the dangers of the CDC vaccine schedule, either by refusing certain vaccines or following a different vaccine schedule, are left with almost no options. As a result, many parents are choosing to homeschool their children to escape the mandatory vaccine mandates. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the vaccine extremists, who believe that ALL vaccines are safe for ALL children ALL the time, by force if necessary, are now targeting homeschool children. Several states are proposing new laws that would require homeschool families to allow government-represented medical professionals to come into their homes to approve them as home schools, including checking the children's medical records to ensure they are following the CDC vaccine schedule.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown has submitted her 2-year budget proposal to the Oregon state legislature, and it includes several health initiatives aimed at children's behavioral (mental) health under the oversight of the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon's Coordinated Care Organizations, a "uniquely Oregon approach to blending a wide array of health services under one umbrella." One of the key pieces of Governor Brown's legislation is: "the beginning investment in a six-year program to create universal home visits for new parents." The Beaverton Valley Times interviewed Patrick Allen, the director of the Oregon Health Authority, who reportedly expressed excitement at the prospect of requiring home visits of all new parents, including adoptive parents: "When the program is complete, every new parent — this includes adoptions — would receive a series of two or three visits by someone like a nurse or other health care practitioner. The visits could include basic health screenings for babies; hooking parents up with primary care physicians; linking them to other services; and coordinating the myriad childhood immunizations that babies need." Allen made it clear that they were targeting all children, not just troubled families: "This isn't something for people in trouble. This is stuff all kids need." Allen said. The state of Oregon sees about 40,000 births per year, and the universal home visit program has apparently already been piloted in Lincoln County.
Criminal Charges Dismissed After Oregon Medical Marijuana Parents Refuse to Quit Fighting After State Took Away Their Daughter
For Kitrina Nelson and Cody Stanphill-Kiser, the year 2018 began with a celebration, and 2019 is also beginning with a celebration and time of healing. Initially taken over her parent’s medical marijuana harvest, 1-year-old Kaylynn was ripped from her parent’s arms on Oct. 24th, 2017, by Malheur County, Oregon Child Protective Services. Kaylynn was placed with strangers in foster care, as her parents were forced to fight allegations of Child Neglect in Family Court over their legal status as Medical Marijuana patients. Kitrina represented herself, and won the case on Dec. 28th, 2017; and Kaylynn was returned home immediately - after spending 70 terrifying days in State Foster Care. Now, almost a year later, Kitrina and Cody are celebrating once again, as all criminal charges against them have finally been dropped.
Last fall, when an exhausted new mom wanted time to consider vaccinations for her newborn, the infant was taken from her by the on-call pediatrician at a Portland hospital, who claimed "medical negligence." A caseworker from the state Department of Human Services, without a judicial review, had the child removed and allowed the attending nurse to vaccinate the child "with whatever they wanted to give" against the parents' permission. This happened even though Oregon allows parents to opt out of vaccinations. The mother was allowed to see her baby only for the purpose of nursing her and then escorted out of the hospital by police. Throughout this illegal nightmare, a DHS caseworker falsified reports and placed numerous roadblocks in the way of this family wanting to parent their newborn. Despite this, many Oregon families came forward to help them. With the aid of attorneys who offered to represent the family pro bono, the case was dismissed, with DHS conceding the woman was an excellent mother.
In a dramatic turn of events, an Oregon judge has ruled that the children of Amy Fabbrini and Eric Zeigler must be returned home. They were taken by Child Protective Services on the grounds that their parents' IQ was too low to parent. There was no abuse. No neglect. There were only allegations by social workers that they were not clever enough to be parents of their own children. The boys, ages 4 and 10 months, were each seized within days of their births. The state had every intention of terminating their parents' parental rights and adopting them out. Health Impact News was the first to investigate and report their story. The public was rightfully outraged that the state had such unrestrained power, and word of their story spread into the mainstream press.
Last weekend, the New Year rang in with smiles and tears of joy for an Oregon couple accused of child neglect over a legal medical marijuana harvest and a mother’s mental health. Kitrina’s daughter, Kaylynn, was returned home by Oregon Child Protective Services, the day before the Holiday weekend. The only reason Kaylynn was returned home was because Kitrina Nelson fired her court appointed public defender, Cole Sahleen. Like hundreds of other families who have told their stories to Health Impact News, Kitrina found that the court appointed attorney wanted her to play along while he made a pretense of advocating for her. Regardless of her limited knowledge of the law and court proceedings, and with a little guidance from the judge, who expressed surprise at the crowd of people that showed up to view the court proceedings, Kitrina successfully represented herself and cross examined her own case. After more than 3 hours of testimony and evidence, Judge Hung ruled that the state had no case against her, and that Kaylynn was to be returned home. Russ Belville documented the exuberance of emotion from the family upon hearing the ruling: "The sight of an average American family collapsing in each other’s arms weeping tears of joy for the return of their one-year-old daughter/cousin/granddaughter after 10 weeks of state captivity was the greatest holiday miracle I’ve ever experienced." Serra Frank reports: "Once again, I personally witnessed that an educated parent is the most powerful person in a courtroom!! Mama Bear roared and CPS ran around in circles! Justice and logic won the day...." Billy Fisher from the Fight for Lilly Foundation concluded: "Once a parent can see past the intimidation of the unknown in the court system, they can do anything. But it matters how you stand! I am so proud of Kitrina. She stood. She fought. She won. They have to Bring Kaylynn Home!"
An Oregon couple was blindsided when Child Protective Services seized baby Kaylynn, alleging Child Neglect because of their medical marijuana use. Oregon has issued permits for the medicinal use for marijuana since 1998 and legalized recreational use since 2014. The couple has complied with all state laws, and they don't understand how the same state can legalize something on one hand while on the other hand, they seize a child from her home for the very thing that the legislators and voters have said that they can do. This murky and confusing legal climate has left a mother devastated and her baby girl robbed of her family. No matter what one believes about the legalization, use, or ethics of marijuana, it is clear that families should not be torn apart over differing policies within the same state agencies.
Multnomah County Oregon Circuit Court Judge Susan M. Svetkey recently ordered Trisha Delaurent of Vancouver, Washington, to take down a website and Facebook page that chronicled her struggles with Oregon CPS to get her children back. Trisha was charged with "medical neglect" of her oldest son, Max, who is 15. Oregon CPS not only removed Max from her custody, but also his 3 siblings, including a newborn baby just 12 days after he was born. The website chronicling the family's struggles is injusticeoregon.com, which has since been taken over by other interested parties, so that Trisha no longer has control over the website. The website was ordered to be taken down by Oct. 2nd, but is still up at the time of publication. The Facebook page for injusticeoregon has apparently been removed. Delaurent’s motivation to develop a website was to publish her family’s story. It was born out of her frustration which stemmed from what she believed to be a biased investigation on the part of Oregon CPS. Medical abuse cases typically involve parents who fail or neglect to seek medical attention for their children, especially those children who have life threatening ailments. Delaurent has done the exact opposite. Delaurent has sought out medical treatment for her children and accepted the medical advice given by her doctors. She has made certain that doctor’s orders were followed. Then why has Delaurent been accused of medical child abuse?
Oregon's child welfare agency has agreed to pay $7 million to settle a lawsuit filed on behalf of two children who were nearly starved to death by foster parents the state approved for them. The Yamhill County foster parents who for years withheld food from the two preschoolers and subjected them to other abuse, John and Danielle Yates, are each serving 2 ½ years in prison. According to the lawsuit, caseworkers and their supervisors ignored complaints and obvious problems during the 2 1/2 years the children lived with the couple. A state review of the case found that a caseworker saw the emaciated children less than a month before doctors at Randall Children's Hospital determined they suffered from chronic starvation. But the caseworker did nothing. At Randall, the lawsuit says, doctors found the children resembled victims of a famine: their ribs visible, their bellies protruding and their brain development severely affected.