Health Impact News
When does the State have the right to remove children from a home where they are living with their parents?
We have been covering medical kidnapping stories now on MedicalKidnap.com for over two years. This website was started to document the many stories that were coming to our attention where families were losing their children to the State, and the foster care system, over medical disagreements. In many of these cases, their children were taken away simply because they disagreed with a doctor, or wanted to take their children to a different doctor to get a second opinion.
Does the State have a right to take children away from parents for what is now being called “medical abuse,” a term used by medical authorities when parents disagree with doctors, or want to seek a second opinion? Most of the people who follow MedicalKidnap would state “no.” And we have published many stories now showing that this is indeed happening all across the country, in every state, every single day.
But what about in other situations? Are there any situations where authorities should step in and remove children from their homes, taking them away from their parents?
Judging from comments made in social media from many commenting on some of our articles, I think it is safe to assume that the majority of people in the United States today feel that in certain situations, the State has a legitimate right to step in and take children away from their families, removing them from their homes.
However, I would like to suggest that the Constitution of the United States of America protects the rights of individuals and families, and that it is never lawful for social services to remove a child from their biological parents, taking them out of their home and making them a ward of the State, removing legal custody from their parents. This phenomena is a recent development in the history of our country, and if it is not lawful to take such actions, we are correct in calling such actions “state-sponsored kidnappings.”
The Bill of Rights
One of the most important legal documents in our nation’s history is the first ten amendments to our nation’s Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights. These “rights” were adopted during the meeting of the first U.S. Congress in 1789, and ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures on December 15, 1791. They can be read here.
Here is part of the text of the Preamble, stating the purpose of these “rights”:
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
Clearly, the Bill of Rights, and other amendments to the U.S. Constitution that followed, were intended to protect citizens of the United States from abuses in government. Is the removal of children from their home by force, especially in situations where neither the parents nor the children themselves want to be removed, a clear violation of the Constitution of the United States?
Again, most people would probably answer that question: only sometimes. And then the reasons people would give as to which situations children should be removed, and which situations they should not, would be hotly debated.
However, I would suggest that under the laws of the U.S. Constitution, in all situations where children are removed from their parents against the will of the parents and the children, that this is unlawful. Let’s take a look at the basis of this premise.
Due Process of Law – Criminal Justice
Cornell University Law School states:
The Constitution states only one command twice. The Fifth Amendment says to the federal government that no one shall be “deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” The Fourteenth Amendment, ratified in 1868, uses the same eleven words, called the Due Process Clause, to describe a legal obligation of all states. These words have as their central promise an assurance that all levels of American government must operate within the law (“legality”) and provide fair procedures. (Source.)
The process of taking away a person’s liberty or freedom, such as removing them from their home and confining them (as in a jail or prison), is known as “the criminal justice system.”
Because the “due process of law” clause in the U.S. Constitution applies to all 50 states, the implementation of the criminal justice system operates very similarly in all 50 states. The criminal justice system includes law enforcement, the judicial system, and the “corrections” system.
The U.S. Constitution protects citizens from abuse of power within the criminal justice system. Here is a summary, in general, of how the system is supposed to operate within the bounds of the law set forth in the Constitution, and specifically the Bill of Rights:
1. A complaint is made against someone.
2. Law enforcement investigates the complaint to determine if there is enough evidence to support the claim. If they find evidence to support the complaint, they might make an arrest and incarcerate someone.
The Constitution sets limits to prevent abuses in power during the law enforcement process. Law enforcement cannot enter a home or private property without a warrant issued by a judge, for example. If an arrest is made, the defendant has the right to remain silent and not talk to the law enforcement officers, and the person has a right to consult with an attorney.
3. After someone is incarcerated, they must immediately be brought before a judge to press charges, and a judge must determine if there is enough evidence to hold the defendant until they can face their accusers in a trial in a court of law. If a judge determines there is enough evidence, the judge will determine if bail or bond is required to ensure the defendant appears at the trial.
Again, the Constitution was put in place to protect U.S. citizens’ rights during the judicial process. They are to be given a speedy trial, and they have a right to a jury trial among their peers, for example.
4. After a trial, a person is declared guilty or innocent. If guilty, punishment is implemented.
Now, given this admittedly over-simplified summary of the criminal justice system and the protections guaranteed under the Constitution, when children are forceably removed from their home against their will or the will of their parents, based on a complaint only (such as from a physician who did not like them seeking a second opinion), is the Constitution and due process of law being followed?
Is it Legal to Forceably Remove Children from Their Parents Against their Will?
When it comes to parents and their children, why is the public today so quick to abandon the Constitution and due process of the law? Most would argue, “because the children need to be protected.”
Are we so naive as to think the founders of the Constitution and legal scholars over the years did not consider cases where children were in danger within their home, so that in modern times we have to give great authority to social workers to take on this task?
Consider the case of alleged abuse in other cases where children are not involved.
For example, if there were a complaint by a woman against an alleged “abusive” husband or partner; who would be removed from the home by law enforcement if an investigation warranted it? Would the alleged victim, in this case the woman making the complaint, be the one removed from the home?
Of course not! The person the complaint was filed against would be removed, all the while having their Constitutional rights protected, by arresting them, reading their Miranda rights, and bringing them before a judge to face the charges. The alleged victim would remain in the home. That is the legal process.
But this due process of law is not followed with social services and local law enforcement when they remove children from their homes. In these cases, which we are reading increasingly in the news every day, the alleged victims are removed from the home (the children), while the alleged abusers (the parents) are left in the home, and in most cases with no criminal charges filed.
This is a clear violation of the Constitution and a family’s civil rights.
If you are learning about this issue for the first time, and find it hard to believe that this actually happens in the United States of America, watch this video captured by parents in a home in the Sacramento area of California, where police and CPS restrained the father outside, and then forced their way into the home (without a warrant issued by a judge) to remove an infant child from the mother’s own arms, simply because they had left a hospital without a doctor’s approval (who wanted to perform immediate heart surgery), and took him to a different hospital for a second opinion:
In the unedited video above, the entire incident of Child Protective Services and the Sacramento Police using force to take away Anna and Alex Nikolayev’s baby is recorded. Anna and Alex had received poor care for their baby at a local hospital, and when the hospital wanted to do heart surgery on their infant, they wanted a second opinion and took the baby to a different hospital.
The first hospital did not approve of this, and did not discharge the child. Therefore, they called Child Protection Services. The parents, meanwhile, had taken the baby to a second hospital, where the child was discharged that night by a physician, since there was no immediate danger, and the surgery was not imminent.
But, the next day, Child Protection Services and the Sacramento Police showed up at the parents home to take away their baby. The husband was outside at the time, and he was forced to the ground so that the police could enter the home by force. The mother, seeing what was happening outside, set up the camera to record the whole incident (see video above.)
The social workers would not even tell the mother where they were taking the baby. The police took the baby out of the mother’s arms by force, and only after the social workers had already left with the baby did they allow the mother to show the police the hospital documents showing that their baby was properly discharged by a physician from the second hospital. The police did not seem to care what the facts were at all, and gave full authority to CPS to remove the child. (Full story here.)
Why is Due Process of Law Not Followed by Child Protection Services?
The fact that the due process of law is not being followed, and that the Constitutional rights of families are clearly being violated in situations where social services removes children from the custody of their parents against their will, and against the will of the parents, is a fact that cannot be denied.
So why is it happening?
There are multiple reasons why this is happening, but they are very easy to understand.
First, when the due process of the law is followed to arrest someone, hold them in confinement, bring them before a judge to press charges, and then follow the judicial process of bringing about a “speedy trial,” all of these actions are a burden to the state. In other words, it costs money.
When someone is arrested on suspicion of murder, rape, assault, robbery, and other serious crimes that are a threat to the public, those arrested enter into the criminal justice system, and have rights that are protected under our Constitution to ensure they are not victimized by the over-reach of government abuse.
Unfortunately, these alleged criminals are afforded more rights than parents are today, who have their children removed from their home or custody with no arrest and no trial.
One of the reasons why this is happening so frequently in the United States today is because once the children are taken into State custody, they become an asset to the State. What this means is that all the child’s expenses are now paid via federal funds, including medical costs via Medicaid. There are also federal funds in place for foster care. The longer a child remains in State custody, the more funds that state can collect.
To understand more about the potential financial motives and incentives to remove children from families, see:
Secondly, when children become a ward of the State, and all of their medical bills are paid for via Medicaid, doctors are free to legally experiment on these children and include them in drug trials, without having to obtain the parents’ permission. This situation is becoming so widespread, that several states are looking at adopting legislation to prevent this medical experimentation from happening, including one national bill. For more information about using children in the custody of the State for drug trials, see:
Attorneys are Fighting Back
There are attorneys all across the United States who are true family advocates, and are fighting back. Unfortunately, they are in the minority. The entire family court and juvenile court system throughout the United States employs so many judges and attorneys, attorneys who are appointed by the court to represent parents and children who cannot afford private attorneys, that there just are not enough private attorneys available to fight the current social services system taking away family rights.
Attorney Shawn McMillan of California is one such attorney, and recently he made headline news in California for filing a class action lawsuit against Riverside County in Southern California. (See: “Street Fighter” Attorney Takes On Riverside California CPS with Class Action Lawsuit.)
Attorney McMillan is representing a federal class action lawsuit against “Riverside County, Juvenile Dependency Investigator Karla Torres, Torres’s supervisor Felicia M. Butler, and all similarly situated county social workers and investigators” for taking “a newborn baby from her mother without a reason or a warrant,” and for making “a habit of it.” The suit claims that the Southern California County takes “thousands of babies” without cause. (Story here.)
Attorney McMillan was successful in prosecuting the city of San Diego last year (2014) and won a $225,000.00 lawsuit on behalf of a teenage mother who had her baby taken away illegally.
The City of San Diego will pay $225,000 to settle a civil suit filed by a teen mom who lost parental rights to her daughter just days after the child’s birth. Johnneisha Kemper says San Diego Police officers took her baby away in 2008, just days after she gave birth at the age of 16, claiming she was unfit to raise the newborn. Now, the city of San Diego has approved a settlement in the civil rights lawsuit filed alleging the SDPD took the child without threat or warrant. (Story here.)
When Attorney McMillan approached the San Diego Police department to let them know that their actions were not legal, they allegedly responded that it did not matter, and that they would continue to seize children away from their parents under the direction of social services, and just pay the fines in court settlements like the one Mr. McMillan had just won. (See: San Diego Police: “We’re Not Changing Anything” – Seizure of Children to Continue.)
Advice to Parents and Families: Know Your Constitutional Rights!
So what can parents and families do to protect themselves from unlawful seizure of their children??
The first step is to know your Constitutional rights, particularly your rights under the 5th Amendment.
One of the typical mistakes parents and family members make is to talk to social services representatives or even police if they come to your home to ask questions. Under the 5th Amendment, you do NOT have to talk to them or answer any questions, even if they come to your home with a warrant for your arrest or to search your home. Typically, an initial visit to “investigate” will not have any warrants, and in such cases you are not obligated to talk to them or let them enter your home.
In the video below, which has been viewed on YouTube in a couple of places many millions of times, Mr. James Duane, a professor at Regent Law School and a former defense attorney, tells you why you should never talk to the police under any circumstances, and that this right is protected under the 5th Amendment. Some quotes:
I really want to do something that’s been on my mind for a while, to stand up and proudly say: “God bless America, God bless the Bill of Rights, and thank God for the 5th Amendment.”
I’m not ashamed to say I’m proud of the 5th Amendment, and I’m proud to admit on camera and on the Internet that I will never talk to any police officer under any circumstances.
[Let’s] go to a real expert, Justice Robert Jackson, a prosecutor’s prosecutor, who like me began his private practice in Buffalo New York years before I did, and after that he served as general counsel for the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the US Department Treasury the Securities Exchange Commission assistant, the US Attorney General, and later the solicitor general and the Attorney General of the United States, and then the chief US prosecutor for the Nuremberg trials.
That’s an impressive resume!
Years later, when he was a justice on the Supreme Court, just as Jackson stated: “quote any lawyer worth his salt, [he] will tell the suspect, his client, in no uncertain terms to make no statement to the police under any circumstances.”
There’s the title of my talk I’m here to explain to you, the surprising and somewhat counter-intuitive and admittedly unlikely reasons why Justice Jackson was right.
Do Not Talk to Police Under Any Circumstances:
Since we have started publishing these medical kidnapping stories, we have received many emails and comments from people who have been affected by this issue. One of them was the wife of a CPS employee who wanted us to share what she tells as many people as she can who have experienced losing their children to CPS:
I would highly recommend that you include the following information on your pages that talk about the abuse that CPS does to families by taking children away needlessly. It will help the parents tremendously if they will hire a private lawyer. Not the court-appointed lawyer, but a private lawyer, one who knows CPS.
My husband, who works for CPS, and also recently got his master’s in Social Work, said that there are virtually no children from middle and upper class families in CPS, and that the workers tremble and make sure they are careful what they do when they see a family has a private lawyer. Also, the judge is more likely to view the family favorably if he sees a private lawyer.
Many families would say or do (or neglect to say or do) things that would hurt (or help) them in their case, because they don’t know the law. They will believe what they are told, even if the information is not correct, because they don’t know better.
It is absolutely crucial that parents get a lawyer to help them with their case, and that they sue the agencies involved (including policemen and hospitals, if necessary) if any unlawful actions were taken against them. If the parents don’t have the money, they should start a fund for friends and family and community to help them out.
How Do We Define Parental Rights?
So how do we define “parental rights”?
This seems to be a hotly debated question on the Internet these days, especially when we publish stories of medical kidnappings.
But are “parental rights” any less than “human rights,” as already defined by the Constitution of the United States of America, and specifically the Bill of Rights?
If an alleged murderer, rapist, terrorist and others are afforded due process of the law as protected under our Constitution, why not parents? Is it really lawful to allow such authority to social service workers, empowered by local law enforcement, to remove children from the custody of their parents, in cases where neither the children nor the parents agree to such separation and it must be accomplished by force against their will, with no arrest made or charges filed?
Sadly, the lawful rights of American citizens are almost never discussed in such situations in the conversations and debates we have seen in social media and the Internet when discussing these stories. Most people start with an assumption that the State has a right in some situations to forego the Constitution and due process of the law to “protect children.”
Two Recent Cases
Let’s give two recent examples from stories that appeared in the mainstream media recently, and have been highly publicized.
The first one involved a family from Maryland. Both parents are scientists, and they follow a parenting style called “free-range” parenting. They allow their two children, ages 10 and 6, to walk together without them to places in their neighborhood, such as the neighborhood park. Police picked them up walking home one day, due to a complaint, and CPS came in and threatened to take custody of the children, forcing the father to sign a “safety plan” they drafted. The father said he would like to consult an attorney first, and the CPS employees allegedly threatened to remove the children from the home if he did not comply. So he did. Story and video here.
When we published this story, almost everyone wanted to debate whether or not these parents were right in allowing young children to walk the streets around their home during daylight hours.
But is that the issue we should be debating here? Was any crime committed? Were there any complaints filed against the parents that could lead to an arrest and charges pressed? The children did not file a complaint. The parents did not file a complaint. In short, were their Constitutional rights violated or not?
Yes! If we want to start judging others, based on our own interpretation of what constitutes good parenting or not, as to when the Constitution and due process of law should be abandoned, we are advocating tyranny, not rule by democratic law.
The second case involves the Stanley family in Arkansas. Social services allegedly visited the home after an anonymous complaint. The initial visit allegedly found everything in good order, and the complaint unfounded.
However, they allegedly returned later with a search warrant for a mineral substance that the FDA has announced they think is dangerous (although not illegal). After searching the home for 5 hours and interviewing all 7 children, the children were removed from the home, against their will (or at least most of them) and the will of their parents.
After the children had been taken into custody, with no charges filed against the parents, the sheriff issued a press release stating that the children were being held under charges of “abuse,” and not due to the mineral supplement mentioned in the warrant. But no complaint was filed, and no arrest was made. It was later revealed that some of the older children, including one who does not live with the family any longer, do not apparently agree with the parents’ religious views or parenting style.
Again, almost all of the conversation or debating involving this story was around whether or not the children were in danger and should have been removed. Were the parents and younger children’s Constitutional rights violated?
Yes! Once again, due process of law was not followed, and the alleged victims, the younger children, were allegedly traumatized by being forceably removed from their parents against their will, and the will of their parents.
Whether or not the parents did “abuse” their children is not the main issue here, but whether or not there was reason to abandon due process of the law, and Constitutional rights. If we afford due process of law and civil rights to alleged murderers, rapists, terrorists, and others (who can also be a threat to children), then why not to parents? Why can’t the alleged “abuser” be removed from the home, arrested, and charged with a crime, instead of removing the alleged victims and traumatizing them? (We actually answer this question above.)
In both these cases, if the State acted outside the bounds of the law and the family’s Constitutional rights were violated, it is properly called “state-sponsored kidnapping.” Also, in both cases, the parents could have acted more wisely to try and prevent these state-sponsored kidnappings by understanding their Constitutional rights, and refusing to talk to the social workers and police the first time they showed up.
Of course with medical kidnappings, as can be seen above in the case with baby Sammy and the parents in Sacramento, it is almost impossible today to refuse the complaint of a medical authority if one takes their child to a medical facility, and disagrees with the “Holy Doctors” who are worshiped much like deities in our culture today.
If we are going to change this system of tyranny involving state-sponsored kidnappings, we must wise up and understand what due process of law means, and what our rights are under the Constitution and Bill of Rights. We must STOP debating the merits of each of these state-sponsored kidnappings, and understand that if due process of the law is violated, then they are ALL wrong.
Who Will Stand up for Parental Rights?
As we asked above, are “parental rights” really any less then all basic “human rights” afforded to citizens of the United States under the Constitution? Do parents have less rights than suspected murderers, rapists, terrorists, etc.? If the Bill of Rights and the Constitution of the United States protect suspected criminals from abuse of government power, do not those same rights apply to parents who are accused of being “abusive”? Does the State ever have a right to remove children from their family without following the same due process of law applied to others suspected of criminal activity?
Sadly, one group that would like to be known as a national group standing for “Parental Rights” apparently feels the State has a right to take children away from their parents if those parents are seen as “unfit.” In a discussion about the Stanley Family story in Arkansas on their Facebook Page, they made the following statement after the sheriff department issued their statement to the press on alleged abuses by the parents, as a reason for why they removed the children from the family:
“While we stand by the right of fit parents to make decisions for their children, there are also times when the state must intervene where parents have been abusive or negligent.” (Popular National Parental Rights Organization)
Does this statement sound like it comes from a group that wants to defend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, protecting “parental rights”? As of the time of this writing, there still have been no formal charges made, nor arrests made, with either parent of the Stanley Family, and yet this “Parental Rights” group believes that the State’s actions are legitimate if the parents are “abusive or negligent” by someone’s standards of “fit” or “unfit” parents.
Unfortunately, that is called “tyranny” or “fascism,” and such abuse of civil rights is why our founding fathers wrote the Constitution and added the Bill of Rights.
It would appear to me, that most Americans have lost their way in understanding these important liberties that so many have sacrificed their lives to defend. Until we decide to stand up for these rights that are written into the Constitution of the United States of America, don’t expect much to change. Many brave men and women have given up their very lives to protect these rights, and we should not give them up so easily.
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