Families rally at the capitol for children taken by CPS. Source: AZ State House Umbrella Rally Facebook page.

by Terri LaPoint
Health Impact News

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.”

Stuffed Animals Represent Children Legally Kidnapped

Supporters also brought stuffed animals, to “represent children who have been unjustly taken as well as the number of days Kayla & Hannah have been in State captivity.”

Umbrella rally animals

Source: Umbrella Rally Facebook page.

Most of the umbrellas were decorated with photos of children taken by the state, as well as brief descriptions of their stories.  At Medical Kidnap, we have covered a number of their stories, but there are many more that have not yet been shared with the world.

Parents and supporters are working hard to bring attention to the injustice that they say is happening in record numbers in Arizona. The data supports this claim, as several articles from Medical Kidnap and others have demonstrated.

Arizona CPS on Trial in Federal Court – Will Justice Prevail?

Medical Kidnapping: Billion Dollar Adoption Business

Arizona’s Exploding Foster Care Intake: Kids sleeping in State Office Buildings

Activists posted photos of the event to Governor Ducey’s Facebook page, in the hope that he would pay attention and help the families. There were reportedly about 40 people in attendance at the rally, talking to reporters, passers-by, legislators – to anyone who would listen to the tragic tales of children ripped from their families who love them.

Symbolic Blowing of the Shofar

Prayers were prayed, and friends were made. One supporter, Martine Meuret, brought a shofar – a traditional Jewish ram’s horn, historically blown as a powerful wake-up call or call to action. According to one supporter, the blowing of the shofar is “Dedicated to all children in CPS foster care in the state of Arizona and families that have been wrongfully accused.” Martine’s prayer is this:

“May the sound of the shofar break through strongholds and chains and BRING THE CHILDREN BACK HOME. It was an honor to sound the shofar for this cause. May God fill you all with courage, strength, hope and endurance and protect the children.”

Diegel Sisters’ Story Thrust Medical Kidnapping Into National Awareness

It has only been in recent months that the disturbing issue of medical kidnapping and CPS abuse has penetrated public consciousness. For decades, parents have been intimidated into silence with threats and gag orders. Justina Pelletier’s father, Lou, broke his gag order, and the public first learned about the atrocities that were happening to his daughter. Yet, many believed that this was an isolated incident. A spattering of other stories hit the media, but again, other than those involved, most of the public did not realize that this type of thing is, and has been, occurring all over the nation. It was only after Melissa Diegel bravely began speaking out about the medical kidnapping of her daughters that the website MedicalKidnap.com was born, and many more voices began to be heard. Melissa’s story is only the tip of the iceberg. Families are uniting and joining their voices at the Umbrella Rallies, like the family of Joey Kangaroo, and others:

Umbrella rally Joey Kangaroo poster

Joey Kangaroo was taken when his mom asked for help with her special needs child. Source: AZ State House Umbrella Rally Facebook page.

Mom of 2 Year Old Special-Needs Child Asked for Help: Arizona CPS Took Him Away Instead

umbrella rally posters

Other families rally for justice. Source: AZ State House Umbrella Rally Facebook page.

 Statement from Melissa Diegel

“Although it is sad that it takes such a horrific tragedy, such as ones child being taken away by the state in order to bring people together, in the sorrow I am deeply blessed to have met some of the most wonderful people I have ever known along this challenging journey.

“Today was an opportunity to raise awareness for so many families in Arizona who’s due process rights are not being followed such as not allowing a parent a proper trial within 90 days.

“It is our goal to continue to raise awareness and to effect change in a positive way. To help as many Arizona families and children be able to grow up feeling loved and safe in the proper environment in which God intended.”

A previous statement from Melissa Diegel on her family’s story can be heard in this interview which aired on a radio program prior to the court issuing a gag order on her:

Next Umbrella Rally Planned for May 1

The Arizona group already has another Umbrella Rally planned, this time for May 1. They are hoping that even more people will join them. At this point, it is unclear whether this is limited to just Arizona families, or if this will grow, and there will be Umbrella Rallies at State Houses all across the nation, calling for action, until every child taken from loving parents is returned to the umbrella of protection of their families.


More Stories from Parents in Arizona Who Claim their Children were Medically Kidnapped:

More stories on Arizona:

HSLDA Takes Prosecution of Arizona CPS Workers to Supreme Court


15,000 Cases of Arizona Child Porn: Huge Child Sex Trafficking Ring in Arizona Ahead of Superbowl

Another Arizona Medical Kidnapping: 4 Children Removed from Family after Booster Seat Accident

CPS Caseworker in Arizona Turns Whistleblower – Reports on Abuse of Power

Why is the Arizona “Family Advocate” Threatening People Asking About Children in State Custody?

Arizona’s Exploding Foster Care Intake: Kids sleeping in State Office Buildings

A History of Medical Kidnapping at Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Congressional Testimony: Karla Johnson to Bill Windsor of Lawless America

Medical Kidnapping Business: Judges Skirting the Law for Federal Funds

Mom who took child with cancer from hospital speaks out

Woman battles CPS to get her kids back

The Arizona 5: A Family of 5 Children Who Were Taken into Custody for the use of Biomedical Treatment for their Autism

Mother, interrupted: CPS accused her of everything from neglect to excessive care, never proved anything, and took her daughter anyway