Prince Haly and baby

Haly and her new baby while she still had custody. Photo used with permission from the family.

by Health Impact News/ Staff

Last month Shelby County DHR (Department of Human Resorces) took a 3 day old breastfeeding baby from her mother at a hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. The baby had been flagged for removal based simply on the fact that DHR already had a case open on 2 other children from the same mother. The young mother is currently appealing their case where her parental rights to her children were terminated.

When people hear these stories, often the first response is, “There has to be more to the story.”

This is the “more to the story,” and what our investigation reveals is there appears to be a definite pattern as to how Alabama DHR seizes children, often right out of the hospital as soon as they are born. Many people from Alabama who have contacted Health Impact News are reporting that Alabama DHR actions often violate federal laws, state laws, and basic civil rights protected under the Constitution of the United States.

The young mother’s name in this story is Haly. She is 20 years old, and she is the older sister of the 14 year old alleged rape victim at the center of the recent Medical Kidnap story that has captured the heart of many across the nation and beyond. When we first published her sister’s story, it received over 1 million views within the first 24 hours.

Read her sister’s story here:

Alabama Child Protective Services Steals Newborn Breastfeeding Baby from Rape Victim While Still at the Hospital

Haly’s Story Delayed from Publication When Her Sister’s Baby is Seized at Birth

Health Impact News was already investigating Haly’s story and had planned to meet for another interview when her sister, the 14 year old alleged rape victim, went into labor on Monday, June 13. Grandmother Dee Prince expressed concern that DHR might try to take the 14 year old’s baby as well, since they had recently taken Haly’s baby from the hospital.

Because of her family’s history of seeing what they believe are unethical tactics by DHR over the years, she was genuinely afraid. Sadly, her fears were confirmed when DHR removed the 2-day old infant from his 14 year old mother at the hospital.

Because this baby was allegedly conceived in rape, our investigative reporter Terri LaPoint phoned Juda Myers for her counsel, since ministry to mothers who conceive babies in rape is Juda’s specialty.

Terri expressed her thoughts that, surely, child protective services would not take a baby from a new mother simply because she was young and the baby was allegedly conceived in rape.

Juda informed Terri that she has seen it happen before, and she quickly made plans to fly to Alabama that evening to advocate for the young mother.

Juda and Terri drove to Shelby Baptist Medical Center on Tuesday to meet with the family in support, and they decided to stay with them until they all arrived home safely, which never happened. Some in the public have questioned how Medical Kidnap and Choices4Life “just happened” to be there when this baby was taken.

This is how. Theirs was never intended to be a Medical Kidnap story or a public story, but when it became clear that DHR was intent on taking the baby, many felt the story had to be told.

Long History of Alabama DHR Actions Against the Prince Family

The 14 year old mother and her baby appear to be just the latest victims of a long history of DHR actions against their family, beginning before she and her twin brother were even born.

Their story, and Haly’s, began many years ago.

Haly and the teen mom are 2 of 5 children born to a mother who the family reports has had a long and difficult history of what the family says are poor choices which resulted in her own mother (Dee Prince – the grandmother) caring for her children for most of their lives.

DHR became involved at the beginnings of the children’s lives. In their grandparents’ care, the children reportedly thrived and knew that they were loved, and they had visits with their mother. Dee Prince reported to Health Impact News that her hope has always been that her daughter would change her life and make good choices.

At one point, DHR attempted to terminate the mother’s parental rights to her children, but Dee insisted that her daughter’s parental rights be maintained, because she says she has always prayed for restoration of her family, and has never given up hope, no matter what her daughter has been through.

Prince family

Dee and Rodney Prince with 5 of their grandchildren that they have raised, happy together before everything changed. Photo used with permission.

A False Allegation Destroys a Multi-generational Family

In 2009, an allegation was reportedly made that changed everything. For years, the family has believed that the accusation and others which followed came from the children’s biological mother, because that is what DHR social workers have allegedly told them.

Now, some in the family are beginning to question the truth of that. Health Impact News notes that it is highly irregular for child protective services to disclose where allegations come from, unless it is a report from a doctor or other mandated reporter, such as a Child Abuse Specialist. Customarily, the source of allegations is never disclosed to the family.

The question arises: Could some social workers have been trying to drive a wedge deeper into the family dynamics by telling the grandparents and the children that their biological mother has been making allegations that she has not?

The biological mother maintains that she did not make the accusations against her family.

In 2008 an allegation was made against Haly’s twin brother, Hadyn, (yes, both of these young mothers who had their babies taken away are twins) of sexual misconduct against his siblings, and this allegation led to all 5 of the children being taken from their home by DHR, who was involved in their lives already because of them being taken from their biological mother to be placed in their grandparents’ custody.

To read the DHR reports, one could believe that Haydn was a monster capable of all manner of horrors. Word of these reports are possibly what was leaked to people who claim to know “inside information” about the case.

Is there more to the story? According to the family, there absolutely is more to the story.

“He didn’t hurt me. He popped my bra strap!”

When Haydn was 12 years old, he allegedly popped his twin sister’s bra strap. Haly was lying down on her stomach on the floor, while Haydn and his older sister Jonna were sitting on the couch. He reached down and playfully popped his sister’s bra strap, admittedly a very immature move, but nothing that could be defined as “sexual abuse.”

Health Impact News has spoken independently with 4 out of the 5 siblings about the incident. They are indignant about the accusations against their brother, and they insist that all he did was pop a bra strap.

Within days, that minor incident morphed into allegations of sexual misconduct. No one seems to know for certain how this happened, and several of the children still believe that their biological mother was behind this.

She denies this, however. DHR was involved with the family already, and the other children were taken to Owens House in Columbiana, and Haydn was hauled in to the police for questioning. His siblings report that they told workers that he didn’t hurt them, and that their brother was questioned for hours by police while they waited at Owens House.

12 Year Old Interrogated for Nearly 5 Hours Without Legal Representation

Haydn’s grandparents requested that they or an attorney be present while he was being questioned, but that request was allegedly denied. Health Impact News witnessed DHR deny the 14 year old mother and alleged rape victim her right to have a family member present when they questioned her at the hospital, despite her request for such, and this appears to be a pattern in Shelby County.

He was still a boy, only 12 years old, without representation, yet police allegedly interrogated him for between 4 and 5 hours. Finally, he reports, he admitted to “whatever they were accusing me of,” in the hopes that, if he admitted it, they would stop and leave him alone. He reports that he “had to pee.”

There was never any evidence of any crime or sexual misconduct. His alleged victims denied, and deny today, that he did anything to them, beyond popping his twin sister’s bra strap. No rape kits were allegedly done. There was only the confession of a 12 year old child who was scared and had allegedly been broken down by relentless questions about all kinds of allegations that seemed crazy to him. It is allegedly the confession of a young boy who had no legal representation and who hoped that they would let him go to the bathroom if he “gave them what they wanted.”

He was allegedly taken into custody shortly after, and spent the next 5 years being shuffled from treatment facility to facility – a total of 6 in 5 years time.

He was finally able to return to his grandparents home at the age of 17, where he has lived ever since. He has a juvenile record from other misdeeds that happened while he was in state custody.

These are things that he freely admits that he did. He was quick to express responsibility for the fact that he got into fights in the juvenile facilities, and that he committed the “crime” of running away several times from facilities where he suffered abuse, and once stole a four-wheeler in the effort to go home. Even today, he is on probation and paying fines for those crimes.

However, the charges of sexual misconduct were dismissed in 2011. One document from 2012 states:

He is not charged with a juvenile criminal sex offense and was therefore not assigned a risk of re-offense level.

Though he certainly struggles with all the trauma that he has experienced since the allegations, Hadyn is likable, intelligent and was quickly able to make up school credit in order to graduate from high school, an accomplishment not afforded to him while he was in the system. He is currently working and is a good employee. Some reports state that he views himself as “a champion for the underdog.” Several counselors over the years have expressed that they were not concerned about his siblings being around him. DHR stated in a document dated in 2013 that, since he was placed back in the custody of his grandparents on 5/23/2013:

Haydn has been able to maintain himself in the home with relatives with minor behavioral issues. Mr. and Mrs. Prince continue to work with Haydn as he transitions and adjust [sic] to being in the home with relatives, and helping [sic] him understand their rules and expectations.

From this and other reports, it would appear that DHR was not concerned about his presence in the home, since the now 14 year old twins were residing in their grandparents house at that time, up until their seizure by DHR last Thursday evening over “safety concerns.”

Internet reports from those claiming to be “in the know” have asserted that the safety concerns arose from there being a sex offender in the home, allegedly Haydn. Haydn, however, has had all charges of sexual misconduct dismissed, and DHR had approved of him being in his grandparents’s home.

To sum up the “facts”: 

1) DHR maintained jurisdiction of Haydn for 5 years, which allowed them unfettered access to his every move and,

2) DHR was and is well aware that the evidence, aka, the snapping bra strap, allegedly didn’t rise to the level for the state to charge Haydyn and

3)  before Haydyn was finally able to return home after 5 years, DHR insisted on conducting an extensive evaluation of the home which they concluded posed no potential safety risks.

From Haydn’s alleged coerced confession under duress to crimes he reportedly did not commit, the entire family has suffered from Alabama DHR actions. After reading the history below, as told by the family, one could conclude that these false allegations against Haydyn, and the resulting actions taken by DHR, destroyed the entire family.

Children Seized and Drugged in DHR Care

Shortly after Haydn’s removal from his grandparents’ home in 2009, all 4 of his siblings were removed from the home, the home they had all grown up in, where they were reportedly loved and were thriving.

When DHR and the police tried to seize 12 year old Haly, she refused to be taken. She cried for her grandparents not to let her be taken away, so much so that an ambulance was allegedly called. The terrified child was allegedly strapped to a gurney and hauled away, screaming:

Nana, please don’t let them take me!

The younger twins, age 7 at the time, were returned to their grandparents’ custody after 8 months. It took 4 years of fighting DHR to get Jonna, the oldest granddaughter back. Haydn was returned to their custody after 5 years.

When the children were taken away, none of them were allegedly on any medications. However, after they were in the custody of DHR, each of them was put on psychotropic medications, for ADHD, anxiety, and other various ailments that they allegedly did not have before they were seized from their home. The older children and their grandparents fought against these medications, and there are several reports and letters in which they refused such medications.

Jonna wrote a courageous letter to DHR’s Christina Fisher in 2012:

I am refusing to take the narcotics that you all are prescribing for me due to the following reasons:

  1. Every child in foster care (DHR) is medicated with one or more narcotic medications because no one wants to deal with me/children.
  2. I refuse to be in an environment where I always look like I’m high or I am a walking zombie.
  3. The reason I am refusing to take/accept these narcotics is because my evaluation is not certain that my diagnosis is Bipolar/Manic depressive. You all just want money off me and I am not a guinea pig! I am a human being, and a minor child with a family that is fighting for me.
  4. NOTHING IS WRONG WITH ME! … My sister, Haly … was made to take Abilify which caused her to have hallucinations. Abilify was recommended for me too, but my grandfather, Rodney Prince said, “No” the day he took me to see [therapist] for evaluation. I will not take medication that I do not need.

Haly’s Story – Changed Life in State Foster Care

Haly’s story is different, and her grandmother originally reported to Health Impact News that, out of all the harm that has come to her grandchildren from DHR involvement:

Haly is the one who has suffered the most.

After she was taken from her home at the age of 12 and separated from her siblings, she was shuffled from facility to foster home to other foster homes, for a total of 8 different placements over the years.

She has been accused of defiant and disrespectful behavior many times, but that was not her family’s experience of her before she was taken. One has to wonder how much trauma she has suffered as she left the security of her loving home to be shifted from place to place.

Haly was happy before DHR took her from her family. Photo used with permission from family.

For more information about the state of the U.S. Foster Care system, and how it is a lucrative child trafficking business, see Health Impact News’ investigative report:

Haly became pregnant in foster care and gave birth to her first child at the age of 16. This is consistent with numerous reports that girls in foster care are more likely to be teen mothers than the general population. She and her new baby were able to stay together in a foster home where she says that the foster mother encouraged her to have as many babies as she wanted. (The foster mother also received more funds for each baby that she had.) She met a young man named Anthony and they had a baby together when Haly was 17. Haly and her 2 babies lived at the home of the foster mother, and she was able to parent her own children.

Tragedy Strikes – Haly Loses Her Babies

Despite all of her struggles, Haly graduated from high school at the age of 18. That summer, however, her foster mother had a major heart attack that took her life. Besides suffering this devastating emotional blow, she also was subject to DHR. Her children were part of the system from the beginning. The little family was moved into another foster home, but Haly reports that the new foster mother didn’t want her there and kicked her out, without her babies.

At the time, her grandmother Dee was fighting her own battle for her life. She had cancer and was very sick from radical chemo and radiation treatments. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to take in the babies; she physically couldn’t at the time. Now, thankfully, she is in remission and is much improved – back to fighting for her family with every bit of her regained strength, with her supportive husband right by her side.

But Haly was separated from her children, with only visitation. Because of the babies, she did not come back home to her grandparents out of DHR custody like the rest of her siblings.

Over the years, DHR has allegedly attempted to get her on medications. A social worker first stated that she was bipolar, and a psychiatrist affiliated with DHR made the diagnosis.

Haly has fought this pronouncement over her from the beginning:

I’m not bipolar!!! I’m just PISSED at Y’ALL!!!

DHR has called her unstable, but one must question what kind of stability that DHR provided her with, when she was in 8 different facilities/homes over an 8 year period – 9 places if you count her own home to which she recently returned. She has been accused of not participating in counseling in order to avoid losing her babies, but she reports that they did not offer her counseling, even after the death of her foster mother.

Haly’s babies are currently in their 4th foster home. They are now 4 and 3 years old.

In December 2015, DHR terminated Haly’s parental rights. Her grandmother Dee says that DHR told her that this was done because the babies “had already been in foster care for so long.” The family has not seen the children since, and that case is currently in appeal.

Haly moved back to her grandparents’ home at the age of 19, and she and Anthony are now married and are the parents of a new baby girl born on May 9, 2016. She asked social workers if she would be able to keep this baby, and she says they told her she could.

However, that did not happen.

When the baby was 3 days old, Shelby County DHR came into their hospital room at UAB West Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, in Jefferson County, and seized the new baby.

As was the case a month later with her little sister, there was allegedly no warrant, and no court order.

DHR told her that they had a “pickup order,” which Haly says she never saw. Three police officers accompanied the DHR social worker into the room and took the breastfeeding baby from her mother’s arms. Haly was alone that day, and had just been waiting for final discharge papers from the hospital. She says that she was devastated.

Dysfunctional Family or Dysfunctional DHR?

While some are trying to portray the Prince family as a very dysfunctional family that does not provide a safe environment for young children in their home, knowing the story from the family’s perspective and their long struggle against DHR, one might conclude that DHR is the organization that is dysfunctional and has done its best to destroy this family.

The family would like nothing better than to get on with their lives. Their home, “Grandma’s house,” is seen as a lovely, secure home where the love for each other is palpable. When Dee Prince first spoke with Heatlh Impact News, she said:

I would love to get DHR out of our lives and off our backs, so we can love our children and have a normal life.

Her husband Rodney is a strong man of great character, who served 35 years as a police officer. He told me that, with the recent seizures of the babies:

I felt so helpless. I am Mr. Fix it – I couldn’t fix it.

They would appreciate the opportunity to be a family without government interference.

How You Can Help

There is a hearing for Haly and Anthony about their newest baby on Tuesday, June 28 at 9am at the Shelby County Courthouse in Columbiana, Alabama. Though these hearings are typically closed, supporters are welcome to come to the courthouse in support of this family.

There is a Facebook page that has been set up to support the family, called SAVE Braelon’s Family. Supporters may encourage Haly and the rest of the family at this page as well.

Prince FB page

Call Alabama Governor Robert Bentley’s office at 334-242-7100. He may also be contacted here. He is also on Facebook.

Senator Cam Ward is the Senator for their district. He may be reached at 334-242-7873, or contacted here.

Representative April Weaver represents their district. She may be reached at 334-242-7731, or contacted here.

According to the Alabama Family Rights Association, ALFRA:

Alabama has a nine-member task force created to examine the work of the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR). If you have issues or concerns about DHR services, your best plan of action is to contact the following legislators/lawmakers and committee members:

Mac McCutcheon, State Representative, Task Force chair / 334-242-7705 / 256-655-3764 / email here.

Chris England, State Representative / 334-242-7703 / 205-535-4859 / email here.

Greg Reed, State Senator / 334-242-7894 / he is on Facebook.

The complete list of committee Members can be found here: Executive Order Number 11

Shelby County DHS Director Kim Mashego at