Glazier mom and baby

Brianne and baby Serenity in the NICU at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo provided by family.

by Health Impact News/ Staff

Baby Serenity decided to make her arrival about 4 weeks ahead of time, catching her parents, Brianne and Jason Glazier off guard. The couple were in the middle of moving from Kansas to Illinois, and her father had gone ahead a couple weeks before to get things set up at their new apartment to get ready for her arrival.

Brianne never made it there.

She went into labor early, and Serenity was born in a Kansas hospital on September 15, 2016.

Jason rushed back to Kansas for what should have been a happy occasion, but it has turned into a nightmare for the new family.

Now, the couple are fighting Child Protective Services in a third state – Missouri – to try to bring their baby home.

Their newborn daughter was born with a heart defect, called Tetralogy of Fallot, as well as other birth defects. The hospital she was born in transferred her to another Kansas hospital, which immediately transferred her to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri.

The frightened parents found themselves in a strange city, in a state where they had no connections, and they were faced with doctors and staff who they say were not telling them what was going on with their baby. They told the staff that they wanted to transfer their baby to Illinois and arrange for her care in hospitals near their home. Jason tells Health Impact News that is when the problems with the hospital began.

With every fiber in my body, I felt like they were hiding something from us.

Parents Try to Transfer Care of Their Sick Baby

This was their first baby. Brianne was attempting to breastfeed, but was not successful. They learned that their baby had heart problems, and various tests were being run to find out more about her condition.

Glazier baby puppy dog eyes

Baby Serenity just wants her mommy and daddy. Photo courtesy of Glazier family.

After a couple weeks of a great deal of uncertainty and fear for their baby, Jason grew increasingly frustrated. They had asked to transfer to Illinois, simply because that was where their home was, but Jason says it became clear to them that the Kansas hospital had no desire to let go of Serenity.

Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City was the hospital involved in one of the very first stories covered by Medical Kidnap, after a parent asked for a second medical opinion:

Eight year old Jaxon Taken By Hospital When Parents Ask For Second Opinion

According to Mayo Clinic, Tetralogy of Fallot “is a rare condition caused by a combination of four heart defects that are present at birth. These defects, which affect the structure of the heart, cause oxygen-poor blood to flow out of the heart and to the rest of the body.”

Serenity has a rare form of Tetralogy of Fallot which includes pulmonary valve atresia and major aortopulmonary collateral arteries. According to the medical reports, Serenity was born with other congenital defects as well: low set ears, flat nasal bridge, low muscle tone, and a heart murmur. She has 22q11 deletion syndrome, a chromosomal disorder where she is missing a small piece of chromosome 22. She also had respiratory distress and hypoglycemia at birth.

The Glaziers learned that the heart defect that their daughter had would likely require more than one heart surgery. Jason says the cost can run about $300,000 per heart surgery. He believes that Children’s Mercy Hospital wanted those surgeries to take place in their hospital rather than in another hospital which would be closer to their home.

The difficulties with the staff at Children’s Mercy Hospital, he says, began after they made it clear that they wanted to transfer their daughter’s care. Jason told Health Impact News:

All this started when I asked for a second medical opinion.

Tensions Mount at Hospital

Any time a parent faces having a child in the NICU, it is a stressful time. Being in a hospital in a strange city during such a difficult time, far from all of their normal support system, can be especially stressful. The couple were staying at the nearby Ronald McDonald house, but they spent a great deal of time at the hospital.

As time wore on, the parents’ frustrations increased. They did not feel that they were getting straight answers about their daughter’s condition.

A hospital social worker was assigned to work with them. Jason let the social worker know that he is on disability for ADHD, manic depressive disorder, and paranoid schizophrenia.

He was not taking any medications at the time because none that he had previously taken seemed to have any effect, except for side effects.

However, he was managing his condition. He has learned how to recognize his stressors and manages them with various coping strategies which have served him well. He has never hurt anyone as a result. Part of the reason for the move to Illinois was so that he could access better care than he had in Kansas.

Glazier family 2

Brianne and Jason want the opportunity to parent their baby girl. Photo courtesy of Glazier family.

It was difficult in the hospital setting to make use of his normal coping strategies. One day, there was a screaming child in the cafeteria, and Jason found himself getting stressed out. He crushed his styrofoam cup, and walked out of the room in order to calm down. That action was perceived as a negative outburst by the hospital staff.

On another occasion, he became frustrated with rules being applied inconsistently to parents in the waiting room, and he exchanged some words with the nursing staff.

The most frustrating thing was that they did not feel that they were getting any answers from the doctors or medical staff. According to a report later given to the court by social workers:

Social worker received a referral from nursing staff that Jason wanted to formally complain about baby’s attending physician and request a different doctor. Per staff, Jason expressed frustration with a lack of answers and a discharge plan for the baby. He reportedly used the phrase patient was “being kidnapped” by having to stay here in the hospital. Jason became loud at bedside but reportedly lowered his voice when bedside nurse provided redirection.

Jason admits:

I yelled at the staff because they weren’t telling me anything at all. They were keeping all the meetings a secret and not talking to my wife.

He says he could feel himself becoming unstable, and he decided that the wisest course of action would be for him to leave the hospital. He voluntarily placed himself on a 24-hour ban from the hospital.

Baby Seized by Child Protective Services

Children’s Mercy Hospital called Missouri Children’s Division Abuse and Neglect Hotline Unit, and social workers seized custody of Serenity on October 5. Notably, the hospital did not call law enforcement, because, as they state in their report, it was:

“not warranted at this time as no crime has been committed.”

No safety plan was “deemed necessary” at the time of referral.

Neither Jason nor Brianne has any kind of criminal record or substance abuse history. There is no history of violence. Their records are clean. They were reported to CPS due to the outbursts which were attributed to Jason’s mental health.

How many parents with no mental health issues at all might find themselves responding just as Jason did? Were his outbursts a result of mental illness, or simply a reasonable response of a frightened, frustrated parent feeling like he was left in the dark about the most important little person in the world to him?

Glazier baby in pink

Baby Serenity has never had the chance to live with her own parents. Photo provided by family.

More importantly, is getting upset with doctors and hospital staff over the care of one’s child a valid reason to seize custody of the child away from the parents?


Does the State Ever Have a “Right” to Remove Children from a Home?

At no time were Jason or Brianne ever abusive toward their baby, yet the Child Protective System has accused the parents, saying that their “actions place the child at risk of further harm or neglect absent the intervention of this court.”

Parents Still Fighting to Get Baby Back

Since baby Serenity was taken from the Glaziers, Children’s Mercy Hospital of Kansas City, Missouri, has performed 3 heart surgeries on Serenity.

Glazier baby in helmet

Serenity Glazier has had numerous surgeries in state care. Photo provided by family.

She has been placed into foster care with strangers in Kansas City, even though several other relatives have volunteered for kinship placement. Such placements were allegedly not considered by DCF.

Both parents have attempted to comply with the demands of DCF, because they desperately want to get their daughter back. Jason has been compelled against his will to take medications for his mental conditions, but, as before, he says they aren’t making a difference.

Jason and Brianne are court ordered to undergo drug testing, individual counseling, and psychological evaluations and treatment.

They have given up the apartment in Illinois, but are still trying to get their case moved out of Missouri. Their families are in Kansas, and they would like to be there. However, they are stuck in Missouri in order to be closer to their baby. Jason has a job now in Kansas City. They are supposed to have weekly visitation and be able to go with Serenity to doctor visits.

Their plight of having their child stuck in a strange state that they only went to for medical treatment is reminiscent of Missouri residents Michelle Rider and her son Isaiah, who went to Illinois solely for the purpose of medical treatment at Lurie Children’s Hospital. Isaiah was medically kidnapped by Illinois DCF, and he remained a prisoner there until well after his 19th birthday.

See articles on Isaiah Rider here.

Their next court date is June 29, 2017, in Kansas City, Missouri. Missouri has refused to relinquish jurisdiction. Jason says that social worker Tracy Sudtelgte told them that they have no intention of transferring the case to Kansas, because it would take 6 months of “tedious paperwork,” and they won’t do it.

Glazier baby in pink with lamb

Baby Serenity at Easter. Photo provided by family.

DCF in Violation of Americans with Disabilities Act

Jason has a disability for which he receives a monthly check. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, social workers and the hospital were supposed to be making accommodations for his disability. He has seen no sign of any accommodations other than the fact that he himself was appointed a Guardian ad Litem (GAL). However, the GAL is reportedly not helping him at all.

In a 2015 case, the US Department of Justice and the US Department of Health and Human Services ordered that Massachusetts DCF return a child to her mother who was taken due to her mother’s disability.


Feds Order Baby Returned After Massachusetts Kidnaps Baby Due to Mother’s Disability

Disabled Father Denied by State of Tennessee to Father his Own Child

Since Missouri DCF’s grounds for taking Serenity from her parents was the allegation that “parental mental illness placed the child at risk of harm,” Jason wants to know if an attorney will step up to fight for his civil liberty to parent his child under the ADA (American’s with Disabilities Act). He and his wife have never had the opportunity to parent their daughter outside of the hospital. Jason says:

DCF kidnapped my daughter due to my disability. I believe that they’re using her for medical practice because of her heart.

My one goal is to make sure my daughter is safe. That’s the job of any father.

How You Can Help

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens may be reached at 573 751 3222. He may be contacted here.

Representative Judy Morgan represents the Missouri district where Serenity was taken at Children’s Mercy Hospital. She may be reached at 573 751 4485, or contacted here.

Representative Ken Wilson has previously sponsored Isaiah’s Law, a bill that would prevent children from being kidnapped by the state when their parents seek a second medical opinion. He may be reached at 573 751 9760, or contacted here.

Senator Jason Holsman is the Senator for the district where the hospital is, and he may be reached at 573 751 6607, or contacted here.