Isaiah and Michelle Fiji

Michelle and Isaiah Rider are happy to be together, but the trauma of his medical kidnapping is something they still battle. There was unimaginable damage done caused by Child Protective Services. Photo source.

by Health Impact News/ Staff

It has been almost 2 years since Isaiah Rider was released from Illinois DCFS custody after being medically kidnapped. Like many families who are reunited after the trauma of dealing with Child Protective Services, Isaiah and his mother, warrior-advocate Michelle Rider, largely withdrew from social media and the public eye. The horrors they had experienced took a toll and they have needed time to heal.

They are still in the healing process, and even now it is difficult for them to talk about their experiences.

They recently shared their story with a reporter from KWIR, a publication whose audience is largely LGBT.

In the final segment of the 4 part series entitled, “Mother and son look back on two years demolished by DCFS,” Michelle Rider says that she wants their story to be told as a warning for parents. Reporter Gretchen Rachel Hammond writes:

Although not LGBT themselves, Michelle and Isaiah fear for both gay and straight couples who take a child to a hospital like Lurie for help and suddenly find themselves catapulted into a hell they could never have imagined.

In the opening of the series, Hammond makes this statement:

As an increasing number of LGBT couples choose to adopt, the story of one of the most disturbing and bizarre cases of DCFS removing a child after hospital doctors claim Medical Child Abuse serves as a warning.

As the audience of Health Impact News knows, Isaiah Rider’s story, as horrific and disturbing as it is, is not rare. Medical Kidnappings and accusations of Medical Child Abuse occur regularly all over the country. We have covered hundreds of such stories.

The public, however, may not be aware that the LGBT community contributes to the demand for children to adopt. The Rider article series by KWIR serves as a cautionary tale that the children offered up for adoption to LGBT couples, and to anyone else seeking to adopt, are not always “poor abused children in need of a forever home.”

Adoptive and foster parents are not always told the truth about the children who are placed with them. Far more often than not, the children were taken from families who love them, who never abused them, and who have been falsely accused of hurting their children. Social worker whistleblowers have told us that they are encouraged to seize children who are “adoptable.” That often means children who from loving homes, while children who are truly abused are considered “damaged goods” who are “unadoptable.”


Arizona Judge: Child Removed from Home Illegally – Only Reason Was Child Was “Adoptable”

Adults wishing to adopt children increase the demand, whether they are LGBT couples unable to conceive on their own, infertile couples, couples with good intentions who want to help children, Christian and religious families seeking to care for “the needy and the orphan,” or even pedophiles. No matter the motive, whether good or bad, each serves to create the demand for children.

As that demand increases, more children are being taken from innocent families in order to supply the commodities (children) to meet the demand. It is simple economics.

The Isaiah Rider Story

Almost 2 years after Isaiah was reunited with his mother, they have shared their story with KWIR.


In March last year, Michelle Rider and her then 19-year-old son Isaiah made the trip from their home in Kansas City, Missouri to the islands of Fiji. There, they drank from mineral waters of Natadradave Village. Fiji was still recovering from a tropical cyclone and it was rumored that the water, which flowed from the lush, surrounding mountains, could heal.

Michelle and Isaiah thought it was well worth a try but not in the hope of a miracle that would cure an excruciating medical condition with which Isaiah had been living since he was a child.


Michelle and Isaiah Rider in Fiji. Photo source.

They needed to heal as a mother and son who, one Spring day in 2014, were needlessly ripped away from each other by the State of Illinois.

For the over two years which followed, Michelle and Isaiah were helpless as the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) engaged in an inexplicable vendetta to keep them apart employing measures which crossed both State lines and those of the downright bizarre.

Health Impact News began covering the story of his medical kidnapping even before the Medical Kidnap division of the website was created:

Chicago Children’s Hospital Takes Custody of 16-Year-Old Away from Parent Who Sought Second Opinion was established in October 2014. On October 29, 2014, we published comprehensive coverage of the Riders’ story on our website:

Fight Rages for Teenager Isaiah Rider’s Freedom – His Mother Commits “Cardinal Sin” Of Questioning Doctors


Michelle and Isaiah Rider – Photo from Team Isaiah Facebook Page.

In part 2, Michelle Rider described to KWIR the awful day when her son was medically kidnapped by social workers and Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, Illinois:

“I had a gut feeling that someone was wrong,” she said. “I was walked into a small room. There were people staring at me. I heard someone say ‘we’ve got the mom.’ A doctor and a social worker who I’d never seen before told me ‘we’re sorry about your brother, but we are taking your son for 48 hours.’ I asked them ‘for what?’ They said “for medical child abuse.’”

Michelle recalled that Lurie’s staff then demanded that she stop crying so they could escort her out of the facility without alarming any other parents.

KWIR explains the concept of Medical Child Abuse and how that term is being used to destroy innocent families:

The definitions of abuse and neglect span some 140 pages of a DCFS procedures document.

In one section, defined alongside “violent acts towards a child such as smothering, strangling, pushing or shoving,” the term Medical Child Abuse can be found as Factitious Disorder by Proxy or Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome “a form of child harm that is characterized by a parent/caregiver who intentionally and persistently lies, fakes, and/or produces illness in the child and repeatedly presents the child for medical assessment/treatment.”

Doctors are given extraordinary latitude when it comes to accusing a parent of Munchausen by Proxy and Medical Child Abuse. Once a case is started with a call to a DCFS hotline, an investigator from the agency has 48 hours to reach a determination. A full investigation must be concluded within 60 days.

Since Munchausen by Proxy is a mental health condition defined as “the production of or feigning  of psychological symptoms in another person” one would assume that a clinical diagnosis by a psychologist would be necessary before such an accusation is made against a parent.

Yet, there are reports of multiple Munchausen cases nationwide in which no psychologist was involved before a call was made to a Child Protective Services hotline.

In fact, so wide-ranging and absolute is a medical provider’s power to separate a child from a parent and so liberal is their ability to use Munchausen by Proxy as a reason, that it has given rise to the term “medical kidnapping.”

Stories in which parents have found themselves “terrorized by doctors” and ultimately separated from their children by a State’s Child Protective Services for arguing with a doctor’s diagnosis, objecting to a treatment plan or vaccination on religious grounds or otherwise, asking for a transfer to another hospital, deciding on the home birth of a child rather than at a hospital, using natural medicines or bringing a transgender child in for treatment have been brought to light across the country.

“I didn’t know doctors could take your child if you didn’t agree with them,” Michelle said. “They were not able to provide the care my son needed so, instead of doing that, they just removed me because, in their eyes, I was the problem.”

In a case in which a member of a hospital’s medical staff alleges Medical Child Abuse, rarely is a determination made in favor of the parents over the doctors even after an extended and prohibitively expensive legal battle. Meanwhile, a child is hauled away from a loving home and placed into a totally alien environment; be it foster care or, worse, a group home which borders on juvenile detention.


Are New Pediatric “Child Abuse Specialists” Causing an Increase in Medical Kidnappings?

Doctors from Boston to Seattle to Arizona now use the term “Medical Child Abuse,” which was coined by a husband and wife team who wrote a textbook on the concept. The couple teach other Child Abuse Specialists and social workers how to use the allegation to take children and get parents out of the picture. More information on these doctors is included here:

California Christian Homeschool Family Torn Apart as Children are Medically Kidnapped, Forced into Public School, and Mother is Forced out of Family Home

“Like Watching ISIS Kidnap My Child”

Michelle Rider describes Isaiah’s kidnapping in terms of terrorism in her interview with KWIR:

After he was released from Lurie Children’s Hospital, Isaiah was placed in a smaller medical facility and finally a foster home. Michelle asserted the home was located on the South Side of Chicago—an area of the city which has become infamous nationwide for its heightened levels of gang violence and weekly murder rate.

“It was like watching ISIS kidnap my child,” she said. “They wait until you are at your most vulnerable. There’s no warning. All any parent wants is for their child to get well. You trust that a doctor agrees with you. Then they say they are taking your child away and you can’t do a thing about it because they have the total backing of the State.”


Isaiah in the hospital. Photo from Team Isaiah Facebook page.

After leaving his loving, safe home, Isaiah suffered horrible things in Child Protective custody that no child should ever experience. Although he reported the crimes committed against him to social workers, they were reportedly swept under the rug, ignored by those charged with his care.


Missouri Teen Medically Kidnapped Was Raped and Sodomized While in Illinois Foster Care

Army of Advocates Instrumental in Isaiah’s Return

Even after Isaiah turned 18, Illinois DCFS was determined to stay in his life, even going so far as to threaten to arrest him if he moved out on his own. His case was not closed until 2 months before his 19th birthday.


Medically Kidnapped Teen Isaiah Rider Finally Free from Child Protective Services but Ruined Lives Remain

Michelle Rider told KWIR in part 4 that “an army of advocates” played a crucial role in their lives:

Michelle acknowledged that they might never have seen that day without the help of an army of advocates.

“There were so many people who were behind us; who were praying for Isaiah and me,” Michelle said. “I believe that’s how we made it through. There were horrible things that happened but there were so many wonderful people who took the time to read the facts and came to our aid.”

Isaiah and Michelle Fiji 2

Michelle and Isaiah – reunited. Photo source.

Picking up the Pieces

KWIR reports:

Their joy was tempered as a new battle to pick up the pieces of a pair of lives DCFS had systematically devastated began.

“This changed mom and I,” Isaiah said. “I don’t talk about it. I know she doesn’t because it hurts her. I don’t even talk about it with my girlfriend. I bury it.”

“They destroyed our whole world,” Michelle said. “I was so angry at everything that had happened to my son while he was in DCFS custody. All that time, the judge knew about all of it and did nothing. They harmed him mentally, physically, emotionally all in the name of protection. They wanted to win at any cost. If I allow myself to think about their winning I get sad and depressed. I thought that we lived in the land of the free. I believed in the government. It changed everything that I thought was real. I felt cheated.”

Isaiah, who once dreamed of helping people through a medical career, has been robbed of his belief in healthcare providers.

“I never knew human beings could act this way; so selfishly, so without care for another person until this happened,” Isaiah said. “I don’t trust doctors. I don’t know if they have my best interests at heart. I don’t even like seeing doctors unless I really have to. I get anxiety before I see a doctor. It’s really bad. I’m 20 now and I don’t know if I want to have my own children. If they had the same medical issues as m, [sic] I would be scared for that child. It sucks because I’m so scared that what happened to me will happen to him or her.”

… “Agencies like DCFS should do more research before they tear families apart,” Isaiah said. “You can’t imagine the cruelty and what this does to a child.”

Michelle says that the trip that she and her son took to get away to the Fiji islands helped:

“I did experience healing in that river,” she said. “I was able to release a lot of the things I was carrying around that were making me physically ill. It’s a work in progress and it will take time. I feel like we were innocent and received a life sentence. In return, I will spend the rest of my life making sure people, they can’t do this to anyone else.”

So will her son. He says:

“I just don’t want to see it happen to anyone else,” Isaiah agreed. “If my speaking out stops that from happening to even one family, then it’s worth it.”

Isaiah and Michelle Fiji 3

Michelle and Isaiah in Fiji. They hope that, by telling their story, they can keep this horror from happening to another family. Photo source.

A Family Devastated – for Money

Their story of medical kidnapping is over, but the impact of the experience has forever changed them. Doctors, social workers, and courts have done unimaginable damage to this family, as well as to thousands of others.

At what cost did Child “Protective” Services seek to get involved with their family? Is state protection of children who might be at risk worth the untold trauma that they put the Riders and thousands of other families through?

At what point do we, as a society say, “Enough is enough”?

It is clear to Michelle Rider and her son that this was never about Isaiah’s best interests, and that it has always been about the money.

Looking back, both mother and son feel that DCFS had only one thing in mind.

“Money,” Michelle said. “This is an industry and they used my son to benefit it.”

“It’s just a cash grab,” Isaiah said. “I believe that DCFS is corrupt and is all about money. My foster parent was supposed to give me an allowance. She told me how much she was getting but I found out later on, it was much more than that.”


Child Kidnapping and Trafficking: A Lucrative U.S. Business Funded by Taxpayers Called “Foster Care”

A child like Isaiah with a rare medical condition can literally be worth millions of dollars to the pharmaceutical industry. Children who are wards of the state, in other words, those in foster care, can legally be used as medical lab rats, entered into medical research or drug testing – without their parents’ knowledge or consent.


Medical Kidnapping in the U.S. – Kidnapping Children for Drug Trials

See our other coverage of the Isaiah Rider Story:

17 Year Old Boy Breaks Silence on Medical Kidnapping: Reports Hospital Drugged Him at Time of Custody Dispute

Isaiah Rider Is Suffering Horrible Pain But Not Getting Help [Video]

Medical Kidnap: 17 Year Old Isaiah Rider Taken Captive Against His Will

Isaiah Rider Being Forced to Leave Home Town and Return to Chicago Against His Will

Verdict – Missouri Resident Isaiah Rider To Remain Ward of the State of Illinois

Medically Kidnapped Isaiah Rider: “Don’t Underestimate Me”

Illinois Stops Teen from Going to Mayo Clinic – “Legalized Terrorism” Claims Distraught Mom

EX-CPS Investigator Uses Illinois Gov Facebook to Attack Mom of Medically Kidnapped Teen Isaiah Rider

Isaiah Rider Speaks out on Robert Scott Bell Show – Wants to go to Mayo Clinic for Pain but Held Hostage

Medical Terrorism: KC Teen Isaiah Rider Will Remain in Illinois Custody After He Turns 18