Forbidden Parenting: Removing Children from Good Parents Based on Societal Norms – NOT Abuse

The government sometimes arrests parents for giving kids responsibility. In South Carolina, mom Deborah Harrell was jailed for letting her 9-year-old daughter play in a park for the day. A police interrogator lectured Harrell: "You can't leave a child who is nine years old in the park by herself. What would you do if some sex offender came by?" Yet despite media scare stories, kidnappings are extremely rare and are way down. But the state wasn't okay with Deborah's parenting. Not only was she arrested, but Regina was taken away from her for weeks Deborah was charged with "willful abandonment of a child," which carries up to a 10-year jail sentence. Fortunately, attorney Robert Phillips heard about her case and found it so outrageous he took it for free.

Father Defies Gag Order To Tell the World How is 14 Year Old Daughter’s Life is “Destroyed and Sterilized” Due to Court-ordered Testosterone Injections Against Parental Consent

For the past 11 months, Robert Hoogland, a father in Surrey, British Columbia, has been forced to watch as his 14 year-old daughter was “destroyed and sterilized” by court-ordered testosterone injections. After losing his legal appeal to stop the process in January, Rob is making a desperate attempt to bring his case into the courts of public opinion, even though it breaks a court order demanding his silence about the case. Rob felt that at the age of 14—when the courts judged his daughter competent to take testosterone without parental consent—she simply did not have the foresight necessary to understand such consequences. “Sometimes I just want to scream so that other parents and people will… jump in, understand what’s going on,” Rob said. “There’s a child—and not only mine, but in my case, my child out there having her life ruined,” and yet, Rob felt, “people don’t [even] know.” Rob’s efforts to raise awareness of his daughter’s plight have come at a high cost. The last time he granted an interview to The Federalist, he was convicted of “family violence” by the BC Supreme Court for his “expressions of rejection of [his daughter’s] gender identity.” He was also placed under threat of immediate arrest if he was caught referring to his daughter as a girl again.

Justice for Medical Kidnapping! Philadelphia Judge Confesses to Illegally Jailing Parents

In May of 2018 Health Impact News published the story of Philadelphia Family Court Judge Lyris Younge, who was accused of “judicially created parental alienation” by a Pennsylvania state appeals court. The Superior Court of Pennsylvania reversed the termination of parental rights that had been decreed under Judge Lyris Younge of Philadelphia Family Court. According to the ABA Journal, a child referred to as N.M. was taken from her parents after she was found to have two broken ribs. The appellate decision is public record, with the parents and children identified only by their initials.  The baby was taken to the doctor after signs of “increased fussiness.” The pediatrician had the family take the baby to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where they ran a series of x-rays. When two fractured ribs were found, the Child Abuse Team, including Dr. Natalie Stavas, decided that the only explanation was abuse. The Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS) was called on April 7, 2016, and the baby was seized from her parents. DHS refused to place the baby with her grandparents, and she was placed into foster care. The parents’ rights were terminated. It is apparent from the appeals document that there are other medical possibilities for the baby’s injuries that were not considered. The family was not permitted to have other medical experts testify as to other possible diagnoses. Because the parents did not have an explanation, the foregone conclusion at CHOPS was “abuse.” Judge Lyris Younge was later removed from the bench as her trial was pending. Today, (February 19, 2020), Philadelphia media is reporting that Judge Younge has admitted to the allegations to avoid trial.

Pennsylvania Social Worker Charged with Forcing Mother into Prostitution to Get Kids Back from Foster Care

A Sicklerville woman allegedly used her authority over child-welfare decisions to force a woman into prostitution, according to the district attorney's office in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Candace Talley, 27, who managed cases for the county's Office of Children and Youth Services, faces felony charges of human trafficking and prostitution... Talley is accused of exploiting a woman whose children were in foster care, the district attorney's office said. “It is truly horrible, and beyond imagination, that someone who is responsible for ensuring the welfare of children would pressure their mother into acts of prostitution for her own personal enrichment, and with the promise of a favorable custody recommendation, as this defendant is charged with doing," Stollsteimer stated.

California Parents Sue Riverside County $25 Million for Death of Disabled Daughter in Foster Care

Riverside County effectively signed a disabled girl’s death warrant by placing her in a foster home dogged by decades of complaints, charge the parents of “Princess” Diane Ramirez in a lawsuit seeking at least $25 million. Angel Cadena Ramirez and Alberto Ramirez filed suit on Monday, Feb. 10, against the county and foster home operators Michelle Morris and Larry Kerin. They allege wrongful death, breach of duty and violations of child abuse neglect reporting laws. “No parent should have to attend his or her child’s funeral,” the suit said. “Yet, due to the collective, systematic malfeasance and deliberate indifference of (the county and foster home) … plaintiffs will never again have the opportunity to experience the life and vibrancy of their daughter.”

The Hidden Trauma of “Short Stays” in Foster Care – New Mexico Ranks #1 in the Nation

When most Americans think of foster care, they think of children waiting years in homes or institutions to return to their families or to be placed for adoption. But every year, an average of nearly 17,000 children are removed from their families’ custody and placed in foster care only to be reunited within 10 days, according to a Marshall Project analysis of federal Department of Health and Human Services records dating back a decade. Every state allows certain officials—such as police officers, child-services workers or hospital staff—to take a child from her parents without a court order if they believe the child faces imminent danger of physical harm. But this analysis shows that thousands of children taken from their homes without court approval are quickly returned to their families after child-services officials review the evidence. The data was analyzed with assistance from the nonprofit organization Fostering Court Improvement, which maintains a database of federal child-welfare records. “Short stays,” as they are called by child-welfare experts, appear to happen most often in high-poverty areas where law enforcement officials are the only group authorized by state law to remove children without a court order. In 2018, the most recent year for which data is available, Bernalillo County, which includes Albuquerque, recorded a higher rate of short-term removals than any other major area in the country, followed by counties that include Santa Fe, Akron and New Orleans.

Wisconsin Lawmakers Push to Make it Easier to Terminate Parental Rights

Over the last three months, Wisconsin legislators have been debating bills to reshape state laws that have the power to break up some families and create new ones. There have been two public hearings and a contentious Assembly floor session over the measures. But stories of parents like Tara van Wormer and their children have been virtually absent from the debate. The bills, including measures that cover adoption and foster care, grew out of an Assembly task force on adoption commissioned last spring. They were introduced as a package to make Wisconsin “more adoption friendly” in the words of the lawmakers supporting them. In short order, Gov. Tony Evers signed the least-controversial bill after it sailed through the state Assembly and the state Senate: Act 92, which expands who is eligible for financial assistance for adopting children with special needs. Several other bills passed the Assembly Jan. 15 after extensive debate, some on divided roll-call votes. They have yet to be scheduled in the Senate. The proposals share a common goal: In order to make it easier for children to be adopted, they would make it easier to terminate the parental rights of mothers and fathers suspected of abuse or neglect.

Wisconsin Doctors Afraid to Bring Their Children to Their own Hospital Due to Fear of Medical Kidnapping

In the days after an NBC News investigation revealed problems with a major hospital’s handling of a suspected child abuse case, members of the hospital’s medical staff criticized senior administrators and demanded changes, according to several people who attended a series of internal staff meetings. The article, published last week, detailed the case of Dr. John Cox, a former emergency room physician at Children’s Wisconsin, who was charged with abusing his 1-month-old daughter, based largely on medical reports from child abuse specialists at his own hospital. More than 15 other medical experts who treated the baby or later reviewed the case concluded that the hospital’s child abuse team made serious errors, but Child Protective Services took her anyway, NBC News reported. The reporting sparked public backlash aimed at Children’s Wisconsin and state child welfare authorities — including from within the hospital. Several physicians told administrators during a series of staff “listening sessions” held in response to the reporting that they had serious concerns about the work of the hospital’s child abuse specialists, and some asked for an external investigation of their practices, according to four Children’s Wisconsin doctors who attended the meetings and spoke to a reporter on the condition of anonymity. Numerous physicians from across the hospital have spoken out at the meetings, attendees said, including cardiologists, neonatologists and infectious disease specialists. At one internal meeting this week, some Children’s Wisconsin doctors told administrators from the Medical College of Wisconsin — which employs physicians who practice at the hospital — that without swift policy changes, they would hesitate to bring their own children to the hospital following accidental injuries, fearing that a medical mistake or overreaction could lead Child Protective Services to break their families apart.

Alabama Mother Separated from Newborn Baby for Days Because of False Drug Test After Eating Poppy Seeds

Another case where a false drug test was used as justification to medically kidnap a newborn baby and separate the infant from the mother, during one of the most crucial times when a baby needs to bond with their mother just after birth. WAFF 48 News in Huntsville, Alabama, picked up the story. "A Huntsville mom and her doctor fear poppy seed bread may be the reason she no longer has custody of her 2-day-old baby boy. Rebecca Hernandez was given a drug test after her delivery at Crestwood Medical Center Tuesday. According to her doctor, the screening showed traces of opiates in her system. 'This is a nightmare for the whole family,' said Hernandez. 'Ya know, a newborn baby has to be close to mom. They have to be with the mom. That’s the most important time in their life to be close to the mom when they’re just born.' Through the help of her doctor, Hernandez learned the poppy seed bread she had eaten the day before may have caused a false positive. Dr. Yashica Robinson, Hernandez’s doctor, said same day drug screenings are a problem and wants hospitals to rely on laboratory confirmed tests." When WAFF posted the story on social media, they say the story was exposed to tens of thousands of people who read it, and they received hundreds of comments from people saying they had experienced similar experiences with Child Protective Services. Why the hospital tested Ms. Hernandez for drugs, and whether or not Ms. Hernandez agreed to the drug testing, is not known. She spoke to reporters via a Spanish interpreter.

Government Funded Study Confirms Kids do Worse in Foster Care than Those Who Have Never Been in Foster Care

Another major study confirms what many other studies have found, and what we have published here at Health Impact News over the past several years many times: The Foster Care System is a huge failure that harms children, and children who never enter the Foster Care System do much better. The most recent study was funded by you, the American taxpayer, and conducted by the CDC: "Demographic, Health Care, and Fertility-related Characteristics of Adults Aged 18–44 Who Have Ever Been in Foster Care: United States, 2011–2017." The study analyzed 6 years of interviews spanning September 2011 through September 2017, and included 11,527 male and 14,439 female respondents aged 18–44. Some of the results of the study: Among women who had been in foster care, one-half had given birth to a child by age 20; that compared with one-quarter of women who had never been in foster care. Two-thirds of women who had been in foster care received some form of public assistance, compared with one-third of other women. Just over half of men who had been in foster care received public assistance, more than double the rate for other men. About 25% of men and 21% of women who had been in foster care did not have a high school or GED diploma, more than double the figure for other adults. Lower percentages of men and women who were ever in foster care had a bachelor’s degree or higher (4.8% for men and 9.1% for women) compared with those who had never been in foster care (31.1% and 36.2%, respectively).