Children belong to their parents. Such a concept is foundational to every culture throughout all of human history. The family is the core group of any society. The need of the child for his or her own parents is a need that impacts the child on every level: biologically, psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, developmentally, and culturally. In most circles, the truth of the above statements is accepted as common knowledge. However, there are some who do not hold to these most cherished values of family and kinship. Unfortunately, some of these people are radicals and extremists who hold positions of great influence over public policy, which translates into very real problems for families. Richard Wexler, Executive Director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, wrote of some radical views of the family by Elizabeth Bartholet, who is a Professor of Family Law at Harvard Law School: "Bartholet’s ideas are so extreme that they include requiring every family with a young child to open itself to mandatory government surveillance." Bartholet has worked with another radical whose views we have exposed here at Health Impact News, Professor James Dwyer of William and Mary College. Dwyer believes that there is no inherent right to parent one’s own children, and has stated: "The reason that parent-child relationship exists is because the state confers legal parenthood on people through its paternity and maternity laws." One of Dwyer's books was even the required text for a course on Family Law that Bartholet taught. If these law professors' radical views were isolated and contained to a few classes and lectures attended by a handful of elite college students, their views might be dismissed as irrelevant to most of us. However, both Dwyer and Bartholet appear to have a great deal of influence over public policy, and their views trickle down to the very people who have the power to make the equivalent of life-and-death decisions over families. These radical views that supplant parental rights in favor of government control of children are behind many of the Medical Kidnap stories we publish.
Teen Girls Abused in State Care in Michigan Seized Again in Florida After Insurance Refuses to Cover Treatment
A battle to get insurance to cover necessary medical care for teenage sisters with bulimia nervosa has ended up with those teens being taken by Child Protective Services in Florida. Their mother is asking how it can be that an insurance company is able to direct CPS to remove children from their homes. The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) has accused Laura Dalton of "medical neglect," but the evidence provided to Health Impact News demonstrates that she is a dedicated mother who has been working tirelessly to secure the proper treatment for her daughters. In fact, one of the twins was seized from the hospital, where her mother had taken her the week before due to her dangerously low blood pressure and pulse. The twins have suffered eating disorders after they were put into foster care in Michigan, where they were allegedly abused. They were healthy girls prior to that time, but as a penalty for allegedly smoking marijuana one time, they were removed from their home, and that is when their real problems began. Both girls almost died in state care in Michigan, before their mother was able to get them back home. Once home, their mother looked for help for their eating disorders, and eventually found treatment options for them in Florida. Statistics show that children who have been in foster care are 7 times more likely to develop bulimia and other eating disorders. Foster children are more likely to develop PTSD than veterans of war. But now, after being recommended for a treatment plan that has showed great promise for the girls, their insurance will not cover it, and the mom has been reported to CPS for medical neglect. One of the twins was immediately seized from the hospital, as the family's nightmare has begun all over again.
Thousands of children are trapped in foster care because their parents don’t have adequate housing. That is the REAL Foster Care housing crisis. Yes, there is a disconnect between the number of foster parents and the number of foster children. But that’s not because we have too few foster parents. It’s because we have too many foster children. The REAL foster care housing crisis is part of the biggest problem in American child welfare – the confusion of poverty with “neglect” and the racial bias that goes with it.
Being held against one's will is one of the most frightening, and powerless, things a person can experience. Whether it is a hostage situation with a bank robber, or a masked man holding a loved one for ransom, the terror experienced by both the victim and the family of the victim is the stuff of blockbuster movies, and the hero swoops in and defeats the bad guys, setting the captives free. What if, instead of the captor being a stereotypical "bad guy," the captor is a hospital or the state? Would the terror and post traumatic stress experienced by the victim be any less? Those who have experienced this tell us that it is just as disturbing and traumatic. If anything, the powerlessness takes on a whole other dimension because this isn't the way things are supposed to happen in America. The hospitals are supposed to be the good guys that we turn to in times of need. A news investigative team in Texas has investigated a number of reports of local hospitals holding young people against their will, while their parents are stripped of their power to help their children, saying that: "This could happen to almost any parent out there." Investigative reporter Ginger Allen says that they have investigated similar complaints "for years," and that the story they reported on October 27, 2017, is: "an example of the complaint we probably hear most often. People - kids - are transported to these hospitals and you can't get them out. This means that any parent out there could go through what you are about to watch play out." A teen was taken to Sundance Behavioral Hospital in Texas and held against her will, even when her mother tried to check her out against medical advice. She was also drugged without her mother's consent while she was there. CBS 11 went undercover with hidden cameras to report on the medical kidnapping.
When Lisa Mitchell contacted Health Impact News in 2016 about the medical kidnapping of her son Samuel, she recounted horrific acts of abuse that her son suffered at the hand of El Pueblo Boys and Girls Ranch, where he was forced to stay by Child Protective Services for 6 years. Now, that facility has been shut down by the state of Colorado - permanently. It is a measure of vindication for the Mitchells and other families who suffered at El Pueblo, but the years that they lost can never be replaced. Lisa reports that the children were drugged, abused, and starved - "treated like guinea pigs for profit." Children got into trouble for sneaking food, but they were hungry. Children were put into restraints and illegal holds. While several news reports about El Pueblo allude to fights between the residents, Lisa said that it went much deeper than that. She alleged that the staff would drug the kids, then pit them against each other to fight - much like cock fights or dog fights, only with children. While Samuel was in the facility, Lisa says that they broke his arm, his foot, and his leg. Her son was already on 6 psychotropic medications at age 6. The private, non-profit organization has been in operation for 57 years. Among its board members are a police chief, a judge, pharmaceutical reps, bankers, and realtors. Lisa Mitchell is asking the questions of how deep the conflicts of interests run among those involved with El Pueblo. Who made money at the children's expense? She says that her son’s Guardian ad Litem (GAL) once told Samuel: "You’re worth a lot of money." Lisa Mitchell is very thankful that the facility which caused such harm to her son has finally been permanently shut down. She says that the Child Protective System and the health care system is "trafficking children." Now, she wants to see the people who are responsible for the rampant abuse shut down.
Mississippi Judge Resigns After Barring Mother from Seeing her Baby for 14 Months over Unpaid Court Fees
Pearl's Youth Court judge has resigned and the city's Youth Court has been permanently closed after the judge was accused of prohibiting a mother from contact with her 4-month-old child for 14 months until she paid court-imposed fees. The Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center at the University of Mississippi School of Law filed a complaint on behalf of their client, calling for Pearl Youth Court Judge John Shirley to be fired. “As a civil rights lawyer in Mississippi, I am no stranger to injustice, but for a judge to prohibit an impoverished mother from having any contact with her baby until monetary payments are made is shocking and repugnant. Such orders are tantamount to judicial kidnapping,” Johnson said. “As a Mississippian with deep roots in this state that I love, I am deeply troubled by the many ways in which poor Mississippians, especially African Americans, are victimized by Mississippi’s legal system,” Johnson said. “We have litigated matters involving excessive bail, illegal jailing of misdemeanor offenders for unpaid fines and the refusal to provide poor criminal defendants with counsel, and now we see that not even the right to raise one’s children is beyond the reach of the injustice that befalls poor Mississippians."
Parents whose children have been taken from them by Child Protective Services often tell us that the system is backwards. Instead of being presumed innocent until proven guilty, everyone involved with CPS assumes guilt, even in the face of no evidence of guilt. Some jurisdictions are taking this presumption of guilt without evidence a frightening step further: they are using "predictive analytics" to see which parents MIGHT abuse or neglect their children in the future. In several cases reported to Health Impact News, we have already seen such allegations used against parents. Social workers have literally written in their reports to the courts that a parent has characteristics that might indicate that they may abuse or neglect their child in the future, even though there is no evidence that they have harmed their child in the past. This is reminiscent of George Orwell's "thought police" in the dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four. It is inconsistent with one of the foundational principles underlying the U.S. Constitution, that of the presumption of innocence. Some have equated the predictive analysis model with racial profiling, because the algorithms tend to disproportionately target people who are poor or part of a minority group. The National Coalition for Child Protection Reform recently addressed this alarming trend.
An Alabama baby seized more than a year ago from her mother by Shelby County DHR (Department of Human Resources) is to be returned home in a dramatic turnaround of events. Public outcry and media exposure of corruption eventually led to meetings with state DHR officials and a change of venue for Haly Boothe and her husband Anthony Lett’s case. Their case was transferred out of Shelby County, and almost immediately, things began to change. Now, Avyonna is on her way home. Avyonna was taken from her parents, Haly and Anthony, when she was only 3 days old. She was a breastfeeding newborn taken from her mother's breast before she ever left the hospital. There was no court order, warrant, or emergency circumstance, but the department mistakenly believed that they had the right to seize children without such, in direct opposition to the 4th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. Caseworkers from the same department seized Avyonna's cousin - Baby Braelon - just one month later from Haly's 14 year old sister who was the alleged victim of a rape. It was one of the most-read stories covered by the Medical Kidnap division of Health Impact News and read by millions of people who were outraged. The family alleged then that they had been unjustly targeted for years by Shelby County DHR, with multiple family members seized without any evidence of abuse or neglect. While the grandparents of the Prince family are overjoyed that their granddaughter baby Avyonna will soon be home, they are still not permitted to have visitation with Baby Braelon. Yet, it is reported that the family of the biological father, accused rapist Samuel Woods III, is now being allowed visitation with the baby every other weekend.
The incidents of Child Protection Services medically kidnapping children from good families is becoming so widespread, that one country, India, is now giving legal advice to their citizens on how to avoid having their children kidnapped in the United States when they travel to the U.S. on short to mid-term job assignments. This is a sad commentary on the state of child safety in the U.S., and just like many of the stories we report on here at Health Impact News on our MedicalKidnap.com website, parents are reporting horrific things are happening to their children once they are put into foster care, such as sexual abuse.