Missionaries Christian and Danielle Holm were devastated Tuesday when it became clear that their baby was not coming home with them that day. It has been more than 2 months since Alabama social workers and sheriffs ripped their newborn baby from his mother's arms and placed him into foster care, even though the parents have broken no laws and have not harmed their child. Judge Melody Brooks Walker was due to render a judgement in their case on Tuesday, December 20, after hearing the case on Wednesday and Thursday of the previous week. That didn't happen. The Holms and several supporters came to the courthouse before the scheduled 4 pm hearing, hoping for answers. They received word Tuesday afternoon that Judge Walker had recused herself from their case that morning. This was reportedly done "to avoid the appearance of impropriety." They were told that there will not be another hearing or a decision on the case until a new judge is appointed. They don't know when that will be. Tears flowed freely in the parking lot as Danielle learned that the judge would not be issuing any judgement, and that she would not be getting her baby back that day: "I can't keep going home without my baby." Christian Holm sought to understand what was happening: "This is inhumane to torture our little baby and us like this."
It has been almost 2 months since itinerant missionaries Christian and Danielle Holm's newborn baby was ripped from his mother's breast in an Alabama hospital by the Department of Human Resources (DHR). Social workers called in hospital security, police, and a sheriff's detective after the couple declined a social security card and birth certificate for their baby. There was a case of mistaken identity, but that was easily and quickly demonstrated to be false. There was no abuse and no neglect, but that didn't stop DHR from seizing the 1 day old infant from his parents, allegedly without a warrant, court order, or emergency circumstances. Their baby is reportedly still in foster care. Now, the FBI is allegedly stepping in.
Theirs was a spiritual journey of getting back to nature and rejecting the materialism that they felt held them in bondage. Christian and Danielle Holm began their journey together in early 2016 as itinerant missionaries, traveling across the country and speaking to churches as they sought to live simply and biblically. The last thing that they expected was for Child Protective Services to seize their 1 day old baby literally off of his mother's breast in an Alabama hospital. What started out as an apparent case of mistaken identity has turned into a nightmare that the family cannot wake up from. They don't understand why their baby was taken from them, or why he still remains in state custody in foster care while social workers continue to challenge their religious beliefs. Hospital officials allegedly became originally concerned when the couple refused to file a birth certificate or take out a social security card for their newborn child, prompting social services and local law enforcement to get involved. According to a close family friend who contacted Health Impact News, the couple are grieving. "The most sacred thing to Danielle and Christian is the bond of male and female coming together and giving life with God. This bonding process in the beginning of a baby's life has been stolen from them. There was never any reason for their baby to be taken from them." Instead of beginning life on his mother's breast milk, the newborn baby is now being force-fed commercial formula.
Haly Boothe, a young Shelby County, Alabama mother whose 3 day old baby was seized by DHR without a court order, warrant, or evidence of wrongdoing, is still fighting to get her children back. Many who are close to the family have expressed that they are appalled at what they say is injustice in the family court system. Haly recently sent a lengthy letter to Alabama legislators and others describing what she calls "a lifetime of attacks" by DHR. She posed numerous questions challenging many of the actions of DHR personnel, including those of her children's Guardan ad litem, Erin Welborn, which she has described as "unfair." As of the writing of this article, none of her concerns have been addressed. Her parental rights to her other two children were terminated, even though her family maintains that the state has never produced any evidence of wrongdoing by Haly. They believe that she lost her children because she was in the foster care system herself when she had her first two children at age 15 and 16. Her children were kept by DHR when Haly aged out of the system at age 19. She was not permitted to take her children with her. Before her newest baby, Avyonna, was born in May, Haly was told by social workers and attorneys alike that they were not going to take her baby when she was born. However, Baby Avyonna was seized by Shelby County DHR at only 3 days old in May from a Jefferson County hospital. The social worker reportedly told her that it was because DHR already had the other children in their custody. Since the writing of Haly's letter to state legislators and the Alabama Governor, her court-appointed attorney wrote that he felt that he had no choice but to withdraw from her case. Haly is now without legal representation. Her family is concerned that there are no attorneys left in Shelby County with the ethics and courage to stand up for her. They hope to find an attorney in Alabama who is not a part of the network of Shelby County attorneys.
Baby Braelon and his young mother have been released to the custody of a family member, according to a source close to the Prince family. The mother's twin brother remains in a group home, but the source, who asked not to be named, reports that the judge in the case, Judge Corey Moore, appears to finally be listening to the evidence in the case. No more will the young mother be under the watchful guard of the 24 hour sitters. No more will she be isolated from her support system and everyone she cares about. When she attends church, she will be able to sit with family and friends instead of social workers. She won't be followed into the bathroom. She will be living in a much cleaner environment. Her phone conversations with family members will not be monitored. She will be able to breastfeed her baby on demand and meet his needs, without being coerced to follow poor decisions for his care made by sitters, social workers, and group home mothers. If he needs to go to the doctor, she will be able to get him seen without having to beg for days. In short, the young mother will no longer be treated like a prisoner.
The assumption of the public is that when a child is removed from his or her parents, the government has a compelling reason to be involved, based on allegations of abuse or neglect. Sometimes, however, that is not the case, and children are literally separated from their families because a social worker thinks a parent MIGHT cause harm in the future, even if there is no current abuse or harm being committed. This appears to be the case with an Alabama mother whose 3 day old breastfeeding baby was taken from her at the hospital in May. The mom, 20 year old Haly Booth, is an older sister of the 14 year old rape victim whose story of her baby's kidnapping has been heard around the world. Shelby County DHR has seized Haly's newborn baby with no court order, no trial, and no evidence. The reasons they have given in a written letter to the mother are basically that they do not think she is a good mother, and that she might harm her baby in the future. The mother is a former foster child herself, and that is used against her. Is this what we have come to in the United States of America, where children can be kidnapped by the State so easily? Is any family safe?
A set of twins seized from their home in June by Shelby County DHR in Alabama may have to repeat the 8th grade, even though both were promoted by their school to the 9th grade. Family and friends are very concerned about the impact that the Department of Human Resources (DHR) will have on the twins' education. There have also been numerous problems with visitation attempts with the twins. Their family's story has been at the heart of an ongoing series of articles from Health Impact News after one of the twins, a young rape victim, had her baby seized from her at Shelby County Baptist Medical Center on June 15 without a court order, warrant, or emergency circumstances. Both twins were told last week by DHR officials that they would be going into the 8th grade when school starts, even though both of them completed the 8th grade in the spring. They were promoted by their school to the 9th grade before they were taken from their home. In the meantime, when the twins are allowed to appear in public they are surrounded by many government workers which some observers say feel like the Gestapo or the KGB. The newborn baby also continues to suffer in State care.
Reporter Relates First-hand View of Corruption and Child Kidnapping in Alabama Shelby County Court House
People in Alabama connected to the Prince family story that Health Impact News has been reporting on since the seizure of the new-born baby born to a 14 year-old alleged rape victim while still in the hospital, have reported to us that everyone they have met has now heard of this story. The stories we have published in regards to Alabama DHR's apparent attempt to destroy the Prince family have been read by hundreds of thousands of people, with the first story we published having well over 1 million views alone. Given the population of Alabama, it is safe to assume that the majority of the residents are familiar now with this story. When people walk into retail stores, stop to get gas, etc. - everyone is talking about this story and has heard about it. And yet, the local media is not reporting it. Many have written to us explaining that they are afraid to do so, such is the perceived reign of terror DHR holds over the population, with their seemingly unlimited power to seize children away from families without even having a court order or warrant. One person has visited the courthouse in Shelby County themselves to see if these types of allegations are true. Below is a record of what they saw. For obvious reasons, this person wants to remain anonymous.
"They just make it up as they go along." That is what more than one person told Health Impact News about Alabama Shelby County DHR's treatment of the Prince family. Friends of the family were horrified when DHR seized the baby of Dee and Rodney Prince's 14 year old granddaughter in June. While the man accused of raping her sits in jail accused of raping 3 other underage girls, the young mother and her twin brother have also lost their freedom and remain in DHR custody. The latest developments have the family reeling. Their older sister Haly and both of the 14 year old twins continue to suffer at the hands of Shelby County's Child Protective Services, under the Department of Human Resources (DHR).
Trevar Hotaling is 18 years old and has allegedly been in the Alabama foster care system, under the control of Alabama DHR (Department of Human Resources) in Shelby County, for over two years. Trevar posted a video to his Facebook page on July 18th regarding abuses within Alabama DHR, and the video quickly gained hundreds of viewers. He recorded it at 2:40 a.m. because he has problems sleeping at night. He uploaded it to YouTube, and then did a second video. Trevar states that the reason he is making these videos is because there are many kids in Alabama DHR that "do not deserve to be taken from their families." Trevar admits that he is scared to speak out, like all foster kids, and that he will probably get into trouble for posting the videos. "It's worth it. Because if I don't speak up, who's going to speak up for these kids?" "So hopefully somebody will find these videos that can actually help us. Somebody who has the power to stand up for the kids, for the families, for the parents that can't say nothing or do nothing to change." "Just remember every kid is a check. Every kid is a ton of money (for the State)."