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)."
Newborn Kidnapped Baby of 14 Year Old Alabama Mother to be Force Circumcised Against Wishes of Family
Baby Braelon has been scheduled to be circumcised on Tuesday, against his mother's wishes, according to the Save Braelon's Family Facebook page. Social workers are also reportedly demanding that his mother breastfeed him every 2 hours around the clock, and they are waking them up in the middle of the night to do so. While the young mother was still in Shelby Baptist Medical Center with her baby, Dr. Ashley Duke Gooding allegedly asked the mom about circumcising her baby. After the mother sought information on the pros and cons of the procedure, Dr. Gooding allegedly told her that it was entirely her choice as to whether or not to circumcise Braelon. Staff informed her that it was primarily a cosmetic procedure without medical benefits. When she informed the staff that she chose not to circumcise her son, Dr. Gooding allegedly praised her, saying that she had made a good decision for her baby. However, now that both the mother and her son are in DHR care, an appointment has been scheduled for the baby to be circumcised on Tuesday, July 12, one day before he is a month old. It was on Wednesday that the baby was released from Children's Hospital after becoming gravely ill. Yet, less than a week later, DHR wants to subject him to being circumcised. Why?
Health Impact News spoke with Lisa Chasteen, the attorney who has been retained by the family to represent Braelon's mother and her twin brother, and Chasteen has some concerns about recent developments in the story, as she attempts to provide legal counsel for the twins. Due to the long holiday weekend, the attorney could not file a notice of appearance with the court until Tuesday, but as of the time of writing this update on Wednesday July 6th, she has still not been able to file her notice of appearance. When Attorney Chasteen attempted to talk with the young mother at the hospital, the DHR attorney reportedly refused to allow her to speak with her, denying the mother her right to counsel. The DHR attorney communicated to Chasteen that they are not the ones limiting visitation with the young mother, stating that it is the hospital's policies and procedures which are limiting the visitors. Health Impact News phoned the hospital and inquired about the visitation policy. We were told that visitation is from 9 am to 9 pm, but that it may be limited either by the parents, the doctor, or DHR. According to the Patient's Bill of Rights, visitation may be limited "when Children's (Hospital) is aware of an existing court order restricting contact." There is no such court order, and the family has not restricted visitation. However, the attorney for the twins reports that family and loved ones have been threatened and restricted in visiting and supporting the mother.
Newborn Alabama Baby is Now Sick in the Hospital While Under DHR Care After Being Taken from 14-year Old Mother
The story we have been reporting on in Alabama with the young 14-year old mother who is an alleged rape victim and had her child taken away at birth by Child Protective Services (DHR) seemingly took a turn for the worse today, as the family is reporting that the newborn baby is now in the hospital with possible Spinal Meningitis. How much of a role in the baby’s illness has the environment of the group foster home caused, where Alabama DHR is forcibly keeping both the 14-year old mother and her newborn baby against the wishes of the family?
Health Impact News referenced the article "Alabama DHR and Due Process Concerns" written by Shelby County Sheriff Deputy Lee Stockman on LinkedIn in our article: "Health Impact News Named in Alabama Lawsuit for Exposing State-sponsored Child Kidnapping." But the article disappeared shortly after that, so under the Fair Use rule we are reprinting it here.
In a move that can only be interpreted as an attempt to restrict free speech and deny the 1st Amendment right of freedom of the press, Alabama Circuit Judge Corey B. Moore had Health Impact News reporter Terri LaPoint escorted into his courtroom yesterday to give her a stern warning. Investigative reporter Terri LaPoint commented: "I had no idea that I would be taken into court today! I was simply outside (the courtroom) as a friend of the family when they called me in. I was only dressed in a t-shirt and jeans, since I never intended to enter the courtroom." Mrs. LaPoint was at the courthouse with the Prince family who had a hearing that day regarding one of the newborn babies that was taken away from the parents by DHR recently. Mrs. LaPoint has reported on the family and their fight against Alabama DHR which has removed two newborn nursing babies recently while still in the hospital at the time of birth. Her original story quickly went viral and was read by over 1 million people in the first 24 hours. Mrs. LaPoint relates how the court-appointed attorney for one of the young mothers who was at court that day explained to her that the lead counsel for DHR allegedly wanted to call her in and put her on the witness stand. They were allegedly upset with our reporting on these stories. The attorney appointed to the family allegedly objected, stating that she had no legal counsel at the moment and was not part of the case, but the judge ordered her to be brought into the courtroom anyway. Once Mrs. LaPoint was escorted into the courtroom, which she states this was the first time she was ever inside a courtroom, Judge Moore asked her what her name was, and told her that because she did not have legal counsel present, she did not have to make any comments or answer any questions. Mrs. LaPoint reports that Judge Moore then warned her that she should retain legal counsel, and become familiar with the confidentiality laws regarding juveniles in Alabama. The court-appointed attorney for the Prince family then apparently told Mrs. LaPoint on her way out that this was not strictly a "gag order," but that the judge was upset and wanted her to "play ball."