Parents of Down Syndrome Baby Euthanized by Vanderbilt Hospital Expose Lies of Social Workers in Court

Could things start to be turning around for the Rivenburg family? At stake in the most recent court hearing was the termination of parental rights for the parents of Annalise Rivenburg, the big sister of deceased Baby Steffen. While their family and many supporters around the world waited and prayed, Steffen Rivenburg, Sr., and Patricia Tornberg walked into Judge Wayne Shelton's Clarksville, Tennessee, courtroom on Monday, July 9, 2018. They had been in that courtroom many times, and every time they felt like were walking into a lions den, facing attorneys, social workers, doctors, Guardian ad Litems (GALs), and a judge, all of whom seemed determined to tear them and their family apart. This time, however, it was different. Grandmother Lisa Rivenburg, spokesperson for the family, told Health Impact News: "It was epic! The judge LISTENED to the kids [Steffen, Sr., and Patricia] this time!" This is the first time since their children were taken from them by the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) on February 2, 2017, that the family has felt that they were listened to in court. They don't know why things changed, but they see this as a huge answer to prayer. Annalise is still not home with her family, but her parents' parental rights have not been severed. For now she remains in the foster home that she was placed in by DCS, but she is not up for adoption.

Tennessee Court Seeks to Terminate Parental Rights for Young Sister of Down Syndrome Baby Euthanized by Vanderbilt Hospital

It has been just over a year since the death of Baby Steffen Rivenburg Jr. at the hands of Vanderbilt Hospital, Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS) and Judge Wayne Shelton's court. Since his tragic, senseless death, his family has been fighting DCS and the court for custody of Baby Steffen's older sister, Annalise. On Monday, July 9, parents, Steffen Rivenburg Sr. and Patricia Thornberg, will again go to court over custody of Annalise. Maybe. They were supposed to have court on Monday, June 11. When they went to court that day, they were told that court was cancelled. They again went to court on June 19 for a scheduled foster care review board hearing. When they arrived on that date, they were told that court was changed to July 23. They later received documents in the mail telling that that court was to be held on July 23. Quite by accident, they learned that the July 23 hearing has been moved to Monday, July 9. Steffen's mother, Lisa Rivenburg, the unofficial family spokesperson, told Health Impact News that they called the court this past Monday, July 3, about filing some paperwork. That was when they learned that their court date had moved up 2 weeks. If they hadn't called the courthouse, they never would have known about the date change. The hearing will presumably address motions filed by DCS, including a "Motion to Ratify Per Plan and Motion to Review Permanency" for Annalise. On June 11, 2018, DCS filed for termination of parental rights over Annalise. The family has 30 days to respond to the TPR filing. They hope to address the filing in court on Monday, July 9. The public is invited to come to the Montgomery County Juvenile Court at Two Millennium Plaza, Clarksville, TN 37040 on Monday, July 9, at 10:30 a.m.

7-Year-Old Sister of Down Syndrome Baby Euthanized by Vanderbilt Hospital Still Not Returned to Family – State Wants Her Adopted

Friday, June 8, 2018, marks the 1-year anniversary of the tragic death of medically kidnapped Baby Steffen Rivenburg at Vanderbilt Hospital, under the care of Tennessee Department of Children's Services (DCS). His big sister, Annalise, remains in foster care and DCS is, again, trying to terminate parental rights. There will be a march and candlelight vigil in Baby Steffen's honor on Friday, June 8th, at the Nashville State Capitol building, followed by a Saturday afternoon event with several speakers discussing judicial accountability, family integrity, and other issues important to families. The public is invited to attend. Baby Steffen's story was one of the most heart-wrenching stories that we have covered at Health Impact News, and there still remains no justice for the family. At times, over the past year, it appeared that Annalise might be coming home. However, about 2 weeks ago, the family received a letter in the mail telling them to be in court on Monday, June 11, because DCS intends to file to terminate parental rights.

“Mental Illness” Label Used to Medically Kidnap Mother and Try to Adopt Out Her Children

Tara Chapman, a 33 year old disabled mother, was handcuffed, drugged, and carted away to a facility that is 8 hours from her family. She is being held prisoner in Tennessee under the guise of mental illness, even though a mental hospital in Virginia recently said that she did not meet the criteria to commit her. The state of Tennessee wants Tara's three boys to stay in foster care, away from family. The family wants to know how far the state is willing to go to ensure that neither Tara nor her family gets her 3 children back? A fourth child, Tara's daughter, is being cared for by her mother Whitney, the children's grandmother, but the state refuses to allow the grandmother to care for the 3 boys. There was supposed to be a court hearing on Friday, April 13, 2018, but the juvenile court cancelled it without warning less than 24 hours before. Tara has suffered from mild mental illness for many years, but it was only after her children were seized by Child Protective Services and abused in foster care that her mental health deteriorated to the point where she qualified for disability. It would appear that the state of Tennessee is using her disability as an excuse to adopt out her children, even though her family is willing and able to care for the children.

Tennessee Family Seeks Lawsuit for Malpractice, Negligence, and Wrongful Death Over Down Syndrome Baby Taken Off of Life Support

A Tennessee family is crying out for justice. When doctors, social workers, and lawyers pushed last spring to have Baby Steffen taken off of life support, his family and their supporters pleaded for him to be given a chance to live. They could not understand why there was such a concerted effort to end Baby Steffen's life. It made no sense to them. Now, the results of a private autopsy are back, and the reasons seem crystal clear to the family. According to Baby Steffen's grandmother, Lisa Rivenburg: "It's open and shut malpractice, negligence, and wrongful death." They have suspected all along that somebody was covering something up. Now, they believe they have the evidence they need to pursue a lawsuit. They are in need of an attorney willing and able to take on the case.

Disabled Virginia Mom Arrested with No Warrant, No Charges Because Health Impact News Exposed her Story

Police have arrested a mother in Virginia. She was charged with no crime. There was no warrant. Tara Chapman, who has a mental health disability, was reportedly dragged out of the house, placed in handcuffs, and taken away in a police car yesterday, March 7, 2018. She was taken to a mental health facility where she was handcuffed to a hospital bed. Whitney Manning is her mother, and she has been fighting Tennessee's Child Protective Services for her daughter and grandchildren for several years. She is terrified for the very life of her daughter. Attorney Connie Reguli told Health Impact News that she believes that Tara's arrest was "all retaliation" for their story being exposed. She said that Tara was not a threat to herself or to anyone else. "She was TRULY medically kidnapped. They are treating her like a criminal. This is true abuse of the mentally ill." Tara Chapman had graduated with honors from college and had a teaching degree. The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS) became involved during a time when Tara was being abused by her sons' father. She had struggled with depression and bipolar disorder to some degree before that, but her children being taken literally drove her crazy. Now, after exposing her story to the public, a court has removed her mother as her guardian and placed under the custody of the State, and her family does not even know where she is located.

Tennessee Mom of Premature Twins Who Refused Vaccines is Arrested and Jailed

Almost a year after her youngest set of twins was taken by Child Protective Services, a Tennessee mother was arrested this week and charged with 2 counts of felony child neglect. Tamika Seagraves was blindsided by the arrest when she appeared for a child support hearing on Tuesday, October 24. Friends are trying to raise money to get her out of jail. According to the Nashville and Davidson County court website, her bond is set at $20,000. Her arraignment is set for 9 am on November 8 at the Justice A.A. Birch Building Courthouse in Nashville, Tennessee. Tamika has been fighting to get the twins back home since they were medically kidnapped in January 2017 by the Department of Children's Services, due to their low weight. She has always believed that their seizure by DCS had less to do with their weight and more to do with the unusual circumstances of their birth. Zaylen and Zaliyah were born on December 5, 2016. They were premature - born at 34 weeks. They were the third set of fraternal twins born to their mother, and all 3 sets of twin were a boy and girl pair. Their oldest brother Zayden died in the hospital at 13 days old. He and his twin Ziria were micro-preemies, born at just 24 weeks gestation. Two years later, Tamika Seagraves gave birth to another set of twins - Jordan and Jaliyah, born at 35 weeks. Again, tragedy struck when little Jordan passed away in his sleep. He was almost 2 months old. DCS removed Jaliyah from her home at that time, accusing Tamika of demonstrating “erratic behaviors” because she refused vaccinations, stopped a medication for her child out of concerns for its side effects, and “tried to have Jaliyah seen by a holistic chiropractor as opposed to a pediatrician.” While Tamika was fighting the state to get Jaliyah back, she gave birth to her third set of twins. When they were born, Tamika determined not to take any chances with their health. She refused all vaccines, the Vitamin K shot, the eye ointment, and circumcision for her son. She chose to exclusively breastfeed. Whistleblowers who are NICU nurses have confirmed that they have seen premature infants injured in the NICU by vaccines, and a 2015 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that there are adverse effects from vaccinating very low birth-weight infants. Now, her biggest fear, according to her close friend who contacted Health Impact News, is that her babies will be vaccinated and her son circumcised without her consent.

Tennessee Sister of Baby Steffen Traumatized Seeing Dad Arrested During Chuck E. Cheese Visit

Steffen Rivenburg, Sr., looked forward to his visit with his daughter Annalise. It was the first visit since Baby Steffen's funeral more than 3 weeks ago. This would truly be a special visit - at Chuck E. Cheese, where Annalise should have been able to enjoy time playing with her Daddy. Instead, she watched him be escorted out of the restaurant by police. Her grandmother, Lisa Rivenburg, said that she felt like it was a set-up. There was no way that her son was going to miss his scheduled visit with Annalise. "I cannot believe that they used my granddaughter as BAIT to get him here to arrest him!" There was no warrant for his arrest. They asked, and were told by police that they didn't have to show one. Lisa told Health Impact News that her son was not read his Miranda rights. She later learned that the charge was "contempt," presumably over the demand, without a court order, for a hair follicle drug test. The entire family is very concerned about Annalise, a little girl who was taken from her family, placed in a home with strangers, and watched her baby brother get sick, die, and be buried. She had surely looked forward to visiting her parents and playing with them at Chuck E. Cheese. It was a 2 hour drive from her foster house to meet them. Now, the place that is supposed to be associated with fun and being a kid will forever be associated with the traumatic memory of seeing her daddy arrested.

Tennessee Parents of Baby Steffen Jailed While Appearing in Court and Questioning Drug Test

Patricia Tornberg and Steffen Rivenburg, Sr., thought they were going to court this morning, July 17, 2017, to try to bring Baby Steffen's big sister Annalise home to be with family members and out of foster care. Instead, the judge had them arrested and thrown into jail. Family members and supporters alike are shocked at the turn of events, and see this as another way for the court and DCS to grasp at any way to justify their actions and deflect attention away from their role in Baby Steffen's death. Last month (June 2017) Baby Steffen was taken off of life support against the wishes of his family, and before the family could find a second doctor's opinion regarding his condition. Baby Steffen was removed from his parents while still healthy, and yet the parents had no say over his medical care or removal from life support. Tennessee DCS also removed Baby Steffen's sister, Annalise, from the parents. Advocate Serra Frank told Health Impact News: "This judge is scrambling to get rid of this mess, and he's just making it worse." The hearing was supposed to be about hearing motions for Annalise to be placed with family members. Grandmother Lisa Rivenburg and two aunts, each willing and able to care for Annalise, were present at the hearing, but the motions were never heard. Judge Wayne Shelton reportedly stated that he did not intend to hear their motions. Instead, the focus turned to a motion filed on July 1 without the family's knowledge by Margaret Parker, attorney for DCS, to compel the parents to submit to drug testing.

Tennessee Family Buries Baby Steffen as Social Workers Stop Photos – Sister Still in Foster Care

Baby Steffen was buried on Friday, July 7, almost a month after his death when DCS, Vanderbilt hospital, and a judge decided to overrule his parents' rights to make decisions for their baby. The Tennessee family was thankful that Steffen's big sister was allowed to leave the foster home to attend her brother's funeral. Even so, social workers kept a tight reign on Annalise, and threatened to take her away if the family continued to take photos. The children's grandmother Lisa Rivenburg said it was their last time together as a family with Baby Steffen, and she felt that the social workers' threats were a cruel addition to an already difficult day. Their fight continues to try to bring Annalise home and to find answers to what happened to Baby Steffen in DCS custody.