Couple Gets Kids Taken Away After Home Birth
When one of my friends posted a story on Facebook the other day about a couple that had their children removed from their home following a home birth, I was skeptical. No way could this be real, I commented on the post. Is this story legit?
I just couldn't fathom how, in this day and age of freedom, choices, and a mother's right to her own body, something so important as the birth of her children would cause such a controversy.
But as it turns out, it really did happen.
Erica May Carey and Cleave Reng, who claim to be married in “the eyes of God” (the couple aren't legally wed), were already the parents of a 10-month-old son when they decided to plan a home birth for the arrival of their next baby. Unbeknownst to the couple until Carey was delivering, however, the “baby” turned out to be twins.
With a desire for a completely intervention-free birth, Carey hadn't even had so much as an ultrasound during her pregnancy, so she had no idea she was carrying twins until her belly didn't exactly deflate after baby #1 made its arrival.
Although the twins arrived without any complications (thank goodness), the trouble began after someone reported the birth and paramedics arrived on the scene. The couple refused to take the infants in for a check-up at the hospital, citing they didn't want to expose the infants, with their fragile immune systems, to any unnecessary germs at the hospital. (Which, as a nurse, I must say, is a valid point.)
When they refused, someone took it upon themselves (maybe the paramedics?) to report the couple to CPS, who promptly arrived on their doorstep the next day.
From there, the story gets a bit murky. According to CPS, the couple appeared to be putting their children in danger, refusing steroid treatment for the older son's severe eczema, among other issues that the couple had prior to the birth, such as the father's arrest and refusal to comply with treatment for his bipolar disorder. Ultimately, the state decided to remove all three children from the home.
In the resulting legal proceedings, the CPS maintained that the home birth had nothing to do with the decision to remove the children, but the couple portrayed their stance as parents trying to do what they felt was best for their children with holistic, non-Western medicine.
Last month, the courts ruled to return all three children (the twins are now 3 months old) to the parents with strict conditions. “This is about second chances because you blew the first one,” the state commissioner told the couple.
What do you think? Should the couple have had their babies taken away for safety?