Thursday, December 04, 2014

Christians Sue Wash. State for Seizing Their Kids

Washington state authorities were tipped off that a couple in Bellingham chose not to involve medical professionals in the care of their infant child and newly born twins, and so officials showed up at their home and took all three breast-fed children because the oldest one had a skin rash, but now after more than a month in state custody, the child is "suffering from pneumonia."

UPDATE 12/5/14: Court returns all children to parents, but requires physician and government care (see article excerpts below)

For background, click headlines below to read previous articles:

"Right-wingers'" Newborn Taken by New Hampshire Officials

Judge Rules Against Religion, Favors Hospital

'Experts' Say Obama-Schooling Should Begin at Age 18 Months

President Obama Replaces Fathers with Government Mentors

Obama's MSNBC: Kids Belong to State, NOT Parents

Entire West Virginia County Becomes School-run Orphanage-Plus

-- From "Baby custody hearing continues into third day" by Peter Wagner, KGMI-AM790 (Bellingham, WA) 12/4/14

According to state Representative Jason Overstreet who’s been interested in the case, a decision on where Erica Carey and Cleave Rengo’s children will end up could be decided Friday morning.

The story has caused a firestorm on Facebook.

Carey says her twins were healthy after a recent home birth.

DSHS says a court found there was cause to remove Carey’s twins and her ten month old from the home.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Couple fights for custody of children after home birth" by Alison Morrow, KING-TV5 (Seattle, WA) 12/3/14

Almost immediately after [their first child's] birth, Carey was pregnant again. This time, the couple's Christian beliefs influenced their decision to have an unassisted home birth. . . . however, paramedics showed up when someone reported the birth.

According to Carey and Rengo, the paramedics suggested taking the newborns to the hospital for a check up, but they refused, worrying about the twins' health with fragile immune systems among patients fighting disease.

Soon after, CPS took all 3 children.

In a petition filed Tuesday, the couple's attorney calls the seizure "unlawful, unconscionable, and inexcusable." Though there were calls to the home about domestic issues prior to the children's birth, the petition claims no evidence of "clear and present danger," rather that CPS is trying to impose their standards of "proper parenting."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From Facebook posting by Representative Jason Overstreet, 42nd district of Washington

The state wrapped up [their court case] within 20 minutes, trying at the close of their argument to introduce new exhibits showing medical problems with one of the babies. The only problem was that the diagnosis for pneumonia, ear infections and reflux were well after the babies had been removed from their breast feeding mother.

The State fumbled, with the defense objecting to the haphazard manner in which the State introduced those documents. The State, realizing it’s mistake, withdrew one of the documents and moved on.

At that point the defense team proceeded to systematically disassemble the State’s premise–the family argues; there are “mental health issues” in the home; and the parents weren’t adequately using the rash cream.

When the defense questioned the CPS supervisor as to whether or not the parents’ religious beliefs were a consideration in this case, the State objected and the commissioner was very leery of the issue, demanding that the defense proceed carefully. I’ll leave you to think about that one.

The State is on thin ice and they know it. At one point during cross-examination, being pointedly questioned by one of the defense attorneys asking incredibly damaging questions to the State’s case, the court commissioner had to ask the CPS supervisor on the stand to speak up because “your voice is fading.” Mine would have been fading too.

To read the entire Facebook post above, CLICK HERE.

UPDATE 12/5/14 - "Court: Return Rengo children to parents, with conditions" by Kie Relyea, The Bellingham (Washington) Herald

Saying he was giving a Bellingham couple a “second chance,” a Whatcom County Superior Court commissioner decided Friday, Dec. 5, to return their three young children, who had been taken into protective custody amid the state’s concerns over a chaotic home life.

But Commissioner Thomas Verge told Cleave Rengo, 23, and Erica Carey, 29, that the children would be removed again if they didn’t follow his conditions as well as cooperate with Child Protective Services.

Both parents also testified on Friday as their attorneys sought to show that the parents did provide medical care for their children, including antibiotic ointment to Levi’s leg for his eczema, which had been a matter of contention between both sides, and that they did augment Carey’s breastfeeding with formula to increase the twins’ weight. They said that while there had been numerous contacts with law enforcement, none involved Cleave Rengo physically assaulting Carey.

Verge said they could continue to provide homeopathic care for their children but also must consult a pediatrician. And the twins must continue to gain weight, he said, noting they were in the 1 percentile for their age when they were weighed on Nov. 8.

Verge also chastised the couple for resisting CPS workers and for their hostility toward them.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.