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CPS claims home birth is not in the best interests of the child

While there is no doubt that Child Protection Services does positive work, some may doubt its good intentions in certain cases. California readers may be interested in a case in another state where a couple is fighting to get their children back after they were removed from their custody. While CPS argues that it always acts in the best interests of the child, this couple is trying to prove that this was not the case.

CPS took an interest in this family after it was reported that the couple, who has strong Christian beliefs, chose home birth for their second child. This birth took place within a year of the birth of their first child, and to their surprise, this time it was a set of twins. The mother was now breastfeeding three babies. Someone reported the home birth, and paramedics arrived at the home, suggesting the couple should have the newborn babies checked out at the hospital. The parents feared exposing their babies to conditions where other patients fighting various diseases may threaten their fragile immune systems.

CPS arrived and suggested that the older child's eczema should be treated with ointments containing steroids, but the parents refused, insisting on continuing treatment with natural products in order to avoid the side effects of the steroids. CPS paid several visits to the couple but soon removed all three children. The couple filed a petition, claiming that the removal of the children was inexcusable, unlawful and unconscionable. The petition also pointed out that the 10-month-old baby had developed pneumonia since being in the state's care.

The couple contends that home birth is not unlawful in any way, nor is it a risk factor for child safety. While the outcome of this petition is yet unknown, California parents who face similar circumstances may want to consult with a legal professional who is experienced in the field of child custody matters. Such a professional will protect the parental rights of the parents while not losing sight of the best interests of the child or children.

Source:, "Couple fights for custody of children after home birth", Alison Morrow, Dec. 3, 2014

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