Family embraces newborn – loved no matter how he was conceived. Photo credit: Juda Myers.
Since this story was published, it has now gone viral on social media, and is expected to be read by more than 1 million people in the next day or so.
Many people have asked questions that we want to address in this update. First, a common comment is “there must be more to the story.” Yes, in all of these medical kidnapping stories, there is always “more.” But what we strive to do at Health Impact News is stick to the facts. The facts in this particular story are based on eye-witness accounts who were present at the hospital on the day this event occurred. DHR, as well as all “Child Protective Services” around the country, refuses to comment on these cases. So anything other than what we have reported here is speculation.
Many have asked why the local media will not report on this story. That is a great question. The answer is pure speculation. Are there financial connections, for example, between the media and the hospital in this story, or other local connections applying pressure to not report on this story? We don’t know. Local media is reportedly telling readers that there is “more to the story” and that it is not worth reporting. Really?? If you work for one of the local mainstream media outlets in the Birmingham Alabama area, and want to “blow the whistle” on why this story is being censored, please contact us. We will keep your identity confidential, if that is requested.
Here are the facts we know. The accused rapist is NOT a family member, as some are suggesting. A DHR social worker told the family that they are investigating several other reports of the 19 year old alleged rapist raping other underage girls.
The grandparents have been approved by DHR to care for their grandchildren, and if their home was unsafe, why have the other grandchildren been allowed to remain in the home until now?
The 14 year old mother and her twin brother have now been seized by DHR. A tearful Dee Prince called at about 6 pm on Thurday to report that DHR and the police were on their way to take the twins. She had no idea why. When they arrived, the family asked for a court order or warrant. There was none. It was reportedly a “DHR order.” Could this be retaliation for the story going viral and putting pressure on DHR?
The young post-partum mother was permitted to pack a few things, but her twin brother was not permitted to pack anything at all. They were both quite upset and didn’t want to leave their family.
A police officer present at the scene reportedly told the boy that, if he didn’t get in the car, he would taze him. The boy was not even privy to the reason he was being taken, much less was he a criminal, yet this Alabaster police officer was willing to risk the child’s life in order to place him in “child protective” custody. (See link to taser dangers here.) He left in just his shorts and a T-shirt.
Though the DHR social worker promised that the twins would not be separated, they were taken away in different vehicles.
Mrs. Prince asked for the social worker’s name, but she refused to give her full name. She told her:
You’ll find out all you need to know in court tomorrow.
An observer on the scene was able to locate the worker on Facebook and identify her as Adrianna Carter.
Just as before, the social worker had insisted that she speak to the minors alone, without their guardians present.
Later in the evening, the family got news of the single bright spot in their whole nightmare of the past 2 days – the young mother was reunited with her baby, and was able to breastfeed him. However, she will not be able to attend either of her own hearings tomorrow – neither the one for her newborn son at 1 pm, nor the one for her and her twin brother at 9 am. The twins were, indeed, separated.
A Facebook page has been set up to support the family, called SAVE Braelon’s Family.
There will now be TWO rallies on Friday at the Shelby County Courthouse. The first Save Braelon’s Family Protest rally will be at 8:30 am, and there will be another Save Braelon’s Family Protest rally at 12:30 pm.
Alabama Child Protective Services Steals New-born Breast-feeding Baby from Rape Victim While Still at the Hospital
by Terri LaPoint
Health Impact News
Juda Myers of Choices4Life calls her a “Hero Mom.” A 14 year old Alabama girl became pregnant from a rape, but she courageously chose life for the baby that was conceived. She refused to consider the option of abortion, and told her grandparents, who are her legal guardians, that if they would help her, she would raise and love this baby.
Instead of celebrating her as a hero, Alabama child protective services – DHR – came into the hospital yesterday and seized her newborn baby, leaving a devastated young mother and her family in their wake.
Juda Myers and I were there to witness the trampling of every Constitutional and moral right of this young mother, and we are shocked and devastated at what we saw. There is no legal or moral justification for what we saw happen at Shelby Baptist Medical Center in Alabaster, Alabama, on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
Choices4Life founder Juda Myers flew to Alabama from Texas on Monday in order to be supportive of this young mother who chose life for her baby conceived in rape. The tagline for the ministry is “Restoring honor and dignity to women and children of rape conception.” Juda says:
This 14 year old’s dignity was stolen. Cases like hers are exactly why Choices4Life exists.
There was no court order, no warrant, and no sign of imminent (or any other) danger, yet hospital social worker Jamilia literally ripped 51 hour-old Braelon from his mother’s arms right after he finished breastfeeding, under the direction of DHR supervisor Ahzshaka Evans, with the approval of 3 Alabaster police officers, led by shift supervisor Officer Edmunson, Detective Raugh, 2 security personnel, and hospital Director of Risk Management/Compliance Ashley Cole-Tyson.
By all accounts of the nursing and medical staff, the young mother was doing an amazing job of mothering her baby son Braelon. She loves and adores her baby. Even though he was conceived in rape, it is clear that this is HER baby.
Mother and baby – obviously in love. Photo credit: Juda Myers
He was born on Monday with a labor doula and his grandmother by his mother’s side. There were candles and soft music. She gave birth naturally, with no epidural or drugs that could possibly cause harm to the baby. She rejected circumcision when she learned that there were risks for her newborn for the cosmetic procedure. She chose to breastfeed, and by his second day of life, she was already very comfortable with her role as a breastfeeding mom. Everyone, staff and visitor alike, remarked at what a pro she already was. Her milk was already coming in by Wednesday afternoon.
Just Following “Protocol”
We were told by Jamilia, the hospital social worker, that DHR was notified after the baby’s birth. When grandmother Dee Prince asked why they were called, she was told that this was “protocol.” Months ago, when the mother reported the rape to the police, the police notified DHR, citing policy, because the rape victim was a minor. Jamilia assured us that this was different than the part of DHR that takes children away from parents, and that this was just a procedural thing that they had to be notified of the birth, and that after the DHR social worker stopped by to visit, the family could go home.
The mother had a place all set up at the home she lives in with her custodial grandparents, complete with bassinet and all the necessary things for her baby. But her baby hasn’t seen any of it. The family wonders if he ever will.
All day on Wednesday, we were told by nurses, the nurse-practitioner, and the hospital social worker that mom and baby could go home as soon as the visit from the social worker happened. They thought they would go home by lunchtime. Juda got her flight booked to return to her home in Texas for that evening. We all thought we were just waiting for the formality, because that is what we were repeatedly told.
Mom and baby were completely healthy, with no medical issues. The nurse-practitioner said that the baby’s bilirubin level was 8, which is not concerning, but should be rechecked in a day or two in case it increased any more. Grandmother Dee made an appointment with the pediatrician for the follow-up visit. All was well.
Why Can’t They Go Home?
By late afternoon, the family was becoming concerned, and they became worried that maybe they weren’t going to let them go home after all. The young mother’s grandfather, a retired police officer with 35 years of experience, asked the staff if they could go on and go home.
The more concerned the family became, the more testy the staff became. The family was told that they could NOT leave the hospital without being released, which would not happen until DHR got there and gave permission for them to be released.
Mother worried about the fate of her baby. Photo credit: Juda Myers.
Hospital Holds Family Hostage
Many have asked why they, or other families in similar situations, don’t just walk out and go home.
Because of the widely-publicized cases of criminals coming into hospitals and kidnapping babies, every baby in virtually every hospital in America gets an ankle band alarm placed on them immediately after birth. The protocol that was put in place to protect families from illegal kidnappers is the very protocol which facilitates the legal kidnapping of babies from hospitals.
In effect, every birthing mother and their newborn become hostages in every hospital because of this protocol.
Webster defines “hostage” as:
a person held by one party in a conflict as a pledge pending the fulfillment of an agreement; a person taken by force to secure the taker’s demands; or one that is involuntarily controlled by an outside influence
So the family waited. When Shannon, the DHR social worker finally came, she was very friendly and checked the baby and spoke with all of us. She said that they had no intention of taking the baby from his mother, but she needed to talk with the mother alone.
The mother didn’t want to and asked for one of her grandparents to accompany her. She is only 14, and as a minor, she has the right to have a parent or guardian present when being questioned, but Shannon said that she could not have them present.
She told her that if she refused, she would just get a court order.
This was quite puzzling, and the Princes asked why. No reason was given.
Finally, the mother relented and said, “Fine.” She would go with Shannon alone if that meant she could finally go home.
The family tried, unsuccessfully, all day to reach their attorney.
When the mother came back to the room, she reported that Shannon just asked her simple questions about how the birth went and such – no big deal.
We all expected to be able to leave at that point. The family got most of their belongings loaded up into the car. But the hospital staff said that the DHR supervisor, Ahzshaka Evans, was on the way.
“We’re Taking the Baby”
That was when it got ugly. Despite numerous attempts by the family to learn what DHR’s concerns were, all they were told was “policy” and “protocol” and that things needed to be “assessed.” We asked for a copy of the protocols to which they referred, but none was given or cited.
No reason was ever given for what happened after that. The family was accused of being non-compliant, simply because they wanted answers – answers which remained elusive. They were compliant with everything that was asked. When the Princes simply wanted to know why they couldn’t go home, Evans called law enforcement.
Tammi Stefano of the National Safe Child organization became involved by speaker phone, but Evans refused to speak with her. She later cited to law enforcement what Alabama laws they were breaking, and there were plenty. Stefano, who remained on the phone for a couple of hours trying to talk with the social workers and police officers, stated:
The social worker and the supervising social worker have refused to provide the reason for their visit to this family. The family has asked multiple times the bases for their visit what allegations were on a referral and yet the social workers are considering this question to be uncooperative on the part of the grandparents. Actually, this question prompted the social workers to take a stand to threaten the grandparents that if they did not answer all questions that a court order would be procured and the child would be removed.
I find this incredulous because the social workers had already made a determination on several occasions with this particular family that they were in fact safe, that their home was safe, their living environment was safe, and have approved these grandparents to care for these children. Furthermore, the court has found these parents are grandparents to be safe caretakers. In fact, grandfather is a retired police officer. If the social workers feel there is danger that rises to be considered imminent danger to justify the seizure of this infant, a court order is necessary. They have no authority or training to legally seize this child without a court order.
I would ask that the police, although they were called by DHS, actually assist the family, the grandparents and the mother of this child, in being able to leave this hospital peacefully. Any other action by the police department would be in violation of the constitutional rights of these people’s rights that law enforcement themselves under the Constitution are trained to follow.
A nurse came into the mother’s room and said that she had to take the baby to the nursery “to check vital signs” and to remove the alarm band. The mother told her that she could do that in the room. We witnessed the nurse throw up her hands and walk out.
Alabaster Police Officer Edmunson in the hospital room with other police. Photo by Health Impact News.
Alabaster Police Officer Edmunson later told us that he had told the nurse to do that “so that we could avoid this” – this being the emotional confrontation that happened shortly after when he and 2 other police officers, DHR supervisor Evans, 2 security guards, and several hospital staff, including hospital Risk Management director Ashley Cole-Tyson, all came into the hospital room stating that they were taking the baby.
We were floored.
There was no reason given while we were in the room. There was no history of drug or alcohol abuse by the mother whose only “crime” was that she was a rape victim. The mother’s plans were to go home with her custodial grandparents, who had approval from the state to take care of her and her siblings.
Ironically, the alleged rapist is still free. He has been identified. DNA has been taken from him, and was taken from the baby on Tuesday. Juda Myers comments:
I see this over and over, where the victim is treated worse than the criminal for loving her rape-conceived baby, because society believes that these children are a reminder of the rape. But one mother said, ‘A man stole my body, and society is trying to steal my baby.’
In this family’s case, the family believes it is opportunistic tyrants who are untouchable behind DHR doors who are trying to steal their baby. They believe the police and the hospitals are playing unquestioningly into this human rights violations.
Devastated young mother turns to her beloved grandfather for comfort. Photo: Health Impact News
When Rodney Prince asked for a court order or warrant, Officer Edmunson told him:
DHR does not need a court order or a warrant to take a child.
However, the 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution states clearly:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Does DHR of Shelby County somehow trump the Bill of Rights?
There was clearly no evidence of abuse or neglect, which is required by Alabama state law for seizure of a child. For a law enforcement officer to seize a child from their parents without a warrant, a child must be in “imminent danger,” meaning the child’s life is in danger and there is no time to get a warrant from a judge and conduct a proper investigation. The child was just born, and was in the hospital where he could not leave, so how could that condition possibly be met for a warrant-less seizure?
Dee Prince weeps as the family faces losing Braelon. Photo: Health Impact News
As “non-family members,” Juda Myers and I were escorted off of the hospital property at about 8:15 pm by 5 security guards. I had identified myself to them as a member of the Press, and I was there as a friend of the family and at their invitation, as was Juda Myers.
We waited at a nearby restaurant. The family joined us about 20 or so minutes later, without baby Braelon. The tearful mother told us that the hospital social worker tore her baby from her arms shortly after we left.
We asked to see the removal documents. They didn’t have any. DHR told them that there were “safety concerns.”
DHR didn’t offer to place the baby with any other relative or family friend, as is required by federal law. The family has no idea where their newest family member is or who he is with. They told the breastfeeding mother that there will be a Shelter Hearing on Friday at 1pm. The mother is pumping her milk and will not be permitted to visit or breastfeed her baby before then.
How You Can Help
People are invited to rally outside the Shelby County Courthouse at 112 N Main St, Columbiana, AL, on Friday, June 17. The Shelter Hearing is scheduled for 1pm, and supporters are planning to be there by 12:30.
Senator Cam Ward is the Senator for their district. He may be reached at 334-242-7873, or contacted here.
Representative April Weaver represents their district. She may be reached at 334-242-7731, or contacted here.
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