Stumbling across this story last week shattered my heart.
A young girl from Alabama, a rape victim, fell pregnant and gave birth to a little boy in June. With no court order, no warrant, and no emergency circumstances, Child Protective Services (or the “DHR” as they are known in Alabama) swooped in and kidnapped her two-day old baby.
Read this excerpt of the original article:
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?
The answer is NO.
The next day, in an attempt to cover their tracks, they returned and took custody of both the girl and her twin brother.
The two were separated – the boy was placed in a foster home and the girl was placed in a group home with the baby.
They are just fourteen years old.
“Terrorism is an inadequate term to describe what CPS puts families through.”
– Joe Churchwell, Arkansas Attorney
I can hardly bear it, reading this story. Every word is so achingly familiar – every emotion so painfully understood. The circumstances alone are different. In everything else…
This past week I found myself struggling once again with my message and what it is that I’m trying to do here. It is natural to want to forget when time numbs the wound and fades the scars. I am constantly wavering between the desire to bury the past and fill this space with brighter things and the urge to tell the untold story I bear within me. Finding a balance is something I will do and I need to do. But that doesn’t mean I will neglect any opportunity to speak the truth.
There are times when the past needs to be remembered. This family, these poor kids, are the proof of that. It’s for their sake that I tell my story. Its for the sake of my dead brothers. We cannot forget these crimes – not until we’ve secured justice.
I have witnessed such injustice and harm brought to these families that I am not sure if I even believe reform of the system is possible! The system cannot be trusted. It does not serve the people. It obliterates families and children simply because it has the power to do so. Children deserve better. Families deserve better. It’s time to pull back the curtain and set our children and families free.
– Senator Nancy Schaefer
I would encourage you to read the article, Alabama Child Protective Services Steals New-born Breastfeeding Baby from Rape Victim While Still at the Hospital and also, Alabama Child Protective Services Continues to Harass Alabama Family, and share it. The more we share it, the more we talk about it, the more likely it is that these kids will be freed.
Like their Facebook page Save Baby Braelon.
And read updates to the family’s situation at Medical Kidnap.