Temecia and Rodney pose for a portrait in DeSoto, Texas on March 28, 2023. (TOM FOX/THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS)

Comments by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News

A newborn baby was medically kidnapped in Texas last month (March, 2023) because the parents chose to have a home birth with a licensed midwife, and when they took the baby to their pediatrician for a routine checkup, the doctor stated that the child had jaundice and required to be hospitalized.

The parents refused to take the baby to the hospital, choosing instead to treat the jaundice themselves under the care of their licensed midwife, so the doctor called Child “Protection” Services who then came with police to the home and abducted the breastfeeding baby by force.

The parents finally got to take their baby home earlier today (April 20, 2023) now over a month old, mainly because this became a national story and many people from the community came out to protest.

This family will now have to deal with this trauma for the rest of their lives, and who knows what medical treatment was given to the baby while out of the care of the parents.

A Black Texas couple chose their midwife’s care over a hospital. Now their newborn is in foster care.

It has been 20 days since infant Mila Jackson was taken from her parents by Child Protective Services in Texas after they sought guidance from their licensed midwife to treat a common infant condition rather than following a directive from their pediatrician. Now a court will decide if she’ll be returned to their custody.

“We’ve gone from being treated like criminals, to treated like unfit parents to feeling like we’re being hunted,” Rodney Jackson, Mila’s father, told The 19th. “It’s super disturbing when you’re talking about two people fighting a big system. Nobody should feel like that.”

On March 21, Temecia Jackson gave birth to 6-pound, 9-ounce Mila at the couple’s Dallas-area home under her midwife’s care. Temecia told The 19th that she decided to work with a midwife and team of doulas during her pregnancy and home birth because of two difficult C-sections she endured while delivering her two sons years prior.

Three days after Mila’s birth, the Jacksons visited their longtime pediatrician’s office for a routine checkup, where she was diagnosed with jaundice, a common condition in the blood that affects about 60 percent of newborns.

The pediatrician contacted the couple by phone to discuss treatment options for the jaundice. Temecia told The 19th that the doctor said Mila could be treated in a hospital or at home using a list of criteria he outlined. On the phone with him, she expressed her intention to work with the midwife to begin the at-home treatments.

As the day progressed, however, the doctor’s tone changed, Temecia said. The pediatrician contacted the family at least 10 times through phone calls, texts and voicemails, growing more insistent that the couple take Mila to the hospital.

Within 24 hours of Mila’s jaundice diagnosis, he contacted the Department of Family and Protective Services, according to an affidavit filed with the court.

The petition for Mila’s removal also included the wrong parents’ names. On Tuesday, March 28, authorities took Mila from her home. A virtual hearing was initially scheduled for Thursday, April 6, to determine whether Mila would be returned to her parents, but the judge postponed it until April 20. (Source.)

CPS is not the one who released the baby back to the parents today, but instead it was the Dallas District Attorney’s office.

Baby taken from Texas couple after home birth will be returned by Dallas court

Mila Jackson, the newborn taken into foster care by Texas officials in late March, will return home ahead of a scheduled hearing that was set for Thursday afternoon.

In a news release issued on Thursday morning, the Afiya Center, a Texas-based reproductive and birth justice organization that has represented the Jacksons, the Dallas County District Attorney’s office made the decision to reunite Mila with her parents “late yesterday and overnight.”

The district attorney’s office said that they do not comment on cases involving the Department of Family and Protective Services.

The Jacksons’ case made headlines nationwide, especially after it became public that court documents authorizing Mila’s removal had different people listed as Mila’s parents. It’s still unclear who the people listed on the document are. CBS News was not able to contact them, and is not identifying them.

According to the news release from the Afiya Center, the Jacksons will be “enjoying some personal time with their daughter” and their two older children. A rally set to support the family during their court appearance today has been canceled.

“I’m just happy that justice prevailed and I am grateful for the Afiya Center and everyone involved in the return of this baby,” Edinbyrd told CBS News on Thursday morning. “I look forward to actually giving her her first postpartum visit and celebrating her being home with her parents.” (Source.)

Sadly, this situation in America is routine and common. The only reason this one made the news is because people rallied to protest, and local politicians and others got involved when it was discovered that the affidavit used by the police and CPS did not even have the parents’ names on it. This made it a news story that both the local and national news media picked up.

If there was no judge who signed off on a warrant to allow police to remove this child from the family, and if they only went by the word of Child Welfare social workers who apparently forged an affidavit, the parents will be able to sue them in court, as there is ample legal case history showing the police lose every time in court in these situations where the child is not in immediate danger of dying, and there is no court order from a judge.

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