Friday, July 17, 2009

Couple loses kid for being uncooperative

A NJ appeals court just ruled:
Defendants V.M. and B.G. are the biological parents of J.M.G., born on April 16, 2006. During her hospitalization in anticipation of J.M.G.'s delivery, V.M. demonstrated combative and erratic behavior including a refusal to consent to a cesarean section (c-section). Despite the medical opinion that the fetus demonstrated signs of distress and that the procedure was necessary to avoid imminent danger to the fetus, the child was born by vaginal delivery without incident.
So the medical opinion turned out to be wrong, and the C-section turned out to be not necessary.

The hospital did not like the mom's attitude, and ordered two psychiatric exams. The authorities ultimately seized the baby and put it in foster care. The parents' rights were terminated.

The court grappled with the issue of whether the mom could be charged with abusing or neglecting the unborn fetus, because she had an absolute constitutional right to kill the fetus under the current abortion law.
There is no allegation that [the baby] was actually harmed by her parents. Rather, the judge's finding was based solely on the imminent danger of harm presented by [the mom's] actions and mental condition. The unique problem here is that much of [the mom's] erratic behavior occurred before [the baby's] birth, while [the mom] was still pregnant.
So the judges disagreed about whether refusing the C-section was child abuse and neglect.

Since the erratic behavior consisted mostly of refusing the C-section, the judges justified their decision on the mom's uncooperative behavior with authorities after the birth. For example, this was alleged:
Caseworker Heather Frommer immediately went to the hospital, interviewed staff and spoke to [the mom and dad]. [They] denied that [the mom] had ever received psychiatric treatment, had ever refused to consent to a c-section or had ever been evaluated by a hospital psychiatrist.
Of course there was no tape recording or any objective evidence that the parents lied to anyone. Nor is there any law requiring a citizen to reveal psychiatric treatment to a CPS caseworker.

Here is another example of the parents' uncooperativeness:
The judge expressed his frustration, observing that he "wanted desperately to reunify this family," but the parents were "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory." He also expressed concern that no psychiatrists would undertake the evaluation if they thought they would be sued, to which [the mom] responded, "[t]hat's your problem." When [the mom] was asked if she would waive her right to sue psychiatrists, she replied, "[n]o way." As a result, the judge ordered that a psychiatrist be appointed who would have the same immunity as the court.
It seems to me that the mom was entirely within her legal rights to reserve her right to sue. Nor does it appear that this imposed any hardship on the court, because the court has the power to immunize the psychiatrist.

The case against the dad is even stranger. He is not accused of erratic behavior, and he had no power to force the mom to consent to a C-section. So instead this contrived argument is given by the court:
Dr. Shnaidman stated that [the dad] was cognitively intact, but that he also suffers from psychosis. She described his diagnosis as "folie à deux," a rare condition in which one person subscribes to the psychoses and paranoid delusions of another. She explained that [the mom and dad] function in a very paranoid and secretive way, with each person's paranoia supporting the other's.
It is not paranoia if the authorities are really out to get them.

The bottom like is that the parents have lost their kid because the authorities did not like their attitude, even tho no one ever showed that they did anything harmful.


Chrissy said...

Do you know where in Jersey this happened?

Roger said...

The court opinion says Essex County. I don't know any more than that.

Sprittibee said...

This makes me completely sick.

Sondra said...

I cannot even fathom this happening~what a tragedy in our country to have parental rights (as well as others) just stripped away like that!!!! I am totally at a loss... What can we do? (((((HUGS)))))) sandi~planning to link to this post

Unknown said...

The baby was born at St. Barnabas in Livingston.

Youvegottobekidding said...

Have they never heard of the Pregnant Patient's Bill of Rights? You have the right to refuse any suggested medical treatment.

Kate said...

they were kidjacked! I am betting you that someone(the foster family) wanted that baby. Those courts make up their mind well before they walked in that door. its a tragedy. please look up the parents bill of rights and call your representatives to support it

AuntiePatricia said...

there's big bucks in the foster care system... and in the adoption system. i had a client whose 4 children were taken away from her - a WONDERFULLY loving mother. the children were given to two retirees to - sorry for the cynicism - to supplement their income. the fed govt somehow pays states $ for every adoption. the system can easily be abused - and is. this is VERY not ok. very abusive.

Emmy said...

un-be-liv-able! Do you know how often the hospitals prescribe c-sections because it's more convenient for them? Now we're not allowed to have a say in how we deliver our children?

Anonymous said...

I think that they need to sue the pants off the hospital, medical staff, psycho-whacks, an all those involved in stealing the child from it's parents. Communists countries have been taking children this way for decades by fabricating the same 'mental illness' charges which are made up by a 'doctor' simply because the parents do not cooperate or hold beliefs which the state does not like.

Blair said...

What about every woman who's told that she shouldn't smoke while pregnant but does anyway? Are they lining up to take those babies away at delivery? I think not. This is tragic and makes me want to do my VBAC at home.

Anonymous said...

Another good reason to use midwives....

Roxy said...

This is sick. What upsets me (and that's not hard anymore) is that here in KY, a woman was just sentenced in a case where she threw her infant onto the kitchen floor, fractured his spine bending him into a sitting position, threw him against a wall, and ultimately caused a fractured skull and swelling of the brain, among other injuries. What was her sentence? 5 years probation... and they GAVE THE BABY BACK. And this couple loses their baby when it was not even harmed???? What is happening? I'm scared to death.

Anonymous said...

Totally insanity! I am a medical phobic (TERRIFIED to death of needles, being put under, IVs, vaginal exams) and I refused ALL of that when I had my baby. Everything turned out just fine. It was my right to do so! I am not crazy or a bad parent at all! If we took kids away from anyone who was afraid of surgery or had any random disorder (like my fear) that would only come up in rare situations, then most people wouldn't have kids. I am not afraid to get my baby any treatment he would ever need. Just MYSELF, and when I am pregnant it is MY body and my choice whether to consent to an obviously (in this case) un-needed MAJOR surgery!

I am not having more kids, but if I was, this case would really terrify me that they could STEAL my child because I didn't want an IV or some other crap like that!

Anonymous said...

Judge James Rothschild was such a corrupt family court Judge that he
made up his own rules. A judge can
not legally order immunity for a DR. or anyone else. Additionally no one has immunity if they break the law. Even a Judge can be arrested and also can be disciplined for commission of Judicial Misconduct. Judge James Rothschild committed Judicial misconduct for placing JMG in fostercare. The committee has removed Judge James Rothschild from the Family Court in addition
to discipling him. Judge John Callahan, Rudy Coleman, Jack Sabatino and Philip Carchman all are currently being investigated for their Judicial Misconduct in this case. If the Judges had checked into vm's background they would have learned that she was sucessful in reporting 2 Judges in the state of NY for Judicial Misconduct and both were disciplined. Now vm is going to report any Judge who committs Judicial Misconduct in her case. The 5 Judges she has reported in the state of NJ have ruined their
own reputations and adversely affected their careers. I wonder if they think it was worth it to lose their reputation and career over a case that should have never gone forward. The guardianship
appeal is currently under process and if the panel of Judges break the law vm will also report them.
JMG should have never been taken away and placed in fostercare. The poor child is having nightmares
and telling the fosterworkers thatshe wants to go to her home with her mommy and daddy. How many judges are going to be disgraced and disciplined before they wake up and realize that the
reason they are being diciplined is because they have committed wrongdoing in this case. If I was
a judge I would not ruin my career
for a DYFS worker.

Anonymous said...

This case is a game and the game is
that if a pregnant woman and her
spouse reject surgery, testing,
treatment and medication they can be accused of child abuse. In addition, if someone who plans to have children or has children and
either the doctors or DYFS finds out that they have gone for mental
health treatment then DYFS can take
their children away. I would not advise anyone to give birth at St. Barnabas Hospital in Livingston NJ
or Beth Israel Hospital in Newark NJ. If anyone goes there and a staff member does not like the mother and father of the child then
there is a risk of harm to the family that the staff member will
fabricate false child abuse charges
and they actually give instructions to DYFS to take the
newborn away. If they do not like
the personality of either parent,
the physical appearance of either
parent or anything about the parent
they will violate their rights and
tell DYFS to take the child away.

Anonymous said...

Go to www.children'
Child protective services workers
abuse and neglect the children in
their care. Since the media is unwilling to expose the crimes that
the workers and foster people commit they are not being punished.

Anonymous said...

NJ DYFS is going to be sued for their
unethical and criminal behavior. The
foster people who abused and neglected JG are also going to be named as defendants and both the DYFS
workers and foster people are going to be subject to criminal prosecution. To date Judge James Rothschild has lost his job as a Family Court Judge. John Callahan is
also in trouble with his job. Even the stupid lawyers who aided and abedded DYFS are going to be named as defendants. The state of NJ is going to have to pay millions of dollars due to the mistakes of DYFS. I do not agree with cutting the salaries of the teachers in NJ.
Instead of doing that the Governor
should spend his time monitoring and policing the actions of DYFS.

Speak Up said...

This is sad too sad. you can see most of the story on ... i hope someone Speaks Up... its time such sadness should never exist

Anonymous said...

On Aug. 6, 2010 the NJ Apellate Division reversed the termination
of parental rights of VM & BG. Go to Google NJ Apellate Division and click on appellate unpub. opinions and the click on Aug. 6, 2010 for
a copy of the 80 page decision. Also go to for an article on the case.

Roger said...

Thanks. Here is that Advocates blog link.