Parental rights denial: Midwife presence moves hospital to take baby; HSLDA sues

Parental rights violation:  One couple's baby taken away because a midwife was involved in the delivery.

Violation of parental rights is a big deal to Michael Farris, founder and chairman of Home School Legal Defense Association.  He announced today that HSLDA is taking the case of Scott and Jodi Ferris of Pennsylvania in which their newborn was seized from birth by hospital social workers and police.  Even though the parents homeschool their children, the case is not related to homeschooling.  HSLDA is taking it on the merits of parental rights.

Farris made this statement:

“We are taking this case because we are tired of seeing the erosion of parental rights in virtually every area of life.  Parental rights in medical cases have an impact on broader parental rights, including educational decisions.”

“We believe that they (the hospital) violated their rights under the Constitution of the United States.  And we are going to court to prove it.”

Michael Farris began the initiative for the Parental Rights Amendment to the Constitution three years ago after helping defend numerous homeschooling families whose rights were overrun by government bureaucracies. With more and more courts aligning with international law, and the pressure of the US to ratify the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNCRC, Farris and HSLDA knew a drastic move would be needed so parental rights would not be obliterated by political correctness.  The US is the only nation that has not signed the treaty.

Background for the case

Jodi Ferris went into labor earlier than expected, and on the advice of her midwife, called an ambulance to take her to Hershey Medical Center in Pennsylvania.  The baby girl, “Annie”, was born in the ambulance in the hospital parking lot.  Mother and daughter were admitted, and then separated.

Repeated requests by Jodi to see her baby and know her condition were met with no response.  Medical procedures were administered to both patients without the mother’s knowledge or permission and without explanation.  Conflicting reports of the infant’s status were given throughout the day, and Jodi had to persist to see her baby.  She was told that “Annie” was very healthy by one doctor and very ill by another one, who also verbally disdained the idea of midwifery.  Referencing a non-existent law, hospital staff said the child would need to be held for observation 48-72 hours and “it was unsafe for her to leave the hospital”.

A government social worker arrived to investigate later in the day with no explanation of the allegations.  When asked what they were, Jodi was told, “It would be illegal” for her to know, and the police would be called to take the baby since she was refusing to cooperate.”  Later, the hospital wanted to do some tests and demanded to give the baby girl a Hepatitis B shot.  Jodi countered that she would agree only if both she and the baby tested positive.  The staff resisted this, as it was too late to test, and the shot needed to be given anyway.  Jodi asked to wait until Scott returned, and asked for an attorney to look at a safety plan they would be required to sign.

The social worker called the police, the child was taken into custody and given the Hepatitis B shot, and Jodi was escorted out of the hospital.  She and Scott spent the night in a car in the parking lot, under the assurance she would be able to nurse “Annie” every three hours.  However, Jodi was not permitted this much access to her daughter.

At a judicial hearing the next morning, the child was immediately returned to her parents who have filed suit against the hospital personnel. They turned to HSLDA for help.

Need for Parental Rights Amendment

Cases with similarly egregious false accusations and disregard for parental rights have sprung up all across the county.  One example is a Phoenix homeschooling family that was threatened by police and a social worker that the children would be taken if they did not allow the officials to enter the home on an anonymous tip.  This case went to the Supreme Court, but just last month the court declined to hear the appeal.

A resolution has been introduced in the Senate, S.R. 99, to block the United States from ratifying the UNCRC.  With enough co-sponsoring Senators, the treaty can be blocked while the momentum continues to build for the Parental Rights Amendment.  There are 38 current co-sponsors who oppose the CRC with a goal of 40, although only 34 are required.  Both Arizona Senators Kyl and McCain have signed on to the resolution.

Parental rights denial: Midwife presence moves hospital to take baby; HSLDA sues – Phoenix Homeschooling |

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