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Deciding not to UP/UC because of CPS?

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 

Has a fear of CPS involvement stopped any of you from having an up/uc? 

post #2 of 44

No, although I will admit with my first UC the thought crossed my mind several times...  Knowledge is power and I did a lot of research, looked into a lot of laws and ends and outs and actually started a full notebook of information and resources to arm myself with in the event that I needed it.  I have gotten a few crazy looks, even more crazy remarks, and many dirty looks over my decision.  Admittedly it's not a decision that I share with those that I'm not familiar with,  many people are shocked by the thought that I had a home birth alone, let alone the face that it was unassisted and planned...

post #3 of 44

No, I have had 7 UC's and 6 UP's.

post #4 of 44

I haven't UCed yet. DD was almost (on purpose) midwife came at the last 15 mins. I am very seriously considering a UC for next time- depending on where we are at and what I want at the time - we are in the middle of a interstate move that has been temporarily postponed, and not sure whether we will be there by the time Im pregnant or not til after the birth.

 

I only have two apprehensions about having a UC.... 

 

1) is that for no particular reason I am completely terrified of a hemorrhage this time. But I would never birth in a hospital anyway so chances are that fear would be just as strong with a regular homebirth.

 

2) Im a single mom by choice and I am well aware that a large portion of the public already thinks I should have my children taken away from me for that alone. So add to that that I am a homeschooling, no vaxing, co-sleeping, extended breasfeeding (etc etc) mom, just makes it even scarier and more precarious for our family. Couples have it a lot easier when it comes to their alternative parenting choices. What might be totally accepted in a married couple is ammunition for CPS to take away a single woman's children if they wanted to. Where I live people especially have a problem with not vaccinating and homeschooling. And UCing, if they knew you did it by choice, could work out very badly.

 

So while I won't base my decision on them, I would be lying if I said I wasn't terrified of the implications. There are apparently laws here about a pregnant woman having the right to choose her health care and to choose not to receive treatment regardless of the risk. But unfortunately these rights dont seem to extend to the baby after birth. I read on our women's hospital website (out of curiosity) what my rights were if I wanted to discharge my newborn from there. In case of transfer for complications for example. And I would have zero rights. If they wanted to keep the baby there they could immediately take temporary custody of the baby until they could get CPS into court to take official custody. So basically if my baby is admitted there, I have no choices over their care and I can't take them home if I want to or if I disagree with the treatment there. That is so scary to me. To the point that it makes me want to avoid any involvement with the hospital at all. I have no idea what the laws say about refusing to admit yourself/your baby in the first place are. I would think it would be pretty easy for them to get a custody order in that case too. Judging by the overall mentality that the medical establishment always knows best which seems to be so present here.  

post #5 of 44

I understand your fears. I have heard just living an "alternative" lifestyle puts a big target on your back if people know about it. I plan to keep things on the down-low. I will be officially homeschooling soon, don't do vax, go to the doc sparingly, etc. and though I am somewhat afraid of getting in trouble for an UC. I know typically things turn out fine. The worst part would be having some complication that makes me go to the hospital, but I'll act like I always meant to be at the hospital if that happens and hopefully that would prevent any issues. Oh and I'm sticking to the story that it was an "oops" if I have to say anything about it to anyone I don't know or trust.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Logan View Post

I haven't UCed yet. DD was almost (on purpose) midwife came at the last 15 mins. I am very seriously considering a UC for next time- depending on where we are at and what I want at the time - we are in the middle of a interstate move that has been temporarily postponed, and not sure whether we will be there by the time Im pregnant or not til after the birth.

 

I only have two apprehensions about having a UC.... 

 

1) is that for no particular reason I am completely terrified of a hemorrhage this time. But I would never birth in a hospital anyway so chances are that fear would be just as strong with a regular homebirth.

 

2) Im a single mom by choice and I am well aware that a large portion of the public already thinks I should have my children taken away from me for that alone. So add to that that I am a homeschooling, no vaxing, co-sleeping, extended breasfeeding (etc etc) mom, just makes it even scarier and more precarious for our family. Couples have it a lot easier when it comes to their alternative parenting choices. What might be totally accepted in a married couple is ammunition for CPS to take away a single woman's children if they wanted to. Where I live people especially have a problem with not vaccinating and homeschooling. And UCing, if they knew you did it by choice, could work out very badly.

 

So while I won't base my decision on them, I would be lying if I said I wasn't terrified of the implications. There are apparently laws here about a pregnant woman having the right to choose her health care and to choose not to receive treatment regardless of the risk. But unfortunately these rights dont seem to extend to the baby after birth. I read on our women's hospital website (out of curiosity) what my rights were if I wanted to discharge my newborn from there. In case of transfer for complications for example. And I would have zero rights. If they wanted to keep the baby there they could immediately take temporary custody of the baby until they could get CPS into court to take official custody. So basically if my baby is admitted there, I have no choices over their care and I can't take them home if I want to or if I disagree with the treatment there. That is so scary to me. To the point that it makes me want to avoid any involvement with the hospital at all. I have no idea what the laws say about refusing to admit yourself/your baby in the first place are. I would think it would be pretty easy for them to get a custody order in that case too. Judging by the overall mentality that the medical establishment always knows best which seems to be so present here.  

post #6 of 44

I worked through some fears related to UC'ing and cps. That was one of my major concerns in deciding. We already do everything else pretty much 'against the grain'. I really don't feel the need to mention any of the things we do to random folks or people I don't trust. The only thing that may come up in conversation is homeschooling, but it's fairly common in my area. We unschool but I just say 'homeschool' to avoid any 'looks'. Homebirth is legal here too, so I just say 'oh, we home birth' if people ask. They may think it's 'weird' but it's totally legal and as my very close friend (a police officer) told me -- they've never ever ever gotten a call saying 'someone is homebirthing'. CPS has never removed a child here to my knowledge for homebirthing or even UC'ing. It's not a choice one will get applauded for, that's for sure, but it isn't a valid reason to remove a child. I realize that our outward appearance does protect us somewhat from scrutiny -- we are married, Christian, caucasion, live in a suburban neighborhood, my husband is employed by a government agency -- I realize all those are "privileges" that work in our favor when considering cps scrutiny. That having been said though, it sure did keep me up a few nights when making this decision.

 

Knowledge truly is power and I really believe that. If you saw the folder I've compiled with various information, case law, state statutes, etc - I don't think anyone could claim that I did anything in 'neglect' or made an uneducated decision. I know there are horror stories surrounding cps but honestly where I live they are SO overloaded with actual cases of neglect/abuse (sadly), so understaffed, underpaid, under-appreciated, I wager to say they'd take one look at us, hear us speak for a few minutes, see our other child and living space (if needed) and be so grateful to have to avoid all the paperwork and rigamaroll on top of ALL the backlog of cases they're already on we'd barely be able to say goodbye before they were out the door. Believe me, cps is not some big monster who thrives on ripping families apart because they live alternative lives. I admit the agency has *a lot* of problems but I guess having a close friend who is a police officer who has actually been on cps removals and investigations has calmed a lot of my fears. We're taking people living in complete filth (not just dishes in the sink or toys on the floor), bugs in the kids' hair, babies who's diapers hadn't been changed in DAYS, feces and urine all over the floor -- not,  'oh this one had an unattended birth'.

 

So anyway to answer the question, yes, it was a consideration but I would never let fear dictate my choices. I fear a hospital far more.

post #7 of 44


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Logan View Post

I haven't UCed yet. DD was almost (on purpose) midwife came at the last 15 mins. I am very seriously considering a UC for next time- depending on where we are at and what I want at the time - we are in the middle of a interstate move that has been temporarily postponed, and not sure whether we will be there by the time Im pregnant or not til after the birth.

 

I only have two apprehensions about having a UC.... 

 

1) is that for no particular reason I am completely terrified of a hemorrhage this time. But I would never birth in a hospital anyway so chances are that fear would be just as strong with a regular homebirth.

 

2) Im a single mom by choice and I am well aware that a large portion of the public already thinks I should have my children taken away from me for that alone. So add to that that I am a homeschooling, no vaxing, co-sleeping, extended breasfeeding (etc etc) mom, just makes it even scarier and more precarious for our family. Couples have it a lot easier when it comes to their alternative parenting choices. What might be totally accepted in a married couple is ammunition for CPS to take away a single woman's children if they wanted to. Where I live people especially have a problem with not vaccinating and homeschooling. And UCing, if they knew you did it by choice, could work out very badly.

 

So while I won't base my decision on them, I would be lying if I said I wasn't terrified of the implications. There are apparently laws here about a pregnant woman having the right to choose her health care and to choose not to receive treatment regardless of the risk. But unfortunately these rights dont seem to extend to the baby after birth. I read on our women's hospital website (out of curiosity) what my rights were if I wanted to discharge my newborn from there. In case of transfer for complications for example. And I would have zero rights. If they wanted to keep the baby there they could immediately take temporary custody of the baby until they could get CPS into court to take official custody. So basically if my baby is admitted there, I have no choices over their care and I can't take them home if I want to or if I disagree with the treatment there. That is so scary to me. To the point that it makes me want to avoid any involvement with the hospital at all. I have no idea what the laws say about refusing to admit yourself/your baby in the first place are. I would think it would be pretty easy for them to get a custody order in that case too. Judging by the overall mentality that the medical establishment always knows best which seems to be so present here.  


I totally understand. If I didn't have my husband and the sort of automatic respect that comes with having what seems like a more "traditional" family, I think I would feel just how you feel. His presence provides a sort of safety, so I feel for you! It seems like you "need" an advocate. I think being strong and independent is great, but you are in a vulnerable position during and after birth and it would be so easy for others to take advantage of that.

 

I wouldn't believe everything you read from the perspective of the "other" side. I think they want to scare you into compliance, perhaps. I am of the optimistic view that you probably have a lot more in the way of rights than is being presented to you. It's just easier for them if you go with the program.

 

So I think I am mainly repeating a lot of what everyone else has said, which was all great stuff. I liked Tumble's post a lot. I think if you are going to shoulder this on your own you will definitely have to make sure that you truly know your rights. It's a big responsibility to protect yourself and your family, but I'm sure you can do it. Please also consider that this is ALLLL just in case, as it is perfectly reasonable and normal to assume that you can UC in peace and privacy without the ultimate or eventual hospital trip. If you can cover all your bases and also alleviate your fears of what WILL happen if you have to be tended to, your body can find that peace too and you will lessen your chances of having a distressed experience that would perhaps lead you right into the places you don't wish to go.

 

I hope all goes well for you!

 

Oh, what state are you in, and how much time do you have left before the expected arrival? :)

post #8 of 44


It sounds like the CPS in your area is working the right way, but from what I know, CPS workers are different from place to place. Some are more extreme than others. Some are doing a good job, while others are destroying families. But, I do agree with you about fearing the hospital. I have a strong fear of giving birth in a hospital after my previous experiences. I feel much safer at home.

I'm not even feeling very fond of my midwife appointments. My appointment today left me feeling less than happy. I don't like the feeling of being directed to do things. Like, I had no interest in using the doppler today but before I even knew what she was doing, she had the doppler on me. She had been asking questions at the same time so I didn't realize, I thought she was going to take a measurement first cuz she had said that, so I wasn't prepared. It's not a huge deal, but it is still annoying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tumble Bumbles View Post

I admit the agency has *a lot* of problems but I guess having a close friend who is a police officer who has actually been on cps removals and investigations has calmed a lot of my fears. We're taking people living in complete filth (not just dishes in the sink or toys on the floor), bugs in the kids' hair, babies who's diapers hadn't been changed in DAYS, feces and urine all over the floor -- not,  'oh this one had an unattended birth'.

 

So anyway to answer the question, yes, it was a consideration but I would never let fear dictate my choices. I fear a hospital far more.

post #9 of 44

I don't know as I would say they are working the right way -- they've lost some children in the system (extremely sad), they've had a lot of issues. I think if anything, the fact that they are so overburdened works in our favor because anyone who even appears stable will likely be left alone in order to avoid overtaxing the system. This likely means some kids are falling through the cracks who maybe should be helped, but it also means they are unlikely to bat an eyelash at our family.

post #10 of 44

Oh, I see what you are saying. Well, it's good that it will work to your advantage anyway. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tumble Bumbles View Post

I don't know as I would say they are working the right way -- they've lost some children in the system (extremely sad), they've had a lot of issues. I think if anything, the fact that they are so overburdened works in our favor because anyone who even appears stable will likely be left alone in order to avoid overtaxing the system. This likely means some kids are falling through the cracks who maybe should be helped, but it also means they are unlikely to bat an eyelash at our family.

post #11 of 44

Tumble Bumbles, what kind of info did you print off and collect and where did you find it? Sometimes google searching for specific laws and rights is like looking for a needle in a haystack! eyesroll.gif

post #12 of 44

  I have worked very close with CPS in regards of single teen mothers, mothers who have needed help with parenting skills etc... They know Iam a midwife, they know I myself planned a up/uc and were all very supportive,mostly shocked. Each state has their own regulations,make sure you know your states laws. As far as I know even in the states were midwifery is illegal a uc is not.

   I would say what you do with baby after he/she born if any complications were to happen could be look at as neglect if you failed to get appropriate help. If you have a transfer and give birth in the hospital and leave with baby AMA, cps can get involved. If you need to transfer after baby is born for issues related to you make sure it is stated that you are only being admitted and not baby. I have had to do this and haven't had a problem with doctors or cps. All it takes is a radical, who's feathers may have gotten ruffled, to try something. 

 But by going against mainstream medicine you must always be prepaired for anything, respectively stand your ground if you have to. 

post #13 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logan View Post

I haven't UCed yet. DD was almost (on purpose) midwife came at the last 15 mins. I am very seriously considering a UC for next time- depending on where we are at and what I want at the time - we are in the middle of a interstate move that has been temporarily postponed, and not sure whether we will be there by the time Im pregnant or not til after the birth.

 

I only have two apprehensions about having a UC.... 

 

1) is that for no particular reason I am completely terrified of a hemorrhage this time. But I would never birth in a hospital anyway so chances are that fear would be just as strong with a regular homebirth.

 

2) Im a single mom by choice and I am well aware that a large portion of the public already thinks I should have my children taken away from me for that alone. So add to that that I am a homeschooling, no vaxing, co-sleeping, extended breasfeeding (etc etc) mom, just makes it even scarier and more precarious for our family. Couples have it a lot easier when it comes to their alternative parenting choices. What might be totally accepted in a married couple is ammunition for CPS to take away a single woman's children if they wanted to. Where I live people especially have a problem with not vaccinating and homeschooling. And UCing, if they knew you did it by choice, could work out very badly.

 

So while I won't base my decision on them, I would be lying if I said I wasn't terrified of the implications. There are apparently laws here about a pregnant woman having the right to choose her health care and to choose not to receive treatment regardless of the risk. But unfortunately these rights dont seem to extend to the baby after birth. I read on our women's hospital website (out of curiosity) what my rights were if I wanted to discharge my newborn from there. In case of transfer for complications for example. And I would have zero rights. If they wanted to keep the baby there they could immediately take temporary custody of the baby until they could get CPS into court to take official custody. So basically if my baby is admitted there, I have no choices over their care and I can't take them home if I want to or if I disagree with the treatment there. That is so scary to me. To the point that it makes me want to avoid any involvement with the hospital at all. I have no idea what the laws say about refusing to admit yourself/your baby in the first place are. I would think it would be pretty easy for them to get a custody order in that case too. Judging by the overall mentality that the medical establishment always knows best which seems to be so present here.  


I am also a single mother by choice, and I did UC. I agree with you that many of the things that we do would be more socially accepted if we were partnered. Like you, I homeschool and don't vaccinate, and I share a lot of the feelings you describe. I think your concerns about UC are totally valid. However, being a single mom by choice (living in a developing, misogynist, East European country too!) also encouraged me to stay out of hospitals where I would be treated very badly, because of not having a husband. The same could even be true in the US to a lesser degree.
post #14 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logan View Post

Tumble Bumbles, what kind of info did you print off and collect and where did you find it? Sometimes google searching for specific laws and rights is like looking for a needle in a haystack! eyesroll.gif


You can try your state's statutes (many of them are online) then specifically search "home birth" -- usually anything related to UC will be under there. For example, our statute doesn't say in specific terms "unassisted birth is legal" but it clearly provides information should there be no professional attendant at a birth (by choice). It also provides information on where and how to obtain a birth certificate should there be no "professional" in attendance -- I printed those statutes out as well to bring to vital statistics so no one would give me any misinformation or be able to refuse registering the birth.

Also, look up your state's patient's rights.

Also, you can search for case law by state related to birth, pregnancy, medical choices, etc. The ACLU is where I found a brilliant piece of case law.

I also printed some statistics from the CDC -- such as 60% of GPS cases in newborns are from mothers who have ad ABX in labor (my status would be unknown). I printed various info from reputable sources (CDC etc) that backs up my choice to consent/refuse certain things.

It does take a good bit of time but a lot of this is found online. It just helps to build a "case" for me being informed, intelligent, and well-researched should a situation ever arise that I would need to "prove" such a thing.

All those would be a good start.
Edited by Tumble Bumbles - 4/9/11 at 3:53pm
post #15 of 44

I had my first UC back in 1986 when there was next to no public awareness and yes the fear of CPS knocking on my door was real for me.  I can only tell you that my deep desire and belief that I was making the safest and best choice for my family helped me to overcome the fear.  You've gotten good advice from earlier posts regarding legal issues.  Look to your own heart too, to know if UC is your path.

 

 

post #16 of 44
Thread Starter 



You can try your state's statutes (many of them are online) then specifically search "home birth" -- usually anything related to UC will be under there. For example, our statute doesn't say in specific terms "unassisted birth is legal" but it clearly provides information should there be no professional attendant at a birth (by choice). It also provides information on where and how to obtain a birth certificate should there be no "professional" in attendance -- I printed those statutes out as well to bring to vital statistics so no one would give me any misinformation or be able to refuse registering the birth.

Also, look up your state's patient's rights.

Also, you can search for case law by state related to birth, pregnancy, medical choices, etc. The ACLU is where I found a brilliant piece of case law where my state supreme court upheld a woman's right to choose her own medical care (and right to refuse it) during pregnancy.

I also printed some statistics from the CDC -- such as 60% of GPS cases in newborns are from mothers who have ad ABX in labor (my status would be unknown). I printed various info from reputable sources (CDC etc) that backs up my choice to consent/refuse certain things.

It does take a good bit of time but a lot of this is found online. It just helps to build a "case" for me being informed, intelligent, and well-researched should a situation ever arise that I would need to "prove" such a thing.

All those would be a good start.


I tried looking through our states statutes and I can't even find anything about home birth, boo :(  I'm going to keep looking but I'm not getting my hopes up

post #17 of 44

Try also "births occuring outside a facility".

post #18 of 44

fear is just a tool of social control....

post #19 of 44

I think that Tumbles first post is pretty right on, in terms of what CPS typically cares about. I don't think that as an organization they are out to destroy families. But it's also true that there are people out there that are just a-holes, people that will pick a fight for no reason, or go on the attack just to prove a point. Those people exsist in the world. Some of them are people you get into a fender bender with, and some of them are people in the PTA ,,,,,,  dfnvklj,, and you know what - some of them are doctors, and cops, and CPS workers.

 

It sucks that sometime in your life (possibly in regards to your birth) you may come up against someone with an axe to grind, but you can't let it stop you from doing what you think is best for you. If you are making the choice to UC, or homebirth, or hospital birth, or even birth you have to accept the relative safety or risks of those things, just like you accept the risks of walking around every day. Something like the possibility of CPS involvement is the same, kwim?

 

 

okay, I can't fix tthe weirdness in my post up there! Sorry!

post #20 of 44

It didn't stop me, nor did it scare me.

 

I had a wonderful UC, though my mom called the cops on me.  There wasn't anything they could do at the time, but a few days later, CPS showed up.

 

Needless to say, my case was soon closed because I'm a good mommy. Lol.

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