So legally ?
Hi there! I am 38 weeks pregnant with out first child, & we are planning an UC as well. I have tried to look into finding laws myself, & have had no success. To my understanding, there is nothing illegal about UC & not taking your child to the doctors. I have not come across any stories where CPS has taken children due to those reasons. I have been advised however, to hold off trying to get the birth certificate for a couple weeks though, because when officials see a newborn child they immediately assume it needs hospital care & will hassle you. I have also been told that doctors, nurses etc, will tell you that you are medically neglecting your child & that it is illegal, however it is NOT illegal. We are trusting that everything postpartum will go over as needed, the same way we are trusting that the birth will go over as needed. Faith is the rope that leads us on this path!
( I have a question.... I am new to this sight, new to forums in general actually, & I went to post a thread & it said it was being held for moderations, or something along those lines...? Do you know what that is about?)
While it is not now, nor could it ever be, illegal to UC (I mean, to "outlaw" UC would mean to "outlaw" all unplanned unassisted births as well) it could be illegal for any who assist (like husband or friend). Some state laws are written that way and others are not. But, that does not usually happen to be a problem, although there have been cases. And I have heard of several situations where UC and "medical neglect" have been a reason to remove a baby. And even though babies were all returned, after a time, I won't allow that to happen to me.
There is always the chance that some "well meaning" person could turn you in, as well. And this could cause a problem for you. Although, again, not likely. But why take a chance?
The way I see it, I just cover myself. I have all my "ducks" in a row. Keep my records up to date. Document everything. And then take the baby for a check up ASAP. I know that even that goes against what some here think, and that is fine by them. But it has saved me a lot of trouble on a couple of separate occasions.
I also disagree with the waiting to get the BC. I have found, in my extensive experience, that getting the BC is easiest when done ASAP. The longer you wait the more documentation and trouble it always seems to take. I have on several occasions gotten the BC within the first week (these have always been my easiest). I have also had to wait up to six months, and these were by far my most difficult, and full of excessive paperwork and red tape.
So, to answer your question, no UC is not illegal. And it can't be. But you can be accused of medical neglect if you refuse care for a newborn. That is where CPS has the option to cause more problems. No, you don't have to have "official" prenatal care (though I have found that makes getting the BC much easier, and is much safer for both mom and baby; you never know what it might catch), but, it is always easier to "give a little" and get a quick checkup at the pedi for Baby rather than fight some "well meaning" person who thinks a baby can not survive being born at home without seeing a doctor.
Like I said, when CPS showed up on my door step two days after I had my first baby at home, just showing them the check up form from the health department was all I needed to get them to write it off as an unsubstantiated report. I took that as my cue. And have never regretted getting that slightly unwanted, but stress-relieving, first check-up for baby ASAP.
As the PP said, it is not illegal anywhere nor would it be possible for them to make it illegal. There is just no way they could prove that the parents intended to birth the baby at home. Babies are born in cars on the way to the hospital all the time. They cannot take your baby away from you.
However, there have been stories of parents who were open with their birth plans and friends/family called the police to a birth, CPS to investigate or called an ambulance to the house when they knew the mother was in labor. It can look bad if you are called out (especially with the police knocking at your door) and it can be so stressful that you may not be able to UC at home, so it's always best to keep your plans private. A lot of parents want to sing it from the rooftops but it can cause some friction with family and friends which can, in turn, cause friction with the law. It's perfectly legal, but if they are called to investigate, they have to by law.
Some states do have laws where no one but the mother is allowed to catch the baby. In many places, the father cannot catch the baby or it is against the law. This is a pretty asinine law intended to prevent unlicensed midwives (or any midwife if it's illegal to practice in the state) from attending births, but it's such a big loophole that there's really nothing the state can do about it.
I think Nebraska is the only one with laws prohibiting catching. I think otherwise your only legal/institutional barrier would be some "concerned citizen" reporting you to child services. If you're responsible about how you go about UP/UC and you're careful who you share your plans with it should be fine. Homebirth midwives are legal in FL so you can be vague and let people assume that's what you're going with. But UC is great, some moms can feel more empowered and secure to give birth if they know it's 100% their own responsibility and their own choices. Cheaper too. You and the mom will need to do your research, read books on normal birth, support and comfort in labor, and identifying and dealing with complications. An independent prepared birth class can help you get ready, including their hospital oriented info since there's some small chance of needing transfer.
I had a UC, no formal prenatal care (see my birth story http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1326645/my-birth-story-tyson-noah) and my son was born breech and was stuck in the canal over 10 minutes. Due to the complications with the birth we are being investigating for severe neglect and our children have been temporarily place with relatives. While it is promising that we will get them all back we have to go through a lot of unnecessary procedures to prove that we are good parents.