CPS called because of UP and UC? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 06-10-2011, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a friend who has chosen to go this pregnancy UP and have a UC at home. She casually mentioned it at a playgroup we both attend, later that week, one of the mom's from the playgroup admitted to me that she called CPS about the other mom, saying that what she was doing was putting her and more importantly the baby at risk.

I am wondering if I should warn my friend, would CPS get in the middle of this? Can they force her to get prenatal care? Is it illegal to UP or UC in Kentucky?

I hate being in the middle of this and I'm really mad at the second mama for sticking her nose in... this is my friends fifth baby and she's had all five naturally, no problems... she's confident in her choice and she's smart enough to seek help if anything started to not feel right. She watches her blood pressure and does random urine checks...

So, does anyone know what a mama's rights are when it comes to UP and UC here in Kentucky? I was pretty darn sure UC wasn't illegal because we've looked into that as we've considered it, but what about the UP part?

Thanks!
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#2 of 16 Old 06-10-2011, 10:47 AM
 
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I think that letting her know that cps has been called would be good.  Although, it may stress her out for no reason and could put you in the middle.  She should be aware though, so she can learn what not to say in public and be prepared for any visit.


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#3 of 16 Old 06-10-2011, 12:19 PM
 
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I agree with the pp.  I don't think your friend has anything to worry about but if it were me I would want to be aware just so I could prepare myself for a possible visit.  As far as I know, cps has to investigate whenever they receive a report..


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#4 of 16 Old 06-10-2011, 01:49 PM
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I would chastise the friend who called and tell the friend on whom it was called.

 

CPS is *no joke*. 

 

We aren't talking about a situation where they can force her (though that may exist) so much as remove her other children. 

 

i often ask people who say these things "how would you feel if someone took your children away for a perfectly legal parenting decision that you made? because CPS can do that, if they try. haven't you read the stories where CPS runs amok?" and then, I would say "you should be less of a coward and simply confront her first, rather than putting her family in jeopardy because you disagree with her choice."

 

But then, I don't  mind  confrontation. 

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#5 of 16 Old 06-13-2011, 12:30 PM
 
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How amazingly rude of that other mom! Like its her business anyway. Does she not realize that moms have the right to choose their birth location, and whether or not to get prenatal care?

I would have asked her why she called CPS instead of talking to the mom about her concerns. Many things can be cleared up with a conversation. It's awful how some people are sooooooo fast to jump and call an "authority", but they wouldn't bother to talk to the mama one on one about it. Coward! And a judgmental one too. people like this make me so mad.

I would hate to have to tell your friend, but she should be forewarned. It's is NOT illegal anywhere, besides who could prove it? sucks to have to deal with this at all. sorry!
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#6 of 16 Old 06-13-2011, 12:39 PM
 
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It's true that in Kentucky no law exists to prohibit a mother from going through her pregnancy without prenatal care, and I know of no law that prohibits a woman from having an unassisted birth at home. 

 

I don't know the details in this above case.

 

In Kentucky, and I think (and hope) many other states, someone is legally required to report child abuse or neglect if they believe in good faith that it exists. I'm not sure what motivated this woman to call and report that, but if someone legitimately feels that a child is in danger from abuse or neglect, then they should report it.

 

I'm sure many of us on these boards grew up in less than perfect environments and some of us grew up in homes where abuse and neglect was apparently the norm. If I felt a child was being abused or neglected or in danger because of a parents' actions, then I would have no qualms reporting that to police. I would hope the people on this site would do the same.

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#7 of 16 Old 06-13-2011, 12:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KentuckyMd View Post

It's true that in Kentucky no law exists to prohibit a mother from going through her pregnancy without prenatal care, and I know of no law that prohibits a woman from having an unassisted birth at home. 

 

I don't know the details in this above case.

 

In Kentucky, and I think (and hope) many other states, someone is legally required to report child abuse or neglect if they believe in good faith that it exists. I'm not sure what motivated this woman to call and report that, but if someone legitimately feels that a child is in danger from abuse or neglect, then they should report it.

 

I'm sure many of us on these boards grew up in less than perfect environments and some of us grew up in homes where abuse and neglect was apparently the norm. If I felt a child was being abused or neglected or in danger because of a parents' actions, then I would have no qualms reporting that to police. I would hope the people on this site would do the same.

I know I have seen plenty of cases where neglect or abuse were obvious and the state did NOTHING, as well as cases where there was nothing even remotely wrong, and CPS decided to remove children from their home. I'm sure plenty of moms on here would speak up, if needed, but parents should never be reported for their choice in birth place, and just because someone else doesn't agree with that. Which is certainly what it sounds like in this case.


Now to the OP, I'd say tell your friend, she deserves to know. Also, suggest that she watch who she tells about her UP and UC, because all the people who think their OB is god could give her problems. It isn't illegal ANYWHERE for a UC, there are certain states where its illegal if a dad catches, but unless you are posting your birth video for everyone to see, and dad is on there catching, (and you live in one of those states), there is nothing anyone can do about it. People think a UC is something that mom-to-be take lightly and know nothing about, simply because they aren't an OB or MW who have "delivered" hundreds or thousands of babies. No matter how many babies you deliver, YOU know your body better than ANYONE else.
LoL I think thats enough ranting, I apologize, just the PP irritated me.
 

 

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#8 of 16 Old 06-13-2011, 09:05 PM
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choosing to UP/UC is not a reason in-and-of itself to demonstrate neglect or abuse of that child or others in the home such that it would, in and of itself, require reporting. 

 

i agree that should i feel sincerely that a child is being neglected or abused, i would report it. 

 

but, more often, i call CPS with the parents. most parents do not want to be abusive or neglectful. if the parents are "evil people" who want to be that, then I might report and that's it. But I do believe that *most* parents want to be good parents. some just fall behind on bills, or simply don't know what resources are available to them. i will usually speak with them first, explaining my concerns, and asking if they are aware of services or organizations that can help. if they are, and simply not utilizing them, then I might encourage that first, and then categorize them as "abusive baddies" if they don't act. 

 

that being said, in one occasion where i had this conversation, it turned out that the woman did not know of services available to her. together, we contacted CPS and asked for their help. They sent someone out to observe, offered suggestions, and provided her with *many* state benefits and non-profit organizations that could provide support. She wasn't trying to be neglectful, she was just doing the best she could. And when she got resources to help her fill in the gaps, everything was great for her and her child.

 

but, I wouldn't call CPS just because a woman is choosing to forgo medical care or an attendant at birth. If there were more or other reasons to be concerned, then I would be.

 

but, if that person is a friend of mine, I would talk to her *first* and see what is what *before* simply reporting to CPS.

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#9 of 16 Old 06-14-2011, 04:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you guys for all the suggestions and information. I talked with my friend, and found out that the other mother was one of those sad cases where the baby died in utero with NO warning. She had chosen to labor as long as possible at home, and then they went to the hospital, got all hooked up to the machines, and there was no heartbeat. I'm thinking she blames herself for not going in earlier, like her doctor told her to (she was told to go in AS SOON as her membranes broke.) I think she's putting her fears onto the situation.

It makes me feel bad, because I feel, and this is just me, but I feel like she's acting out of guilt. Like maybe she couldn't save her baby, so she's trying to save E's baby... does that make sense? Her situation is a sad one, one I wish parents never had to go through, but they never could figure out what happened and they couldn't say for sure when the baby passed, so it very well could have been gone even before her water broke.

Either way, I think this mama is causing problems from a geniune place of fear. I just don't know what to say to her, if anything. I want to be understanding, but I want to gently let her know that she should talk to E about her worries, because I think E could explain in a very precise way, why she feels 100 percent comfortable making the choice she's made.
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#10 of 16 Old 06-14-2011, 11:30 AM
 
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Good points, KyMomma. 

 

Once one lives through a traumatic and disturbing episode such as that, it colors and shades all other aspects of life. I hope your friend has a good network of people who love her and care for her.

 

I've often thought that someone's words and responses and actions reflect their own experience and personal bias, and should not be construed as a direct and specific reaction or criticism of someone's statement or action. Not sure that makes sense. What I mean is that what someone does or says, even in apparent reaction to someone else, is actually a statement of their own and not a reaction or criticism of someone. Someone else's words should not be taken so personally.

 

Also, once someone sees a child unnecessarily die or become brain damaged, I think someone may be entitled to strong opinions or judgments.

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#11 of 16 Old 06-15-2011, 01:29 AM
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In that situation, I would be very kind with her in the process of talking about the situation. I understand what her process may be, and that she may be genuinely concerned -- but her first port of call is to talk to the other woman, not involve an agency that could remove her children from her home. While her heart may be in the right place, her actions were very dangerous for that family.

 

I think that -- for me at least -- it's important that people use CPS judiciously for a variety of reasons.

 

First, AP families are largely suspect in many jurisdictions. Cosleeping can get children removed from homes. In some countries -- such as with a family in Spain -- breastfeeding past one year can create a removal. And an online friend in So Cal is currently separated from her children because she has a lawsuit against the city where she lives (for housing issues). Once you make that call, you no longer have any control -- and if you don't know what the local politics are, the children could be removed for a reason that you *support* (eg, you think it's great that she's co-sleeping!) and not the reason you called (you dont think it's great that she didn't get medical care). 

 

Second, CPS resources are -- like many government agencies and other non-governmental groups that aid families in various situations of need -- finite and often stretched. To be honest, they have to follow up with every call -- whether it's because of this woman's fear, a frivolous "i'm getting back at you!" behavior, or a legitimate cause. This means that things get lost, overlooked, overblown, underblown, and ultimately, people do not get the resources that they need.

 

CPS has an important job, and an important purpose. It is important that when we report, we are reporting for a legitimate reason -- not our fears -- and that we are doing so in order to help a family. If that person is a friend, I woudl talk to her first in order to help her, not go to an agency. If that family is in need of help, and we are not friends, or if that child is in need of help, and i think the situation is risky, then I would absolutely go to CPS -- no conversation, no question. 

 

At the end of the day, I believe it must be done with the family in mind and how CPS can *help*.

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#12 of 16 Old 06-15-2011, 01:31 AM
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And by-the-by, I did once know a young woman who was pregnant but didn't have insurance. She believed that she couldn't get prenatal care, and so she was UPing. Now, of course, she wasn't UPing at all, she wanted to get care, but believed that she couldn't.

 

I called the local planned parenthood clinic and helped her set up her appointments for prenatal care. it was free for her, and they also alerted her to many other government agencies and programs that could help her once the baby was born. she was treated well and fairly by all. She was simply ignorant of her options.

 

if this woman *truly believed* that the UCing mother was ignorant of her options, then I could see that as a reason to call. But otherwise, she is simply acting out of her emotion -- for which I feel great sympathy -- but it doesn't make it "right action."

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#13 of 16 Old 06-15-2011, 06:44 AM
 
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It was none of this woman's business to call CPS. No one is going to take her child away just because she is going to UC. Warn your friend and shame on that other lady being so judgmental and nosey.

 

There was a case in 2004 where a woman refused to have a c-section, because she knew she wasn't high risk, and the doctor had the hospital's lawyers file for custody of her unborn child if she returned to have care at that hospital. Here's the link, (though, I'm not sure where this case was): http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5012918/ns/health-womens_health/t/what-are-mothers-rights-during-childbirth/ 

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#14 of 16 Old 06-15-2011, 08:44 PM
 
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If the woman really was concerned, or thought she didn't know her options, she should have talked to HER. Not called CPS.

But, in light of her tragedy, I would be nice about it. She is probably trying to "save" this mom from a possible loss. I have a friend that lost a baby at a HB, due to MWs negligence. She is passionate about talking to others about the risks because she doesn't want to see anyone else hurt. If you lost a babe due to a hospital mistake, you would be telling others, and this is OK. I can't blame moms with loss for sharing or worrying.

But, this just means she should talk to the mom. It does not follow that you call CPS.
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#15 of 16 Old 06-16-2011, 04:57 PM
 
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it is stories like this that make me very wary of who I speak with about my up/uc intentions, which is truly sad because we need to be working to change the culture of birth violence that we live in.  Women need to be taking back their birthing experiences and to know that if they feel comfortable with it, birthing unassisted is a reasonable option.  Vigilantes with no real lives are their own are everywhere just waiting to meddle in someone else's affairs.  be cautious mamas!

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#16 of 16 Old 06-17-2011, 08:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lightinmyhands View Post

it is stories like this that make me very wary of who I speak with about my up/uc intentions, which is truly sad because we need to be working to change the culture of birth violence that we live in.  Women need to be taking back their birthing experiences and to know that if they feel comfortable with it, birthing unassisted is a reasonable option.  Vigilantes with no real lives are their own are everywhere just waiting to meddle in someone else's affairs.  be cautious mamas!


yeahthat.gif I really want to tell people how I plan to have my child (which is at home, unassisted) but it's foreign to so many people and even more people will exhibit the behavior of sticking their fingers in their ears and singing "lalalala I can't hear you!" because they are only comfortable with what they know. I tried telling my sister at one point that I plan on staying at home and laboring and giving birth unassisted, and she was just silent. She'd had a c-section, due to an incompetent cervix, and she felt that her baby was only safest born in a hospital. When asked why I wanted to have a homebirth, I told her, I know my body knows how to have a baby safely. I do not need a nurse or doctor to tell me when to push, what position to be in, how long I need to push, or that I am being too loud, perhaps I need the epidural. I want a quiet, peaceful homebirth, with no unneeded intervention. My sister was still silent, and I could tell that the wheels in her mind were turning, like she knew I was right, but that she could never feel safe outside of a hospital while giving birth.
 

 

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