Tuesday, July 16, 2024

State Government Can Remove Child From Parents Based on Presumption: Idaho State Representative

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Medical kidnapping, when children are taken away from their parents by a government agency due to medical reasons, has been becoming a problem in Idaho, according to Idaho state Rep. Tammy Nichols.

Many children are taken away with the involvement of the government agency Child Protective Services (CPS), Nichols, a Republican, told EpochTV’s “Crossroads” program, “but only a few of those actually end up being legitimate cases.”

“We want children protected, of course, if there is neglect or abuse going on,” said Nichols.

“It used to be that churches, families, your local communities–they kind of all watched out for that sort of stuff and they would interject and help in situations like that. Now that’s all been turned over to the government. And the government is—in many cases—seems to be overreaching.”

Doctors are given financial incentives for every case that they turn into CPS, Nichols said.

“Medical kidnapping is where a child is taken from their family. And usually, it’s due to some sort of medical reason that is either something that the child is experiencing or something that is just presumed is occurring,” the representative explained.

Nichols cited a story of a child in Idaho that was taken away from its parents based on a presumption that the baby was malnourished. But the parents contend that the child is not malnourished; it was just that the baby has issues with some supplements, milk, and other foods which it was not able to digest properly and those foods made the child sick.

The child had been exclusively nursed instead because he can process breast milk much better. He was in a hospital for a little while, and after being discharged from the hospital, he had to see a medical professional for weight checks, Nichols continued.

The family did not come for one of the weigh checks and wanted to reschedule it. A doctor at the clinic decided that CPS needed to get involved in this case because in the doctor’s opinion the baby was malnourished, Nichols said.

As a result, the police surrounded the family when they stopped at a gas station and told the mother that they would take the child to a hospital. They informed the mother that she would not be allowed to go with her baby and must turn him over. The mother’s sister traveling with the family was handcuffed by the police during the incident.

The story about the child was relayed by Nichols based on the live video recordings of the incident posted on Facebook by a child’s parent, the representative said.

The child was taken away from the mother who was then arrested but released later. However, the parents were not informed where the child was taken and were told to wait for a hearing, Nichols added.

“There [were] never any charges brought against the parents that there was any neglect or abuse or anything going on.” The guilt in such a case rests upon the parents and they have to prove their innocence, Nichols said.

This is contrary to the United States law that a person is assumed innocent until proved guilty.

How Child Protection Agencies Operate

Anyone can make an accusation against parents or a caregiver and report it to CPS, Nichols explained. CPS then visits the family and if it determines that the child needs to be taken away the agency can go ahead and do that, she pointed out.

Nichols heard that to prevent medical kidnapping some parents do not allow CPS into their homes. In that case, CPS may come back with a warrant or something similar but “that makes it a different case,” she added.

When a child is removed from parents’ care, “the parental rights aspect is taken away at that moment and it’s turned over to CPS. And now you’re at the discretion of what CPS wants to do and what they’re allowing you to do at that time,” Nichols said.

Parents whose children are removed by CPS have to prove their innocence to get the child back, which sometimes can be resolved fairly quickly but in some cases it may take a long time, the representative said. In one case it took 18 months for a mother to get her child back but she still needs to clear her name, Nichols added.

If the name of the parent is not cleared, CPS can at any time come to their home and attend any medical appointment for their child, Nichols said. “It’s almost like you’re on probation, and you have to check in with your probation officer.”

Moreover, working families whose children were taken away by CPS are at a great disadvantage, as they need to use their savings to cover legal expenses to get their children back and have their names cleared, while government agencies seem to have “an unlimited supply of money and attorneys,” Nichols said.

Reining in Government Overreach
Parents are concerned that the way child protection agencies operate may lead to serious government overreach. For example, parents worry that a doctor can report them as neglecting or abusing their child if they do not vaccinate the child, Nichols said.

Idaho is “a sex trafficking hub” because of its geographical location, Nichols said. It is surrounded by six states and shares a small portion of its border with Canada. “It’s very easy for someone to utilize our state to traffic children through,” Nichols added.

“We have to set those boundaries and make sure that those agencies such as CPS are operating within their boundaries,” Nichols said.

The representative pointed out that children should be protected against neglect and abuse and there are laws already in place that allows agencies to intervene in such cases and charge the abuser. However, it is very wrong if parents have to prove themselves innocent, even if no charges are brought up, Nichols said, as parents should be entitled to due process.

The Idaho House of Representatives introduced a bill to prevent medical kidnapping and to rein in government control and authority when dealing with child protection.

“Our goal right now is to start reining in CPS and their ability to go after parents,” Nichols said.

A couple of attorneys who work on CPS cases helping families get their children back helped to draft this bill and Idaho lawmakers took input from families that were subjected to medical kidnapping, she added.

Agencies like CPS should be controlled by the legislature, Nichols noted. There should be good boundaries, good parameters, and good laws in place that dictate how CPS operates, she added.

It is difficult to assess how many cases of medical kidnapping occur in other states because of gag orders imposed on victimized families so they cannot speak about it, Nichols said. Some of them do not speak because they are concerned with retribution or retaliation but others speak despite the gag order, she added.


Ella Kietlinska is a reporter for The Epoch Times focusing on U.S. and world politics.


Joshua Philipp is an award-winning investigative reporter with The Epoch Times and host of EpochTV’s “Crossroads” program. He is a recognized expert on unrestricted warfare, asymmetrical hybrid warfare, subversion, and historical perspectives on today’s issues. His 10-plus years of research and investigations on the Chinese Communist Party, subversion, and related topics give him unique insight into the global threat and political landscape.

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