Social workers remove Texas newborn after parents said they’d use midwife to treat her jaundice
A Texas couple is fighting to get their two-week-old daughter back after Social Services removed the baby for refusing hospital treatment for jaundice.
Temecia and Rodney Jackson welcomed baby Mila on March 21, weighing six pounds and nine ounces.
The little girl was born at their home in Desoto, a Dallas suburb, with a midwife present.
The Jacksons took Mila for a routine appointment to a hospital when she was three days old, and were seen by a nurse working alongside pediatrician Dr Anand Bhatt.
Temecia Jackson is seen at home in Desoto, Texas, with baby Mila, who was born on March 21
Mila was born at home, under the supervision of Cheryl Edinbyrd, a certified professional midwife
Newborn Mila suffered from jaundice – a common condition that affects 60 percent of all babies
The Jacksons say they were told their daughter was healthy and were fired.
They were concerned that she had jaundice and took her to the hospital on March 27.
“When we went to the pediatrician we were told the levels are high and they will test and follow up on blood,” she shared The Fort Worth Star telegram.
“They followed up and said we should immediately hospitalize the baby for light therapy.”
The Jacksons said they wanted to do the therapy at home because they didn’t want their baby hospitalized.
“We followed up with him to let him know that we will be completing light care independently at home,” she said.
Jaundice in babies occurs because the baby’s blood contains an excess of bilirubin, a yellow pigment of red blood cells. The condition is common: about 60 percent of all babies have jaundice, According to the CDC.
Still, Dr Bhatt — who Temecia Jackson says didn’t see the baby while his nurse checked on the newborn — was adamant that Mila needed hospital care.
Temecia and Rodney Jackson are seen at a press conference on Thursday begging for the return of their newborn daughter
Dr. Anand Bhatt, a pediatrician, said the newborn had jaundice to a dangerous level and needed hospital treatment: the parents insisted she could be treated at home
Newborn baby Mila, who gave birth at home in the Dallas suburbs
On March 28, Social Services arrived at Jackson’s home and took Mila away.
Dr. Bhatt said in his letter recommending that the newborn be taken away from the parents that Mila had dangerously high levels of bilirubin, which can lead to brain damage.
Mila’s bilirubin value was 21.7, according to the letter sent by WFAA.
Dr. Bhatt wrote that “A bilirubin over 20 puts a baby at risk of brain damage because the bilirubin can cross the blood-brain barrier.”
He said he repeatedly tried to contact the parents, but when he couldn’t, he called Child Services and said the baby needed urgent medical attention.
“I filed a case report with CPS after making 10 attempts to appeal to the family through phone calls, text messages, and leaving voicemails for not answering the phone,” he wrote.
“Parents are very loving and care deeply about their baby.
Their mistrust of medical care and guidance has led them to refuse the baby simple treatment that could prevent brain damage.
“I have authorized the support of CPS to provide this baby with the care that was medically necessary and necessary.”
The CPS concurred, stating in its own letter, “Because the parents are unwilling to discuss the danger and potential consequences of this condition, the department must intervene.”
The CPS letter listed concerns about “possible stroke, brain damage or other immediate dangers to the child.”
The Jacksons discovered upon reading the paperwork that the mother was listed as another woman with a criminal past.
Rodney Jackson was described as the “supposed father.”
“Illegal entered my house to take my baby from me,” she said at a news conference Thursday at the Afiya Center in Dallas.
“I immediately felt like they stole my baby when I gave birth at home, and they tried to say my baby belonged to that other woman.”
The Jacksons say they were ‘treated like criminals’
Cheryl Edinbyrd, the licensed professional midwife who attended Mila’s birth
Her husband added: ‘We have been treated like criminals – which is far from the truth.
“This is a nightmare I wouldn’t wish on anyone.”
The Jacksons have since visited their baby in the hospital and are expected to appear in court on April 20.
Gary Gates, a state representative, is campaigning for Mila to return to her parents.
He said it was ‘terrible; that the newborn should be kept away from her mother during the vital first few weeks.
“You mean nothing will be done for the next few weeks?” he said.
“I mean, this kid will be over a month old and completely denied bonding with his mother.”
He also noted the errors on the paperwork.
“And if this is a false statement, you know, that’s criminal,” Gates said.
“You know, you can’t make a false statement because you swear under oath that every line of that statement is correct.”
Cheryl Edinbyrd, the licensed professional midwife who attended Mila’s birth, said: ‘CPS has plenty to do here for children who are really being beaten and abused. This child was raised. This child was supported. And this child was loved. And this child has been kidnapped.’
She added: “We demand that Mila be returned home today. Today. Because yesterday was too late.’