Our story

I want to tell you a story. I can do this now but I couldn’t before on advice of our attorney. Hopefully it will explain a great deal of the stress that we have been under.

This past October (2009), Jon and I, on advice of our family physician following an office visit, had a consult with a local pediatrician, we’ll call her Dr. B.

Our family doctor was somewhat concerned about Noah not gaining weight as rapidly as the growth chart would like, thus the reason we were referred to Dr. B for blood work and additional testing, if needed.

Our problems began upon entering Dr. B’s office on October 30, 2009 when the receptionist tried to transfer Noah’s records over as a new patient and we explained that we were there for a consult via our physician, at which point, the overall mood of the office changed dramatically.

Dr. B was very rough in her handling of Noah during the examination as well as being rude to us. This went a long way in our assessment of her as a doctor. We attempted to tell her that there is something on Jon’s mother’s side of the family that causes some family members to be extremely small. She refused to even consider this as a possibility. This frustrated us as we believe this familial history as something to be weighed heavily.

Suddenly, Dr. B proceeded to inform us that she wanted Noah hospitalized immediately. She did not tell us why other than she was concerned about him. After listening to Dr. B’s assessment of Noah, Jon and I conferred and decided that we did not feel comfortable with her assessment. We determined that we were going to return to our doctor for his opinion and, if our physician thought it necessary, perhaps even get another pediatric assessment.

We spoke again with our family physician’s office. Our doctor still did not believe Noah to be in imminent danger and agreed with our desire to obtain a second pediatric opinion. Upon being apprised of this by our GP’s office, Dr. B made the threat that if Noah was not admitted to hospital by noon on Tuesday, November 3, 2009, that she would file a report with DCS.

We had an appointment for Noah scheduled for that Wednesday, November 4, 2009, with another pediatrician who was recommended to us by some local mamas. Upon speaking again with our physician’s office, we did not see a need to admit him before seeing that pediatrician for his opinion. It is our belief that with Dr. B’s threat that she would report us to DCS if we did not comply with her wishes falls dangerously close to blackmail.

Again, Jon and I conferred. Admittedly, we resented this doctor who had never seen our son before to strong-arm us into something that our own doctor didn’t feel necessary. We went in to our doctor’s office that morning and had Noah weighed. To everyone’s relief he was back on the growth chart. Our doctor’s office welcomed our decision to still contact a second pediatrician for an assessment and again reiterated their belief that hospitalization was a rash decision.  

On Friday, October 30, 2009, Jon’s sister-in-law, a pediatric nurse, suggested that we merely increase Noah’s caloric intake somewhat, which we began doing immediately. Noah was in the process of gaining weight between his appointment with our family doctor on Wednesday, October 28, 2009, the appointment on Friday, October 31, 2009 with Dr. B, and the follow-up appointment with our doctor on Monday, November 2, 2009. Our doc’s office noted that Noah was back on the growth chart at that Monday appointment.

On Tuesday, November 3, 2009, we were visited by a man and a woman from DCS, escorted by two local police officers demanding to see our son. We felt we had nothing to hide so we allowed them into our office and spoke with them. The woman immediately requested that Noah be stripped down to his diaper so that she might see him.

The woman and the man informed us that Noah would be going to the hospital, whether by their doing or ours. We were informed that we had no choice in the matter and that Noah was going, regardless. No warrant was ever produced.

Jon and I drove Noah to Riley Hospital where he was examined by doctors who preferred to speak more to the DCS caseworkers than to us, Noah’s own parents, even though, at that time, no petition had been filed by DCS against us.

Around 2:00 pm on Tuesday, November 3, 2009, an attending doctor at Riley Hospital, examined Noah after his arrival and told us directly that he would like to have Noah treated as an outpatient. He then returned to the hallway where a very lengthy conversation between medical personnel and DCS took place, during which we were completely excluded.

We were left sitting in the room until about 5:30 pm during which time we were informed by the DCS workers that Noah was staying and that they were filing charges against us in court the following day. It is our contention that this delay was done deliberately in an effort to prevent us from obtaining legal counsel or contacting our physician. It is also our belief that this stops just short of criminal confinement.

When we appeared in court the following day (Wednesday, November 4, 2009), we were given copies of the documents that DCS had submitted to the court in which, it is our contention that DCS actually perjured themselves by intentionally leaving out pertinent information that showed that a charge of neglect is completely unfounded.

Jon has been trained by the United States Army as a Combat Lifesaver. While serving in Afghanistan, he went into several villages where there were actual starving children. They were starving to the point that the medical personnel running the clinics had orders in place not to give any of the children anything out of their MRE’s because the sudden jump in caloric intake could kill the children. Jon has seen starving, dying children. At no point did our son look like one of those children and to have someone tell Jon that Noah did is sickening to him. If at any point, we felt that Noah was in need of lifesaving measures, we would have admitted him immediately.

According to IC 31-34-1, the very code we were being charged under, we did not fit the two requirements listed. Noah’s physical condition was not seriously impaired or seriously endangered as a result of the inability, refusal, or neglect by us, his parents, who provided him food, clothing, shelter, medical care and supervision. Education does not apply as he is less than school age. The second criteria are that he needed care, treatment, or rehabilitation that he was not receiving and would be unlikely to receive. This is also unfounded as Noah has been to his physician on multiple occasions. We had an appointment to take Noah to one more pediatrician in an effort to make certain that hospitalization would have actually been the correct thing as our family physician did not recommend hospitalization at that time, yet another physician did. We had an appointment and were in the process of taking appropriate measures based on the information we had.

Our six year old is afraid that her family is being ripped apart which is, in essence, what DCS is attempting to do. She has lived the last several months terrified that DCS would take her brother away. 

The initial attorney we had wanted us to take a deal, something that was tantamount to a plea bargain, to make it all go away. The “deal” is called an Informal Adjustment. If you know what a plea bargain is, you already understand an IA. The actual “deal” we were offered was for them to drop all charges on Jon – so as to protect his Army Reserve career as well as the pending adoption that we have been trying to finish – and I would take the IA where I would a) be put on the Indiana child abuse registry, and b) agree to do whatever they wanted me to for a period of six months, after which they could either a) leave us alone, or b) ask a judge to let them continue in our lives. 

After being offered this deal – but never actually getting it in writing – I spoke with three different attorneys, all of whom said that it was no deal at all. The one in particular stated that were I his daughter, he would not let me take it. We went with that attorney.

Fortunately, after hiring him – at a very high price, I might add – we finally recently got word that the CHINS case is being dismissed. The actual paperwork where the judge signed off on it arrived in the mail yesterday. 

We couldn’t be happier. 

Why am I telling you this? Because I want to spare you the ordeal that we went through. Here’s really all you need to know – yes, I’ve done hours of research on this after being thrown into the system as we were: If anyone from DCS comes to your door, bring the child in question to either the door or window so that DCS may see him/her. Then ask for a warrant. If they have seen the child, they may go to the judge to get a warrant, but if the judge asks them if they saw the child, they say yes. The judge then wants to know if they saw anything wrong with the child. If the answer is no – assuming you really don’t abuse your kids, of course – the judge will see no reason to sign a warrant. 

NEVER LET THEM IN YOUR HOUSE because you don’t have to without a warrant!! As soon as you let them in, you waive all rights. With DCS, it’s not really “innocent until proven guilty”, it’s guilty until you can manage to prove otherwise. The people who are most likely to lose their kids are the ones who think they’ve got nothing to hide and let DCS in.

Get it? Got it? Good.

As an aside, I have now heard from two different sources that once DCS gets involved, you are automatically put on a child abuse registry. All the more reason to not let them in, eh?? 

Edited to add: We got in contact with the ACLU, but they were not interested even though many of our civil rights were violated: By the plainclothes officer who showed up, showed us the gun at his side, did not identify himself before he forced us to leave the restaurant we were at to return to our office where DCS agents waited.  The violations of HIPAA that occurred when Riley Hospital did not inform us of anything – even though we had not yet been charged with anything – keeping us totally in the dark while the ER docs had long conversations with DCS, not us, the parents…. So yeah, it seems that the ACLU only has cajones unless and until DCS is involved. As a result of this, I have lost much respect for the once-great organization.

22 thoughts on “Our story”

  1. OMG. What an ordeal to have to go through. I'm so happy for you that it is finally over. Thanks for your advice. I'd be one to just let them in.

  2. Shell, we're very glad it's over. Sadly, DCS has some almost god-like power once you let them in your home. Best thing to do if they come sniffing around AFTER you've asked them nicely for a warrant? Get a good attorney.

  3. Thank God everything turned out ok in the end. I'm sure this was horrible for your family…and thank you for the advice on not letting them in, I would be the one who says "sure come on in".

  4. Alicia, the best part is that we heard that the same doctor likes to call DCS anytime she's ticked off at parents of a patient. So, it seems we're just one of many.

  5. Don't know how laws work over there but it feels bad, anyway I am glad it is over. ^_^ Enjoy your day with your kids…say hi to little Noah (feeling close?) Hehehe

  6. OMG! What is wrong with the world? So many parents are afraid of DCS that they would never think they are allowed to ask for a warrant.

  7. That is horrible. What a horrible doctor. She should be referred for an audit by a government agency and she should have to go thru as much as you went through to clear her name, if she even deserves it. I'm glad things turned out Ok in the end.

  8. RyHeAnNe, thanks for reading. Here (in the U.S.), DCS (Dept. of Child Services) sort of runs rampant over citizen's rights. The sad thing is, they focus too much on cases that aren't anything – like ours – while ignoring cases they need to do something about.

  9. Shelley T., that ignorance is exactly what DCS depends on. That's how they are able to do what they do. I've pretty much decided that after they screwed with us, I'm going to make it my mission to let others know all about them and what to do about it.

  10. I am sorry that your family had to go through this ordeal. Twenty years ago my battle with Ma DCF began. My ex had vowed revenge for my getting re married. He discovered how to manipulate and use the system. If reports keep getting filed they eventually will find some reason to support them which is what happened in my case. When my oldest turned 14 my ex encouraged her to claim my husband sexually molested her. He promised her she would be able to live with him. We fought in both criminal court and family court. We had a fair hearing with DCF and they refused their decision to support the allegation. The criminal court dismissed all charges. I never lost custody of my other four children. We thought our nightmare was over 12 yrs ago. Six weeks ago they used my past history with them to remove my grandson from my care. With no due process! I am not charged with anything nor have any reports been filed against me. I discovered that if you have any reports substantiated or not your name automatically goes onto a child abuse registry that CPS agencies maintain. This is a registry that does not notify you of the placement of your name nor does the public have access to it. They system is so horribly corrupt and needs reform.

  11. I am so glad that everything worked out good for your family after DFCS (CPS) came into your lives. Unfortunately that isn't always the case. Families are being torn apart left and right. My late husband was an attorney who practiced law for almost 30 years. I'm so glad he isn't here today to see how corrupt his collegues have become.Never in a million years would I have ever dreamed that things would be like they are and are going to get worse if the UNCRC is Ratified!The NCJFCJ have een fighting for it for approx. 10 years. What will these Judges gain? More power and control over us and our children. Juvenile and Family Courts collaborate with DFCS. Never, Ever Trust DFCS! Also she was asolutely correct about CPS not having a warrent. Now if they feel the child is in iminent danger they will go ahead and take the child anyway and it's a little hard to say no to two huge police officers and please think strongly about this but don't do it because I sugested it. Do not allow them into your home. Do not, I mean Do Not talk to them at all if you can help it. Thhat especially means answering their questions. Tell them if you have to that you will talk to them with your attorney present. They will use everything you say, twist it around and use it against you. They may say you should go into a family preservation plan, voluntary they say. Do not do it and do not sign anything! Do not sign a thing!Continue to tell them that they are violating your constitutional rights and if you volunteer to do their services then that is going to look like a sign of being guilty. You will very soon learn that these services are not voluntary! At that time you may be or feel threatened. Family Preservation is a well planned strategic tactic that they use to obtain enough information to build a case on you with. I have known of several incidents where Service providers have told Parents one thing and if CPS wasnt satisfied with their decision, they would place a phone call and the Providers totally changed their opinions. If you are ever involved with CPS you must fight back with every single thing you have because no matter what they tell you or no matter what you think, they are not your friends! If you can afford an attorney, go out and hire one right away that has and will go up against them and is not afraid to win. If you don't, use your best judgement because the main thing is that you don't want your kids to be under their control period. Instruct your children, depending on age, that they do not have to answer any questions! Either way find a support network of others who have been there. Always glad to hear of a happy ending,Sincerely,Callie ThorntonParental Advocatehttp://parentalrights2.blogspot.com/ Part of my story is posted at Parental rights II along with my daughters and her little girl Aimea's Video.Please feel free to stop by and follow if you would like to, we can use all the attention we can bring to our issue as possible! "There is an incentive behind baby stealing and selling , also called child trafficking" Money, The Awesome State Power, as our Juvenile Court Judge calls it, and Accountability."Your Family Could Be Next!"

  12. Gee. DCS has been called on us twice (both times by Sophie's awful kindergarten teacher last year, when she was in IPS) and like the naive, cowed idiots we were, we let them in. The first caseworker saw that it was clearly the teacher filing a nuisance claim due to personality conflict and dismissed it. The second caseworker, according to my Healthy Families contact person, was looking desperately for something to accuse us of and was furious that there was obviously no sign of abuse or neglect. So we're in a child abuse registry now, too?TERRIFIC.Anyway, I'm so sorry you had to go through that. I don't know who to be angrier at, the medical "professionals" or DCS. That just sucks. I'm glad you won your case.

  13. I am so sorry that you're family had to endure this!I also live in Indiana, and I also had to deal with CPS recently. In my case it was because family members don't agree with my "natural" ways (such as homeschooling, not vaxing, etc) and filed a neglect accusation. I freely let the woman in my home (even though something kept telling me not to). She wanted to see all of my kids, looked in each room of the house, including the fridge, and wanted attendance records for school. I haven't heard anything from them again since. But now after reading your post I wonder if I'm "in the system".

  14. innerpeace5, thanks for commenting here. The scary thing is, without an attorney, I don't think that a parent stands much of a chance against DCS.

  15. Sarah, there is a good chance that you are on a registry… the bad thing is, I'm not sure how you would go about finding out for certain.

  16. Jessica, from now on, do not let them in. I did learn that, if your "natural" ways are the result of any sort of religious beliefs, then you are kind of untouchable because the courts cannot trample on a family's religion. In any case, I'd still speak with an attorney.

  17. You ARE on the child abuse registry. Once they substantiate a claim against you your name is put on the list, before you go to court, speak to a judge, get dismissed.I had a lying sack of crap come into my home and did almost the same thing to us, except she fabricated a story AFTER she unsubstantiated the allegations that brought her to my house.We NEVER got to go to court to tell our side. We had a fact finding hearing, the case worker went on vacation instead and asked for a continuous. She knew she would have to lie on the stand and possibly get caught!I am SUING them and I wish to GOD others would do the same, stand up for you rights, fight , fight, fight.

  18. Anonymous, thank you for posting. I always hate to hear of another family going through something like this. By all means, SUE. I highly recommend doing so. The best part? The DCS worker does not always have immunity, even though they readily believe that they can do anything they want and still maintain immunity. You just have to a) have a good attorney, and b) do the research.

Comments are closed.