A vegan mom in Florida had her baby son taken away for five months when he was just a few days old. Some feel the case of Sarah Markham is another example of a medical kidnapping, but other feels the removal of little Caleb was justified.
Sarah Markham, the so-called vegan mom, was reportedly told by her doctor to take Caleb to the hospital because he was underweight and had previously been dehydrated. The baby had reportedly lost 10 percent of his body weight not long after birth. Markham, who has a degree in health science, is a Christian Seventh-day Adventist and holistic healing believer who believes that a vegan diet is in her system of beliefs.
The Florida mom refused to take her newborn baby, Caleb, to the hospital for weight treatment, and the ultimate results was a removal of physical custody. Last week, a judge ordered the baby to be returned to the vegan mom, but noted that Markham still faces child neglect charges. The judge decided that Markham was a fit mother and allowed Caleb to return home if the vegan mom promised to meet with a nutritionist.
Sarah Markham reportedly decided to supplement her breast milk with a vegan formula instead of following the doctor’s instructions to take baby Caleb to the local emergency room.
“Caleb was losing some weight so I had some concerns that I was only breastfeeding and that is when they said we needed to supplement. Instead of taking him to the hospital I went and got the formula,” the vegan mom said during an interview on the Today show.
Caleb’s doctor reported the mother to Child Protective Services (CPS), after she opted against rushing him to the emergency room. She was then arrested for child neglect, and the then 12-day-old baby was given to her parents. Florida police officers reportedly had to call a locksmith in order to gain entry to the home. Sarah Markham was deemed “argumentative” and “defensive at times,” and was described as not having a “sense of urgency” about the situation, in the police report taken during the removal of the baby.
“There’s no case, there’s no abuse, there’s no neglect, there’s simply a doctor who has been challenged by a mother and he didn’t like it,” Bo Markham, Caleb’s grandfather, told WFTV.
Mark O’Mara, the vegan mom’s attorney, does acknowledge that the baby boy was having difficulty gaining weight. O’Mara added that after the Florida mom was arrested, Caleb was taken to the hospital and given vegan formula, “and that’s all they did for the baby. She has done everything they’ve asked her to do. Mental health evaluations, drug evaluations, parenting classes, everything they’ve asked her to do she’s done, and she’s done it very well, and yet we have to go to trial on this. It’s absurd.”
“As a new mom you have this wonderful joy when you are pregnant, you want to meet the little person inside for the first time and you want them to see you as the protector, you are mommy. He’s still on a soy formula – he’s been on it, he likes it, he’s doing well. He’s growing healthy, and I can’t ask for anything more,” Sarah Markham said.
The 5-month-old baby now weighs 17 pounds and is reportedly in good health.
What do you think of the vegan mom losing custody of her newborn for five months? Was it a case of medical kidnapping?
[Image via: KAMR 4 Fox 14 News]