Washington Couple Fighting For Custody Of Twins After Home Birth

It was once common for babies to be born at home, but a recent home birth may have lead to a Washington couple’s newborn twins being taken away from them by the state. Erica May Carey gave birth to the twins, a boy and a girl, at home without the benefit of a mid-wife and she and her husband, Cleave Rengo, believe that the babies were taken because Carey refused to allow them to be taken to the hospital for an examination when paramedics showed up at their doorstep.

Along with the twins, the couple’s 10-month-old son was also removed from the home, presumably because of a case of eczema the couple was treating with natural products instead of a steroid-based medication. The couple wasn’t even aware Carey was pregnant with twins because she hadn’t had an ultrasound performed during her pregnancy

As USA Today reported, the couple cited their Christian beliefs for the use of holistic medicine for themselves and their children. Carey, 29, and Rengo, 23, are common-law married as they do not have a marriage license issued by the state of Washington. They had opted for a home birth to retain the sacredness of the event.

“I’ve done a lot of research about other women who have done it and they said the spiritual experience was so much more wholesome. It was just us. We wanted to preserve that sanctity and sacredness in our birth.”

Child Protective Services began showing up at their home the day after the twins were born and eventually took all three kids from the home. As Yahoo! News reported, the attention the case has garnered prompted Washington Governor Jay Inslee to post on his personal Facebook page about the case. He thanked people for their concern, but tried to justify the actions taken by CPS.

“I’d like to be clear: every child’s safety is our top priority in situations like these. Rumors have circulated that the removal of the Rengo children was due to breastfeeding or their home births. Those rumors are false…Rengo children’s safety is at risk.”

During the week after Gov. Inslee’s comments, the Bellingham Herald reported that the state was trying to show the Rengo family was unstable by saying they had a history with law enforcement and they had refused to seek medical treatment for their kids.

The couple has petitioned the state to return their children, who they have barely seen in eight weeks. Their oldest son, Levi, had his first birthday without this family and while in state custody, he also came down with a case of pneumonia and had infections in both ears. One of the twins, Daniel, has had issues with reflux.

The attorney, Stephen Pidgeon, representing the family had to turn to the Court of Appeals because the Whatcom County Superior Court judges turned away his petition to return the children to their home. He told the court that there was no indications of abuse or neglect of the Rengo children.

“CPS is somehow imposing its medical judgment over the judgment of the parents. Apparently, if you don’t see it the way CPS sees it, then you’re abusing your children.”

Among those who have voiced their concern about the case is Medical Kidnap, a website that reports about children being taken out of their homes when their parents question medical advice. As the Inquisitr reported, this is just one of several recent cases of children being removed from their homes after their parents requested a second opinion, or refused the recommended treatment by medical personnel.

Are these cases due to the states overstepping their authority, or are their reasons for the states to be concerned? Tell us your opinion below.

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