Breastfed, Homebirthed Babies Taken Away From Parents For Not Using Hospital

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FA Note: Agen­da 21’s intends con­trol over all sec­tors of life includ­ing that of birth and child rear­ing.

The Rengo Family: Cleave, Erica, with 10 month old Levi, and newborn twins.

The Ren­go Fam­i­ly: Cleave, Eri­ca, with 10 month old Levi, and new­born twins.

The Ren­go Fam­i­ly place­ment hear­ing was continued…again…to Fri­day morn­ing at 9 a.m

Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jason Over­street, rep­re­sent­ing the 42nd dis­trict in Wash­ing­ton, and who has tak­en an inter­est in this case, just post­ed an update on his Face­book Page:

The polit­i­cal pres­sure being exert­ed by an out­raged pub­lic is very obvi­ous­ly rever­ber­at­ing from the Governor’s office on down.

The state wrapped up with­in 20 min­utes, try­ing at the close of their argu­ment to intro­duce new exhibits show­ing med­ical prob­lems with one of the babies. The only prob­lem was that the diag­no­sis for pneu­mo­nia, ear infec­tions and reflux were well after the babies had been removed from their breast feed­ing moth­er.

The State fum­bled, with the defense object­ing to the hap­haz­ard man­ner in which the State intro­duced those doc­u­ments. The State, real­iz­ing it’s mis­take, with­drew one of the doc­u­ments and moved on.

At that point the defense team pro­ceed­ed to sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly dis­as­sem­ble the State’s premise–the fam­i­ly argues; there are “men­tal health issues” in the home; and the par­ents weren’t ade­quate­ly using the rash cream.

When the defense ques­tioned the CPS super­vi­sor as to whether or not the par­ents’ reli­gious beliefs were a con­sid­er­a­tion in this case, the State object­ed and the com­mis­sion­er was very leery of the issue, demand­ing that the defense pro­ceed care­ful­ly. I’ll leave you to think about that one.

The State is on thin ice and they know it. At one point dur­ing cross-exam­i­na­tion, being point­ed­ly ques­tioned by one of the defense attor­neys ask­ing incred­i­bly dam­ag­ing ques­tions to the State’s case, the court com­mis­sion­er had to ask the CPS super­vi­sor on the stand to speak up because “your voice is fad­ing.” Mine would have been fad­ing too.

UPDATE 2 – 12/3/2014

Peter Wag­n­er of KGMI News and Talk Radio in Belling­ham, Wash­ing­ton has also report­ed on the sto­ry, inter­view­ing the family’s attor­ney, Stephen Pid­geon.

Attor­ney to court: Charge par­ents or give babies back

UPDATE 1 – 12/3/2014

King 5 News has report­ed on the Ren­go fam­i­ly case:

Cou­ple fights for cus­tody of chil­dren after home birth

UPDATE 12/2/2014 – Hear­ing Extend­ed to Wed.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jason Over­street, rep­re­sent­ing the 42nd dis­trict in Wash­ing­ton, and who has tak­en an inter­est in this case, just post­ed an update on his Face­book Page:

The Ren­go Fam­i­ly place­ment hear­ing was moved up this morn­ing to 10 a.m. from the sched­uled 4 p.m. hear­ing. I will with­hold com­ment on that move.

Secu­ri­ty was heavy. The court­room was packed.

The allot­ted time­frame was 1 hour with an expect­ed deci­sion on place­ment either with the par­ents or a semi-per­ma­nent out of fam­i­ly place­ment. If your a pok­er play­er, this will be your “tell.”

The State Attor­ney General’s Office stood in place of the Coun­ty legal team in the pros­e­cu­tion of this hear­ing. A rare move indeed. Attor­ney Gen­er­al Fer­gu­son, the same AG who is per­se­cut­ing Chris­t­ian busi­ness own­ers for refus­ing to par­tic­i­pate in wed­dings that con­flict with their close­ly held reli­gious beliefs, sent his legal team to take over in an attempt to spare the State embar­rass­ment.

The Attor­ney General’s Office took the entire hour, dis­cussing police reports where no arrests were made, save one, pri­or to the birth of the chil­dren. No men­tion of the babies’ health and wel­fare was even attempt­ed by the State.

The court com­mis­sion­er was frus­trat­ed at the State’s extend­ed attempt to mud­dy the water, even com­ment­ing on the rare nature of such extend­ed tes­ti­mo­ny on a case that should be cut and dried after a forcible tak­ing of chil­dren from their par­ents.

The hear­ing was extend­ed to tomor­row at 2:30 on the 4th floor of the What­com Coun­ty Cour­t­house, where he demand­ed that the State rap up and allow the family’s legal team to present it’s case.

Con­sti­tu­tion­al Attor­ney Steven Pid­geon peti­tioned the court for a writ of habeus cor­pus, ask­ing that the charges be laid or the chil­dren be released to the par­ents. The writ of habeus cor­pus, a fun­da­men­tal tool of lib­er­ty guar­an­teed by both our State and Fed­er­al Con­sti­tu­tions, was ignored by the court, the clerk stat­ing that they hadn’t even seen one in 20 years, with one judge refus­ing to even look at the writ.

There is much talk of “more to the sto­ry.” There cer­tain­ly is. There always is. If you are tempt­ed to make that state­ment, ask your­self where your infor­ma­tion is com­ing from and what the valid­i­ty of that infor­ma­tion actu­al­ly is. This is not a com­fort­able con­ver­sa­tion, it’s true. I shud­der the hor­ror of your fam­i­ly, or mine, under a micro­scope of the bureau­cra­cy that is CPS.

UPDATE 12/1/2014

Con­sti­tu­tion­al Attor­ney Stephen Pid­geon has agreed to rep­re­sent the Ren­go Fam­i­ly in an attempt to reunite babies Levi, Mor­na, and Daniel with their par­ents. He will accom­pa­ny the fam­i­ly to the hear­ing tomor­row, and the pub­lic and the media are encour­aged to show up at the:

What­com Coun­ty Cour­t­house
311 Grand Avenue
Belling­ham Wash­ing­ton
Tues­day Decem­ber 2nd – @ 9:00 A.M.

More details to fol­low. A Face­book Page has also been set­up for the fam­i­ly.

by Ter­ri LaPoint
Health Impact News

All three of their babies have been tak­en away from them and placed in the care of strangers. Levi was 10 months old when his moth­er, local singer and song­writer Eri­ca May Ren­go, gave birth to his twin broth­er and sis­ter, at their home in Belling­ham, Wash­ing­ton.

Our birth was glo­ri­ous,” she said, and the twins were report­ed­ly healthy, full-term babies, who had no prob­lem quick­ly fig­ur­ing out how to breast­feed. The lit­tle fam­i­ly was over­joyed until CPS stepped in to “help.”

It is anoth­er med­ical kid­nap­ping accord­ing to the par­ents. The Ren­gos have cho­sen a whole­some, holis­tic lifestyle, based in their Chris­t­ian faith. But CPS has stepped in to over­ride the par­ents’ deci­sions. Now Eri­ca and Cleave are liv­ing what they call a night­mare, sep­a­rat­ed from their chil­dren for rea­sons that don’t make any sense at all to them.

Deci­sion to Home Birth

It was only nat­ur­al for Eri­ca to choose nor­mal, fam­i­ly-cen­tered birth. Eri­ca her­self was born at home, and says that her moth­er was a home­birth edu­ca­tor and La Leche League leader (a world-wide sup­port and edu­ca­tion group for breast­feed­ing moth­ers). She and Cleave chose a birth-cen­ter birth with their first baby, but decid­ed to birth at home the sec­ond time. She knew that her body was per­fect­ly designed to work for birth. She believed this was the direc­tion God was show­ing them for the birth. Eri­ca was very care­ful dur­ing her preg­nan­cy to watch her diet and exer­cise, in prepa­ra­tion for the birth. She read, researched, and pre­pared.

She describes her home­birth as “exquis­ite” and “empow­er­ing.” Mor­na Kai Grace and Daniel Clemente were born into their par­ents’ lov­ing arms.

The birth was per­fect. There were no com­pli­ca­tions with the birth or after­wards. But Eri­ca and her hus­band Cleave agreed to allow the local para­medics in when some­one called them, in an effort to appease con­cerned fam­i­ly mem­bers who were fear­ful of their deci­sion to birth at home. That is where their prob­lems began.

Baby Levi with mom Erica

Baby Levi with mom Eri­ca

The Med­ical Sys­tem Gets Involved

Some­time after the babies arrived on Octo­ber 2, para­medics arrived to find the twins nurs­ing and every­body doing fine. The twins each weighed over 5 lbs, and the para­medics alleged­ly ver­i­fied that every­one appeared healthy. The para­medics alleged­ly rec­om­mend­ed that they go to the hos­pi­tal for eval­u­a­tion, which is stan­dard pro­ce­dure for EMTs.

The Ren­gos say they declined, telling them they didn’t want to expose their new­borns to the dirty envi­ron­ment of the hos­pi­tal. They were plan­ning to fol­low rec­om­men­da­tions they had found, which stat­ed that new­born twins should stay home for the first six weeks of life, to give their immune sys­tems the oppor­tu­ni­ty to build up.

CPS Shows Up

The par­ents’ believe that because they chose not to go to the hos­pi­tal at that time, some­body called CPS. A cou­ple of social work­ers showed up the next day, and want­ed to see all of the chil­dren. CPS told Eri­ca that they were “here to help.” But Eri­ca says that is not at all what hap­pened.

When the social work­er found some eczema on Levi’s skin Eri­ca told her that she was treat­ing it with some herbal reme­dies, includ­ing com­frey and cal­en­du­la, as well as apply­ing coconut oil and giv­ing pro­bi­otics. She was also doing an elim­i­na­tion diet to try to locate what could be caus­ing the skin con­di­tion. Even though it was in the heal­ing process, the social work­er became crit­i­cal that Eri­ca wasn’t treat­ing his eczema with steroids, a treat­ment option that Eri­ca want­ed to save as a last resort because of the side effects. The CPS agent would lat­er tes­ti­fy to the judge that Eri­ca had neglect­ed to treat him com­plete­ly.

Even so, the eczema was the only thing wrong. Eri­ca says, “right away they found out that the chil­dren were not in dan­ger.” The twins were com­plete­ly healthy; the house was clean; and there are no drugs or alco­hol involved.

The Ren­gos agreed to take the chil­dren to a pedi­a­tri­cian, who said the babies were doing fine.  The only con­cern was that the twins were slow to gain weight. At the time, Eri­ca was try­ing to main­tain a sup­ply for three breast­feed­ing babies. She says she fol­lowed the pediatrician’s advice to sup­ple­ment with for­mu­la, and the babies prompt­ly got back on track with weight gain.

This was alleged­ly ver­i­fied by a nurse sent out by CPS to check on them.

Eri­ca May and Cleave are holis­tic in their approach to life and health, pre­fer­ring nat­ur­al alter­na­tives, like herbs and diet changes, to med­i­c­i­nal treat­ments. Those things appear to be options only if CPS is not involved.

CPS Takes Cus­tody of Chil­dren

On Novem­ber 6, CPS showed up at the front door while Eri­ca was soft­ly singing and play­ing her gui­tar to her rest­ing babies. When she checked the door, they told her that they were there to take her chil­dren, cit­ing neglect for not giv­ing Levi steroids for his eczema, and the home-birth with­out med­ical pre­na­tal care with the twins, as well as the alle­ga­tions of abuse, accu­sa­tions which Eri­ca had already assured them were com­plete­ly unfound­ed. She also had pre­na­tal care, just not with a doc­tor.

With one baby on her back, the fright­ened moth­er fled out the back door with her chil­dren to a neighbor’s house, but police and CPS “hunt­ed her down,” and took these breast­fed babies from their moth­ers’ arms. The twins were 5 weeks old.

Eri­ca broke down into sobs as I spoke with her. “My chil­dren were safe and healthy with me.” Since they have been tak­en by CPS, Levi has report­ed­ly had pneu­mo­nia, and has report­ed­ly been diag­nosed with “behav­ioral prob­lems” because he screams and cries all the time.

He is scream­ing, Eri­ca says, because he wants his mom and dad.

Why Are Chil­dren with No His­to­ry of Abuse Being Tak­en Away from Lov­ing Par­ents for Med­ical Rea­sons?

Chil­dren who have alleged­ly not been abused in any way have been tak­en by CPS from lov­ing par­ents for rea­sons so flim­sy that it has left the Ren­gos and their friends stunned. Sev­er­al of their friends write that Eri­ca is “a great mama.”

This is not the right thing to do to moth­ers and chil­dren,” Eri­ca empha­sizes. “If they thought we need­ed help, they should have brought help in, not tak­en the chil­dren out. They have suf­fered and I have suf­fered since our sep­a­ra­tion.”

Eri­ca feels that she and her chil­dren are being abused by the sys­tem. When they sep­a­rate babies from their lov­ing moth­ers, she says “they are dehu­man­iz­ing peo­ple. The out­come of that is so much worse than any kind of dis­pute for med­ical rea­sons.”

Cleave and Eri­ca were sup­posed to have their vis­i­ta­tion with their chil­dren on Mon­day, but there wasn’t a social work­er avail­able to super­vise the vis­it. Levi’s first birth­day is on Black Fri­day. The day will be black for Eri­ca and Cleave, but for very dif­fer­ent rea­sons than the hol­i­day retail­ers. They will miss their first child’s first birth­day because CPS won’t have any work­ers avail­able to super­vise a vis­it that day either.

The Stress­ful Sep­a­ra­tion of Infants from Par­ents

Eri­ca is a bro­ken­heart­ed post­par­tum moth­er who wants noth­ing more than to be at home with all of her chil­dren by her side. Research shows that infants do not com­pre­hend sep­a­ra­tion from their moth­er; they feel aban­doned when they aren’t with her. Has it real­ly come to the point where CPS can jus­ti­fy the emo­tion­al trau­ma to the chil­dren sim­ply because par­ents don’t choose to fol­low every rec­om­men­da­tion of the med­ical asso­ci­a­tions?

In Pres­i­dent Obama’s immi­gra­tion speech last week, he asked, “Are we a nation that accepts the cru­el­ty of rip­ping chil­dren from their par­ents’ arms? Or are we a nation that val­ues fam­i­lies, and works to keep them togeth­er?”

Yet it is this very nation whose Child Pro­tec­tion Ser­vice agen­cies have ripped tiny babies from their par­ents’ arms sim­ply for the crime of dis­agree­ing with a med­ical deci­sion. If this could hap­pen to a fam­i­ly who has only sought the most nat­ur­al of care, then whose chil­dren are safe from CPS? Should this type of appar­ent med­ical tyran­ny be tol­er­at­ed?

Eri­ca May and Cleave Ren­go face a court date on Decem­ber 2. They don’t know what they will face then. Sup­port­ers are hop­ing that their sto­ry will be shared far and wide, and their chil­dren can be returned home quick­ly.

The Gov­er­nor of Wash­ing­ton is Jay Inslee. His office num­ber is 360–902-4111. You can email him from here.

The par­ents next court date is Decem­ber 2, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. at the What­com Coun­ty Cour­t­house, 311 Grand Avenue, Belling­ham Wash­ing­ton.

See Also:

Why are Med­ical Pro­fes­sion­als who Deliv­er Babies in Hos­pi­tals Choos­ing to have their Own Babies at Home?