Friday, August 14, 2009

Losing custody and going to jail for trying to protect your child

From the archives of This is a crazy backwards world we live in comes another story of parents trying to protect their children and losing custody over it. KDVR Fox 31 reported the following on 05 August 2009:

DENVER - New information about a controversial case we first told you about Tuesday. An Adams County couple is upset that police and social services were called after they contacted the Rocky Mountain Poison Control Center.

They were worried their two-year-old son might have gotten into some medicine. Social Services ended up taking the couple's two children into temporary protective custody.

The Rocky Mountain Poison Control Center says they do not automatically call police, but are required to report cases of suspected child abuse or neglect. They say they cannot comment on specific cases, but say they had several phone contacts with the parents and, after the Medical Director was informed of the circumstances, he decided to report it.

They say they receive over 350,000 calls a year and feel they need to call police in extremely rare cases.

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I have long cautioned parents to be very careful about calling the police or other agencies for emergency assistance, especially those who are involved in a child custody dispute. The above story clearly demonstrates why such caution should be taken. Although it is deplorable that during a time of crisis you must evaluate the risk of danger to your child versus the risk of losing custody, that is what you MUST do.

Is CPS/DCS going to assume that because you made a phone call to the Poison Control Center that you are endangering a child because that child somehow accessed some medication that he or she shouldn't have and then take the child? Or better, if the child were to die, you get charged with MURDER. For those of you who have followed my blog you are quite familiar with the Elizabeth Fairfield case in Boone County Indiana.

The Fairfield's took their daughter Brittany to the hospital one evening after she went into a coughing fit that she couldn't control. However, the doctor at Witham Memorial Hospital in Lebanon, Indiana diagnosed her as having croup and released her before she was stabilized. Within a few hours she died of an overdose of Tramidol. The doctor who misdiagnosed her suggested that she was intentionally poisoned after leaving the hospital.

Boone County Prosecutor Todd Meyer then charged Fairfield with multiple counts including murder. Ultimately the case was resolved through a plea agreement in which Mrs Fairfield served 6 months in jail for the alleged murder.

That murder charge and jail time was for the person who tried to get medical care for her dying child but unfortunately took her to a hospital that misdiagnosed her and sent her home to die.

When at the mall and your child gets lost do you instinctively go to the information desk where they contact mall security and an announcement is made describing the child? Now consider that, by coincidence, the other parent, a friend or family member may be in the same mall and becomes aware of this. You may soon find yourself back in the family law court facing a change in custody which WILL happen. In family law court there is no coincidence, there is no unfortunate accident and there is no simple chance occurrence; there is only bad parents causing bad acts.

Before you call for help, before you run around asking has anyone seen my child or before you simply try to protect your child just keep this in mind; you live in a world where many people are looking to make money from you losing custody of your child.

Stuart Showalter

Indiana Custodial Rights Advocates

©2009 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

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