September 11, 2011

A Condensed Version: Investigation

Sadly, our lives have been turned a bit upside down the past couple of weeks. It all started when I took Kira to the doctor and we found out her collarbone was broken. The doctor reported us and now we have law enforcement and Child Protective Services in our lives. We aren't even totally sure of the allegations. They seem to be either abuse or negligence but every time we ask we don't get clear answers. And never anything in writing.

We have cooperated with the investigation almost fully. We were bullied into taking Kira to the ER to get a full skeletal survey done. That's a dozen x-rays from head to toe that looks for any old breaks or more current ones. It came back clean (except the collarbone), which wasn't surprising since we don't abuse our children. The real tragedy is being coerced to allow medical personnel to abuse my child. Let me tell you how heartbreaking it is to listen to my infant wail for 30 minutes while the x-ray technicians were holding her wiggly limbs still. I picked her up in the middle of the ordeal just to calm her. The quiet lasted only until I put her down. Then the heavy crying ensued. The technician actually pulled on Kira's arm (broken collarbone side) and forcefully straightened it to get the x-ray. Really? And I'm being investigated for abuse? Ridiculous!

Kira's feet in the bone survey.
I refused to allow them to do a CT scan. It is too risky and there is no benefit to Kira to have the test done. Radiation in CT scans is high. Way higher than x-rays. They can cause cancer. Especially in children. And most especially in infants whose cells multiply and divide so rapidly when they are so young.

We were given another option last week. We could have her get an MRI. But um, they sedate children for MRIs. Sedation poses several risks. Usually infants put off any surgeries until they are around 6 months old. Unless there's a life threatening reason to have it done immediately. When infants are sedated, they are under constant monitoring to make sure they are okay. And by okay, I mean they are monitoring breathing so it doesn't slow down so much that they die.

I have been told on at least 3 occasions by 3 different people that if we didn't do exactly what they wanted then they would take Kira away from us. What kind of a child protective system do we have here? Ripping a healthy infant from her family? Readily employing coercive tactics in the strongest way possible? Guilty until proven innocent? And I've allowed them into my home. To investigate and gather evidence against me. For them to twist my words. I've never cared so much about the rights of the accused until now. I never thought I'd need to know them. Tales of Soviet-era interrogations were just that: stories of another place and another time. But now they are coming to life. Right at my dining room table.

Have any of you had dealings with CPS? Any advice is appreciated.

10/7/11 Update
CPS Investigation Result: Unfounded

18 Riveting COMMENTS:

  1. I would be so TICKED off, to put it lightly! I can't believe they reported you for a broken collarbone... since you have posted the one about her collarbone, it made me think about things as well with the way the kids and myself handle Leilani.

  2. Oh my goodness, we went through something relatively close to this with DCS 1 1/2 years ago. This is the most corrupt arm of the government there is. They do not have to live by any laws. You are presumed guilty not innocent. I would suggest being on the offensive. Get a LDS family counselor fast, you might need a family attorney but good luck getting one that will go up against this communist form of government. I wish I could help you. My heart is aching for you. It is such a helpless situation. I will keep you in my prayers.

  3. Thank you Maile, it's always nice to hear from fantastic mothers like you. The system is definitely corrupt.

    @Unknown, please message me. I want to know more about your situation and what you did to resolve it. Thank you!

  4. I've been following your blog for years, and I am very sorry to hear this is happening. I don't have children, so I can't sympathize how difficult it would be, but I try to imagine.

    When I was 12, my natural dad was accused of something horrible by another family. Because I was in his care at the time they say it happened, I was interviewed by police, attorneys and CPS. I told the truth, which was that I'd never been harmed by my father and that I didn't know whether what he was accused of really happened or did not happen. But, CPS told everyone (police, attorneys) that they suspected I was lying, that I was lying protecting my father. They ordered me into counseling. They took away his visitation weekends with me for a very long time, then only allowed visits with my mother or step-dad present. It really screwed things up for me, because to this day, my mother still thinks I lied - because CPS told her they felt I was lying. I truly, honestly was not lying.

    I don't trust CPS, and this incident was what piqued my interest in studying law - even at 12 years old. All one needs to do is read the news stories of the children in foster care or who are in endangered families; they don't do a thing until someone is hurt or is killed. It's still my opinion that CPS needs some heavy, serious regulation by the government. They are not consistent, and in fact, they run backwards - guilty until proven innocent is absolutely correct.

    My best thoughts and wishes are with you.

  5. I wish I had some advice or words of wisdom, but I don't. I will pray for you and your family.

  6. My experience in the Alaska bush was that they wouldn't remove a child until there was figuratively 'blood under the door.' But it must be different here. I would think that if you told Kira's pediatrician was they were actually doing to her then they'd have something to say about endangering the baby. It seems WAY over the top to go beyond x-rays for an infant, especially. I second the LDS counselor idea. I'm so sorry Bridget, it sure seems like they are beyond overreacting. I have rarely heard a positive story of a competent SS worker in Wa. I can't imagine they will find any evidence to back up any claims.

  7. Holy crap Bridget this is INSANE!!! There are some really tell tale signs of child abuse that they could see just by LOOKING at a child. Have they not seen your other perfectly healthy kids?! Have they not noticed that Kira has no other injuries?! This is crazy. I'm sorry to say that I have no advice because I didn't know they were so aggressive. What a horrible thing to have to go through. Your family will be in my prayers for sure...

  8. I can't even believe it! It's like a nightmare! Surely this isn't really happening!?!!? Surely your amazing and loving family blog could be evidence in your favor right?? My only thought was that the Duce Bastian law firm is made up of LDS Stake Presidency members, but I'm sure you know that. Perhaps they can help (gratis). I will keep you guys in our prayers. I'm truly horrified.

  9. Oh for crying out loud. I'm so sorry dear.

  10. I'm so sorry you and your family are going through this! You're all in my prayers.

  11. are you serious??? oh my, i am in shock! and i can name some people that should have kids taken away!

  12. Wowza. I hope the case gets dropped quickly as they see you guys are completely loving, capable parents.

    I hope Kira is doing well and her collarbone is healing.

  13. (expletives deleted)
    So, is this eager beaver of a doctor who reported you your regular pediatrician? Or was it just someone who saw in your records that you once had a baby that died and now you have one with a broken bone? I do get the distinctive feeling the two events are connected in CPS' mind. Please, tread carefully and get legal help!

  14. Oh, Bridget, I am horrified! Please let us know if we can do anything. I think getting a lawyer might be a good idea. I think that even though all of us know you are inocent, these guys do NOT play fair. At least talk to a lawyer and see what they think, but it might be in your best interest! We are praying for you!!

  15. "Please Lord bless and protect this family",Bridget I'm putting all your names on the temple role.

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  17. How is it that the typical CPS social worker is a single, childless younger woman? What do they know about raising children? The system is stacked against families.

    I know a woman who took her family out of the state when she got five or six reports in her case file, four of which came from a neighbor who complained that she let her kids play in a locked fenced back yard, and the snoop thought she should be out there with the children when they played. Another single, childless younger woman making judgements?

    The more children you have that get broken bones and abrasions the easier it is to get 6 or 7 incidents in your case file when they might feel obligated to take children away. I think they look at quantity, not quality of the reports when they treat you as guilty until proven innocent.

    Yes, I think we are becoming close to a totalitarian country. Remember when kids (and adults)could ride in a car without being buckled down? How about when we could write an email without a copy being saved (just in case)? Remember when girls could take a Midol to school for discomfort and parents would have to give permission for the school to arrange for an abortion? You used to be able to swat an unruly kid on the behind in the checkout line without someone calling 911 and getting CPS involved.

    At least now in our country there are a lot of people getting involved to change the direction our government is leaning. The next election should put our autocratic leaders on notice.

    September 16, 2011 8:04 PM

  18. I wish I had known that CT scans did that because they did give one to my 3 month old! Haleigh screamed the whole time in the X-rays too and they wouldn't let me in!!! I don't think it is a gentle thing. Also, since that experience she had never been the same with strangers! I know it had an impact on her!!!


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