Couple ‘have their newborn twins and one-year-old son removed by CPS because they gave birth at home without a midwife’
- Erica May Carey, 29 and Cleave Rengo, 23, fight Washington State
- Their twins, Moran Kai and Daniel and one-year-old son, Levi, taken
- Neighbors phoned 911 after they heard Carey giving birth
- Couple declined to go to hospital after birth and CPS were called
- Discovered alleged failure to treat one-year-old son for his eczema
A devoutly Christian couple from Washington claim their newborn twins and one-year-old son were taken from them by the CPS after neighbors called 911 when they heard the homebirth.
Erica May Carey and Cleave Rengo had their children removed from their custody for two months in September and they say it is because they gave birth to the twins at home without the assistance of a midwife.
The parents also believe that their refusal to travel to hospital with paramedics – who were called to the house after they were alerted by Carey’s birthing cries – contributed to the CPS decision.
Back together: Cleave Rengo and Erica May Carey were reunited with their children on Friday – but under the supervision of the state and CPS
Despite their children being returned to them on Friday by the Superior Court of Washington, they are still under state protection and the parents have been ordered to seek counseling as a condition of their return.
Indeed, civil rights campaigners have enthusiastically taken up the cause of Carey and Rengo, claiming that the removal of their children was unlawful.
The state claims that the children were removed for health and domestic reasons and not because of the home birth.
In fact, Carey and Rengo admitted that they only knew they were having twins after the first baby was born, having not had one ultrasound through the pregnancy.
The state claimed that the parents refusal to use steroid-based medication to treat their one-year-old’s eczema was another reason to take custody of their children.
Commissioner Thomas Verge told Rengo, 23 and Carey, 29, that the couple’s religious beliefs had caused a chaotic home life for their children.
He said that if the state believes the children’s lives are in danger again they will be removed.
‘This is about second chances because you blew the first one,’ said Verge to the couple according to the Bellingham Herald.
But Verge also pointed out he could see the ‘love you both have for your children.’
Dad and son: Rengo and his son, Levi, who was also taken into custody by social services in Washington State
When the CPS heard of the verdict they said, ‘We accept this ruling and will work with the family to provide them with services aimed at helping keep the children safe in their home.’
The court removed one-year-old, Levi and twins Moran Kai and Daniel, both two-months-old from their parents on November 5.
Unconventional: Erica May Carey, 29 and Cleave Rengo, 23, are common-law husband and wife
In his verdict to return the children, Verge said that the home-birth, ‘has no bearing whatsoever on my decision here.’
During the case which was heard in court last week, the state, ‘attempted to show an unstable household marked by numerous contacts with law enforcement … within the past two years and refusal to provide medical treatment to the children,’ according to the Bellingham Herald.
The USA Today has reported that the couple’s strict Christian beliefs, which caused them to use holistic treatments for their one-year-old’s eczema was at the center of the dispute.
It was only after the couple, who are common-law married in Washington because they have never got a marriage license, decided to have their home birth that the CPS became involved.
‘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,’ said Carey as she justified her decision to give birth at home.
The CPS began showing up at their home after the 911 call in November and said that after they took custody of the children, one-year-old, Levi developed pneumonia and ear infections.
Assistant Attorney General Rob Olson told the Washington court that law enforcement have been in contact with the famiy 21 times since 2013.
The calls related to refusal to provide medical care for their children, with concerns they were underweight and domestic issues between the couple such as Bruce Rengo’s mental health and bipolar disorder.
However, Christina Nelson-King, the attorney for the couple argued that ‘Most of the safety risk was primarily speculative,’ according to the Bellingham Herald.
‘Parents have a Constitutional right to parent as they see fit,’ Nelson-King added.
However, he criticized them for their attitude towards the CPS which he said was doing its job properly.
Birthing: Erica (left) shows off her pregnancy belly while carrying Levi, who plays with his father (right)
‘They did exactly what they should do,’ he said, adding that they tried everything to help the family and were met by resistance. ‘Their lives are dedicated to children. They are not the enemy. They are the heroes.’
Washingon Governor, Jay Inslee waded into the controversial case last week to recognize the support the Rengo family has received.
‘Over the past several days, hundreds of you have made your voices heard about a current case with our Child Protective Services in Washington regarding the Rengo family,’ said Governor Jay Inslee on his official Facebook page on Thursday.
‘I want to thank you for your concern and willingness to be vocal.’
The Governor also sought to clarify any rumors surrounding the removal of the children by social services.
‘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,’ wrote Inslee.
‘Those rumors are false. Breastfeeding and home birthing are not factors that would cause CPS to take children from a home. Their removal from the home was based on factors unrelated to a home birth or breastfeeding.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2867257/Couple-newborn-twins-one-year-old-son-removed-CPS-gave-birth-home-without-midwife.html#ixzz3LWmkhX00
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook