Another medical Kidnapping-Breastfed, Homebirthed Babies Taken Away From Parents For Not Using Hospital

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

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

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.

Erica May 1

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.

A version of this column originally appeared in:

Wrongful-death suit filed against DSS, foster parent in Charleston infant’s death

Former DSS Director Lillian Koller

Former DSS Director Lillian Koller

By all accounts, the birth of Aiden Dean Clark was nothing short of miraculous.

His mother, wheelchair-bound from spina bifida, had miscarried three times before Aiden was born July 7, 2011.

The hopeful beginnings of new life in the family came to an abrupt end less than two weeks later after state social workers removed him from his parents' Charleston home.

They had placed Aiden with a foster mother after allegations of abuse surfaced against his father shortly after the baby's birth. Aiden died 15 days later.

Aiden's parents stood by the then-brain dead infant at Medical University Hospital as doctors turned off the machines keeping him alive. His father held Aiden's tiny foot as the baby took his final breaths.

Ellen Babb, an attorney for the family, said this didn't have to happen. A wrongful death lawsuit she filed last week in Charleston County alleges Aiden essentially suffocated after the foster mother left him alone in a sweater box instead of a crib.

The suit is the latest in a string of setbacks for the beleaguered state Department of Social Services, which has been the subject of widespread criticism regarding its practices and child deaths that have occurred on its watch.

Former DSS Director Lillian Koller and the foster mother, Jennie Downard, 71, of North Charleston, are both named as defendants in the suit. Aiden's parents weren't identified in the court documents.

Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten said she can't say whether the baby died as a result of the foster mother's actions. A lengthy and thorough investigation conducted by her office failed to determine a manner or cause of death, she said.

"Whatever Ellen Babb alleged in her complaint is what she believes to be the case," Wooten said. "It's not necessarily based in fact."

No criminal charges were filed in the case, North Charleston police spokesman Spencer Pryor said.

"As a result of our investigation at the time, there was no evidence presented to show any intentional and harmful acts, nor was there any probable cause to lead to criminal charges in this incident," Pryor said.

DSS spokeswoman Marilyn Matheus would not speak directly to the allegations in the suit, but she defended the decision to remove Aiden from the parents' home.

Read More at: Wrongful-death suit filed against DSS, foster parent in Charleston infant's death

A version of this column originally appeared in:

A Tribute To ALL The Mother’s Of ILLEGALLY Stolen Children

                  Happy Mother's Day!

These are my two "stolen by the State" Grandchildren, Austin and Isabella and my parentally alienated Granddaughter Ally
Austin and Ally  


I want to wish all Mother's a Happy Mother's Day, but this is a special tribute to ALL the Mother's of ILLEGALLY stolen children. Stolen by the State and stolen by the  father's guilty of alienating the children from their Mother's.
This is a day of sadness for many Mother's. The Mother's of the Stolen children, who won't spend this very special day with their children. The Mother's who carried their stolen children in their wombs, up until their long, awaited birth.The Mother's who heard their child's first heart beat. Felt their first kick. Felt their first hiccup. Watched the child grow inside them. The Mother's who sang to their unborn child. Talked to their unborn child. The Mother who made plans for their  future together, never even fathoming the idea they would have no future as Mother and child.  A Mother and child bonded. A bond which can never be broken, the child will always know that a Foster stranger, an adoptive stranger, or a step parent is Not their birth Mother.
The pain and suffering a Mother never overcomes after her child is stolen is like no other. The grief is lifelong. A loss no-one should endure. There is no closure, only worry and anxiety. A world turned upside down. A life spent in Limbo, hoping for the day their children are returned. Hoping for the day the corruption within CPS and the Family Court's will be exposed for the money hungry villains that they are. Hoping one day they will be held accountable for all the families they needlessly destroyed. Hoping one day the father's/mother's guilty of parental alienation will finally be held in contempt and lose custody of the children they've brainwashed and kept from their loving parent for so long.
The State can steal a child from their Mother and place the child with stranger's, but the child will NEVER be their's. Children aren't stupid. They know whether they belong or not.
Happy Mother's Day and please unite together to bring ALL of our Stolen children home!

Unhappy Grammy


A version of this column originally appeared in:

CPS to take child away at birth – YouTube

CPS to take child away at birth – YouTube

CPS to take child away at birth because one doctor who has never met her has an opinion...

A version of this column originally appeared in

What Do You Do When Your Doctor/ Hospital Threatens You?

I have been reading, often, about women who are being told by their doctor or hospital that CPS will be called on them if they refuse a c section.

Don’t Be Intimidated. It’s Your Body Your Baby Your Birth

Don’t Be Intimidated. It’s Your Body Your Baby Your Birth

Here’s a message I received on facebook from a doula friend:

There is a woman in our area who is being bullied out of a VBA3C. Her doctor is on board, but the hospital refuses and has threatened to call CPS if she doesn’t show on Friday for a schedule c-section. She has called other area hospitals and they have all denied her the opportunity.


You may be reading this and nodding your head because this has happened to you. You may be reading this and have your jaw on the floor. If this hasn’t happened to you the correct response is your jaw on the floor.

Women should be able to have competent care and know why they are being told what they are being told. They deserve informed consent and should be able to exercise informed refusal.

“Women need to know first that they have options, second – what those options are and third – how to act upon those options. Women need to know that their voice should be heard, that they don’t have to have routine procedures simply because they are routine.  Women need to know that they deserve, and are entitled to, Informed Consent and Informed Refusal with regards to any medication, treatment or procedure for themselves or their babies.”-Deena Blumenfeld


Informed Consent (Photo credit: Kevin Krejci)

Informed Consent (Photo credit: Kevin Krejci)

 It’s Not Just About Refusing a C Section, It’s about the Right to Refuse Treatment

If you are in a hospital and you are not being treated with respect and dignity and your wishes are not being respected you have the right to leave.  Don’t let your fear keep you from exercising your right. The fear of exercising this right has essentially resulted in the erosion of the right:The right to refuse treatment.

“Stop being afraid. We do not lose our civil rights once we become pregnant.We possess the same right as all competent adults. Being pregnant doesn’t change this.We still absolutely can refuse any and all treatment that we want. ” Lisa Pratt

A Caesarean section in progress.

A Caesarean section in progress. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Learn More About Your Right and Choices!

I am writing this blog as I JUST finished interviewing Lisa Pratt on my radio program. During the show, towards the end of the show I asked her what 2 things she would say to a woman who was just told that if she didn’t show up on X date for a c section CPS would be called. She gave her first answer on the air but we ran out of time for her second response…So here it is…

Second piece of advice is to be brave. You know what your rights are and you have to believe they will be respected. Don’t let fear keep you from exercising your rights!-Lisa Pratt

YOU DESERVE INFORMED CONSENT. If a doctor recommends a procedure you have the right to ask clarifying questions. Violations to women don’t just happen during birth. The following is from Occupy America:

In both Kansas and Arizona measures are advancing that exempt doctors from medical malpractice suits should they withhold medical information in order to prevent a woman from having an abortion. These bills also shield doctors from malpractice claims if a woman suffers an injury from a pregnancy as a result of information withheld from her to prevent an abortion. Georgia just snuck a liability shield into their 20-week abortion ban. We can expect more to follow.

Proponents of these “wrongful birth” bills argue they are necessary to stem the tide of lawsuitslike one in Oregon where parents sued for costs related to the care of their daughter who was born with Down’s Syndrome. In that case the parents argued that the medical professionals were negligent in conducting the genetic testing, and that had they known their daughter would be born with a disability, they would have had an abortion.

In practice this means that instead of an objective inquiry into the medical treatment and advice given to a pregnant woman based on what the profession as a whole considers competent medical treatment, the individual beliefs of the doctor will determine if advice given or care rendered was reasonable. In legal terms that changes the inquiry from objective to subjective meaning; there is no real basis to judge conduct against. It will no longer matter what a doctor’s peers believe to be considered good medical care: it will only matter if that particular doctor thought the care would avoid an abortion.

That also means that women in states with wrongful birth bills can never be sure the medical information they are receiving is accurate and unbiased, nor can they sue in the event that its wrong or negligent. And that women in states without these bills will have to exercise even more caution and be even greater advocates for their own care as what constitutes good accepted medical practice is no longer easily determinable.

This goes against the grain of the medical profession’s modern Hypocratic Oath that says ”Above all, I must not play at God,” and tosses true “Informed Consent” out the window. As RH Reality Check puts it ”Pregnant women will, in effect, be returned to the same legal standing of juveniles or persons under legal guardianship and conservatorship, devoid of the ability to consent to a full course of medical treatment on their own.”

A boon for bad doctors, this shield for medical malpractice “strips women of the ability to be compensated for sub-standard medical care rendered to them while pregnant and nothing more.” And while right-wing Republicans insist that there is no war on women, the evidence is in the efforts to pass legislation like the medical malpractice shield that essentially says that women’s lives have no value, as that is what taking away your right to bring a claim based on the value of that life does to women.

This is absolutely war. Defend your rights, or risk losing them.”




A version of this column originally appeared in