Good news: State seizes newborn baby after mom eats poppy seed bagel

posted at 7:58 pm on November 9, 2010 by Allahpundit

Via Jacob Sullum of Reason, consider this less a palate cleanser than a public service announcement for the HA faithful. If you’re pregnant and happen to live in Pennsylvania, avoid Dunkin Donuts at all costs.

The birth of a couple’s first child is supposed to be a joyous occasion — and for the first three days, it was for Elizabeth Mort and her partner Alex Rodriguez. But then the commonwealth of Pennsylvania took their young daughter away after the hospital where she was born reported the mother for testing positive on a drug test. Her drug of choice? An “everything” bagel from Dunkin’ Donuts

Mort and Rodriguez’s daughter was taken by the state a mere day after they returned from the hospital. Despite a test of the child failing to uncover any trace of illicit drugs, a pair of LCCYS caseworkers and two police officers showed up at their door bearing a court order legally entitling them to seize her. And that never would have happened were it not for Jameson Hospital’s written policy of subjecting mothers-to-be to urine drug tests — and to then report them to the state for testing positive if they exceed an exceptionally low threshold that is far more stringent than the one the federal government applies to its own workers.

While a federal employee would fail a drug test if they exceed a threshold of 2,000 nanograms/mL of opiate metabolites, a patient at Jameson Hospital would fail if they exceed a threshold of just 300 nanograms/mL — or just 100 nanograms/mL for morphine. At such low thresholds, there’s a good chance other parents will have to suffer — and likely have already suffered — the pain of having their child taken away from them based on nothing more than their choice of breakfast food.

As Sullum notes, according to the ACLU complaint filed on the couple’s behalf, urine tests administered to Mort by her obstetrician during the pregnancy were uniformly negative for drugs. Oh well: The state grabbed the baby anyway — and held her for five days. And if you think that’s the worst thing to happen to someone because of a false positive triggered by eating the wrong bagel, think again.

Seriously, how can we still be having this problem in 2010? Doesn’t anyone else watch “Mythbusters”?

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Notice in the arena of CPS/Family Courts that the govt just can take your kid away on gossip from a cranky neighbor, vengeful ex-spouse, etc & NOTHING will happen to these people, even if they are to be found knowingly lying about the false report.

Hey, my mother-in-law said that in parts of Europe (Sweden, I think), all a kid has to do is say parents made him feel bad and the state will take him away. And it’s pretty much impossible to get them back.

I know from personal experience (not my own, but stuff I’m observing) that you can lie your rear off to CPS and get away with it. And 9 times out of 10, they’ll believe the woman – no matter how terrible a mother she is – over the father.

englishqueen01 on November 10, 2010 at 8:15 AM

PappyD61 on November 9, 2010 at 8:15 PM

I think you mean “THANKS PROGRESSO!”

DrSteve on November 10, 2010 at 8:41 AM

I know from personal experience (not my own, but stuff I’m observing) that you can lie your rear off to CPS and get away with it. And 9 times out of 10, they’ll believe the woman – no matter how terrible a mother she is – over the father.

englishqueen01 on November 10, 2010 at 8:15 AM

I worked with a PE teacher/football coach who had his 5yo taken away from he & his wife, but not his 3rd grade twin daughters bcs an aide who worked in the 5yo’s classroom wanted to get back at him for not playing her son enough in games (very small town).
She ‘anonymously’ fabricated a lie about how the girl was saying sexual things that were indicative of her father molesting her & so CPS took the kid away from 3 months.
Neither the sisters nor mother were allowed to see this child.
The findings of course exonerated the man, but the damage was done.
My husband’s ex-wife made 4 false reports about us & took her middle daughter (the easily maniuplated one) to counseling to ‘confess’ the beatings, neglect, & molestation that she was sure was happening over here.
After many months of interrogation by this counselor, the child eventually confessed to lies, which she later admitted were lies.
The oldest daughter was also taken to the same counselor to confess & she refused & is now ostracized by her mother (the girl in almost 20 now) bcs she called her mother on her lies.
There should be stiff legal penalties & JAIL time for people caught making false reports.
Thankfully, nothing happened to us bcs the people on the job were very thoughtful, unbiased people.
But anything could have happened to us.
This is EVIL EVIL EVIL behavior & MUST be stopped.
The thousands, or tens of thousands of families that are ruined by this type of policy deserve justice.

Badger40 on November 10, 2010 at 9:10 AM

Not just the agency involved, but the individual caseworkers and supervisors. Children need to be protected from real abuse regardless of where it comes from. Whether it parents, teachers, caseworkers or hospital staff!

JellyToast on November 9, 2010 at 10:20 PM

I agree. ALL people involved in false allegations need to be prosecuted.
And Const rights need to be recognized in these cases.
No more suspending a person’s right bcs someone ‘thinks’ a kid might be in danger.

Badger40 on November 10, 2010 at 9:13 AM

Wow. It surprises me to see this…only because this is literally my town.
About five years ago a friend of mine delivered her baby at Jameson and had to submit to the UDS. No problem, she’s not a drug user, although she was on BP medication and a blood disorder medication at the time of delivery. Her UDS showed positive for “drugs” and the hospital threatened to call Lawrence Co CYS and take her baby. She immediately contacted her PCP and other doctors who submitted her medication regime to the hospital. Thankfully, the baby went home with her and there were no further problems.
It’s all fine and well if the UDS tests are performed, but one would think that a little more background info would be obtained on the patient prior to jumping to conclusions.
Maybe Jameson Hospital and Law. Co. CYS need to worry more about the children who are actually being abused and neglected in this county!

pa.chick on November 10, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Sheesh, the MythBusters episode where they confirmed that eating poppy seeds could give a false positive on opiates tests was years ago. And I’d thought that proof of Repressed Memory Therapy creating false memories had gotten widespread coverage, you’d think people would be wary of that now.

LarryD on November 10, 2010 at 10:10 AM

you’d think people would be wary of that now.

LarryD on November 10, 2010 at 10:10 AM

They’re not.
There are still counselors etc out there who interrogate children & fill them full of false memories.
As per my above post, that happened to one of my step daughters in that she was badgered until she lied & made up things that never happened just for some relief from the interrogation.
My oldest step daughter never budged on the truth & refused to admit to false events the counselor & her mother were trying to create.
It is very easy to get some kids, or anybody, to admit to things that never happened.
And it happens all the time.
It is sickening & should be CRIMINAL.

Badger40 on November 10, 2010 at 10:46 AM

What a devastating thing this must have been for those new parents. As a new parent myself I can’t imagine how I would cope with having the state show up to seize my baby. I’m certain that such an encounter would end poorly for some of the people involved.

Those first few days of a baby’s life are important. No baby should be so cavalierly taken from the parents. The mama/baby bond that develops in those first days really is important and there is no way to recompense them for having that stolen. There is simply no way for justice to be achieved or for what was stolen to be returned.

This story makes me sick to my stomach and. It saddens even my zombie heart.

dczombie on November 10, 2010 at 10:49 AM

A Pennsylvania House Bill 2760 that passed three years ago allows hospitals to test a mother’s blood to protect newborns.

Definitely a case of the process-is-the-punishment.

bitsy on November 10, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Seinfeld storyline! Happened to Elaine Benes! Hahah J peterman must be working for the state

jimsarr on November 10, 2010 at 1:30 PM