On Thanksgiving eve, the state of Idaho sent CPS to take a newborn away from his parents. The young couple refused to vaccinate their child, something that medical freedom advocates are now claiming sparked the CPS seizure of Elijah. Elijah's mother, Diamond Mehlhoff, is disabled. Hearings can take up to 48 hours, excluding holidays, which meant that Elijah was away from his family for an even longer period of time before a judge ruled over the matter in the interim.
A report on Health Freedom Idaho claims that the state of Idaho essentially seized a baby after the parents refused vaccines. Idaho's state law allows for philosophical, religious, and medical vaccine exemptions. Health Freedom Idaho is seeking to help the parents through this troubling time.
Here are some further details on their website.
Something unconscionable has happened in North Idaho this last week. We were notified by the daugther of a local pastor here in Kootenai County regarding a woman of his congregation, Diamond Mehlhoff, who gave birth in Kootenai County @ KMC on Monday November 20th via C section.
On Wednesday November 22nd, after the parents refused vaccination for the baby, the state became involved and took this beautiful baby, Elijah, from his loving parents, claiming the mother to be unfit due to a diagnosis of cerebral palsy (a non progressive movement disorder).
As you can see, the official reason for removal is listed as the mother's cerebral palsy diagnosis, however, the looming question remains, do CPS agents seek out those parents who choose not to vaccinate and find ulterior reasons to remove the child from the home? Health Freedom Idaho claims that "numerous similar reports" exist in the state following the same theme: the parents refuse vaccines, CPS gets involved based on other reasons and removes the child. Proving that the state's involvement is centered around the vaccine statuses of the children has been a difficult if not impossible task.
Dr. James Lyons-Weiler had this to say in regards to the case and the many cases which seem narrowly similar in theme.
What is happening here is, I believe, state by state by state, they want to set the precedent by which they're claiming to have the authority to take children away from parents who decide not to vaccinate.
What I believe is happening is they are going after low income families who have no chance of having any substantial legal assistance, who can't afford legal aid themselves.
They're trying to set a precedent by which it looks like they're taking children on the basis of vaccination, as if that's something that they can do legally.
This is the statement released by Health Freedom Idaho:
***UPDATE***We had the first taste of victory and justice as it was decided by the court that baby Elijah could go home!!!
I arrived at the courthouse for the shelter hearing today ready for a long day of waiting through testimony. To my surprise the doors of the courtroom opened after only about 20 to 30 minutes of court being in session. We had the first taste of victory and justice as it was decided by the court that baby Elijah could go home with his mom (Diamond) and dad (Ari) TODAY!
I witnessed the pure joy on Diamond's face as she was wheeled out of the courtroom knowing that she would be able to hold, nurse, and bond with her baby today.
The church members, friends, and family cheered, hugged, and cried as the news spread through those of us that had hunkered down for the long haul. The news came so quickly that it took a moment for it to all sink in and then people went into action and planning. There was an excited shout, "We have to get the carseat!"
I have witnessed an incredibly supportive church family lead by pastor Brenden Biggs. Under his direction, the church had come together with a plan of 24 hour assistance for the family and the court agreed. According to state statute, the longest that this agreement can be in place is 3 months.
We were not told facts specific to this case as it cannot be shared at this time.
We do know that the legal procedure would be this: First there is a shelter care hearing. At this point, there can be a resolution reached which stipulates that there is a reason for the Dept to be involved. Part of allowing an agreement like this means that the party is then able to get the child back immediately.
The case moves toward a pre-trial, then an adjudicatory hearing within 30 days (after the removal of the child). The parents can agree to move the hearing but the hard date is 3 months.
The resolution put forth can stay in place for 30 days, but no later than 3 months. At 3 months a new resolution needs to be written or the case dismissed. The resolution can also be dismissed at anytime.
Pre-trial hearing is set for Dec18th at 1:30 pm. The adjudicatory hearing set for Dec 22 at 9am. Of course, these times can be subject to change and we will notify you of any changes.
This is a time to celebrate! It is also a time for the family to bond as a new family should. They have things to learn especially Diamond as she learns how to mother Elijah with a disability.
This is no small task but now she has the opportunity to do this, as I would imagine that she intended, with the guidance and care of those that love her.
As for the rest of us, we need to look into the heart of this issue which is the systematic overreach of the department. It is imperative that people know their rights and how to enact those rights from the beginning of a situation before it escalates.
We plan on educating ourselves and you as we delve into the law and the protection that it can provide. We must do so keeping in mind that our human rights and parental rights are NOT granted to us by the government but by our Creator.
Contact the Hospital Adminstration and Idaho Elected Officials in District 2 Representatives Eric M. Redman, Vito Barbieri and Senator Steve Vick
Easy cut and paste into your BCC portion of your email and send!
Representative Eric Redman
P.O. Box 40, Athol, 83801
Home (208) 623-6383
Statehouse (208) 332-1070 (Session Only)
FAX (208) 623-6383
Representative Vito Barbieri
564 E. Prairie Ave., Dalton Gardens, 83815
Home (208) 620-0873
Senator Steve Vick
2140 E. Hanley Ave., Dalton Gardens, 83815
Home (208) 819-4189
2003 Kootenai Health Way
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
Chief Executive Officer
Jeremy S. Evans
Executive Vice President,
Hospital and Regional Operations