The State of Arizona crafted legislation that required DCS to obtain a warrant before removing a child from its family. After being notified of a feverish child whose anti-vaxxer parents declined to have him hospitalized, a SWAT team had no problem getting a warrant that allowed them to terrorize a family despite the fact the child’s fever had gone down. Though this was meant to protect children and families, already it is being abused, and with appalling consequences.
We, Robert and Kathleen Raskin of Las Vegas, are dedicated to raising awareness of corruption within the agencies that determine which families do—and do not—get to raise their own children. We are parents and grandparents, and we understand how many different decisions there are to make when you are responsible for your child’s health and well-being. Who among us has followed our pediatrician’s every word of advice to the letter without ever second-guessing? If this is a crime that requires the removal of our children, the vast majority of us are guilty.
Requiring a warrant does absolutely no good if the warrants are handed out without verifiable cause. One doctor’s word without any evidence a child is in harm is simply not good enough. Abuses of power like what we saw recently in Arizona could harm children by making it less likely that their parents will seek medical attention in the first place. If you were a parent who was trying to make a judgement call about the ER and you knew the SWAT team might break down your door and kidnap your children, would you err on the side of caution and visit the ER or decide to sit tight and hope the Children’s Tylenol works?
In the not-too-distant past, CPS workers in Arizona were allowed to remove children without warrants, and they did so often. Since the new legislation passed, if there is not a less-intrusive alternative to removing the children, DCS must be able to have probably cause that the child in question is at imminent risk of harm. Was there really no less intrusive alternative to a SWAT team swarming this family’s home like it was a drug den and ripping their children away? Really, Arizona?
Unless there is compelling evidence that a child is in danger, parents do have the right to decide what is in their child’s best interests. There has been an increase in legislation across the country that is designed to strip us of our rights, and our child protective services organizations are just one way they are doing this. Our children do not belong to the state; they belong to us, and if they plan to take them they need to have more than just a desire to do so. They need to have proof.
Listen to an Arizona DCS caseworker explain how they legally kidnap children.
One family’s experience with medical kidnapping at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.