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Couple struggle for child custody rights after home birth

The vast majority of child custody struggles center on a divorced or divorcing couple that is trying to establish their rights in relation to a shared child or children. There are times, however, when an intact family in Maryland or elsewhere faces a child custody battle. In such cases, it is imperative to take a firm legal stance in order to protect the right to raise one's child in the manner in which one sees fit.

An example is found in the recent struggles that one couple has had in trying to raise their family within their religious beliefs. The pair, who are not legally married, but who claim to have united in a religious ceremony, have a 10-month-old son. They also have newborn twins who were born at home in an unassisted birth.

After the twins were successfully delivered, paramedics came to the family's home. It was suggested that the infants be taken to the hospital for a medical examination, but the parents declined, stating that they did not want to expose their children to patients who were fighting disease. The following day, workers from the local child protective services department came to the family's home and began an investigation.

Within a short period of time, all three children were removed from the home. The parents are now limited to one visit per week with their children, all of whom were still nursing when they were removed from their parents' care. The family has secured an attorney to fight for the swift return of their children, and a recent petition asserts that the state's choice to remove the babies from a safe and loving home is "unconscionable" and "inexcusable."

As this family continues to fight for its child custody rights, parents in Maryland and across the nation will continue to follow the case. State authority over the neglect and abuse of children is a powerful weapon against those who do wrong. However, in this case, the parents seem to feel as if they have done no wrong, and they have retained the services of a family law attorney to assist them.

Source: USA Today, "Couple fight for custody of children after home birth", Alison Morrow, Dec. 4, 2014

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