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Mom Refuses C-Section, Baby Taken Away

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Wow, we just can't believe this.

newborn baby in hospital

A woman in New Jersey refused to consent to a C-section during labor in the event that her baby was in distress. She ended up giving birth vaginally without incident. The baby was in good medical condition.

However, her baby was taken away from her and her parental rights were terminated because she "abused and neglected her child" by refusing the C-section and behaving "erratically" while in labor.

How is this legal?

A New Jersey appellate court has upheld the shocking ruling, and custody has been given to the child's foster parents.

The court's decision cites hospital records that describe the mother, V.M., as "combative," "uncooperative," "erratic," "noncompliant," "irrational" and "inappropriate." That's how we acted during labor, too ... but our babies weren't taken away, thank God.

The court opinion also focuses on the fact that the mother had been in psychiatric care for twelve years prior to the birth. But, as the Huffington Post points out, her psychiatric state would never have been questioned if the mother had not refused invasive abdominal surgery -- which was entirely within her rights.

Read the entire court ruling here.

Do you think this woman's baby should have been taken away? Comment below.

next: Cat Cora Welcomes a Baby Boy
189 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous July 28, 2009, 11:27 AM

She refused what the doctors thought was needed, in that situation what NORMAL Mother would have said NO? If at any point in either of my 2 labors i was told you need to have a c-section because the baby could be in harm or whatever, i would have said YES, why argue>? Why take a risk of HURTING your baby? That is what sounds crazy to me, im glad the baby was taken away people like that should not be alloud to reproduce… and OH 18 and 4 kids… did you forget that??

Vixen July 28, 2009, 11:56 AM

Did you read the court document. It very plainly says that there was considerable evidence of abuse WITHOUT considering her refuseal to have the c-section. It even intimates that they would not have upheld or considered upholding if the evidence was the c-section at all. And that they only considered OTHER evidence. Obviously there was something else going on.

This is an interesting conversation all the same, I just think it should be clear that this mom did not lose her child for refusing a c-section, according to the court document you provided the link for.

Baffled July 28, 2009, 12:00 PM

Did anyone actually read the court documents? The judges based the rulings on the fact the both parents especially the mom had psychiatric histories. Not because she refused a c-sect. She wouldn’t keep her H2o mask on, wouldn’t let the doc check her, wouldn’t let them do an ultra on the baby or check the heartbeat. They called 2 docs in from the Psych ward to check her out. Then she lied and said she didn’t refuse the c-sect, didn’t talk to the Psych docs & didn’t tell them she had a history of psych problems. Unbelievable!

Becca July 28, 2009, 12:09 PM

What an insane world we live in! And it is getting “insaner!” It is considered, by the powers that be, a woman’s right to privacy to murder her own child before delivery date, but if she doesn’t want to give a blanket permission for the medical world to do invasive surgery, at their own judgement, (not hers or her parthner’s) then it is neglect! I am so thankful that I am done with childbearing, although I would like to have been able to have more children, with this climate. But it makes me so afraid for my children as they begin their families. It is enough to make one go underground. I am sure going to be sure my daughters and daughter in law have the full advantage of the same products that are helping women have safer pregnancies and healthier babies, to decrease the likelihood of them needing a C-section. So many times, a C-section could have been prevented. (That is, when the need was actually real in the first place. I know of many instances where it clearly was for the doctor’s own benefit that it was done.)

Baffled July 28, 2009, 12:13 PM

I agree with Gigohead. Unless you have lived with someone like this you have no I idea what they are capable of. My ex & father of my son is bipolar/alcoholic. If the do not take their meds or take their meds with drugs/alcohol you never what you are going to get. Just like this lady he is extremely smart but instead works at a car wash. He has given up his parental rights. My husband is adopting.

Anon July 28, 2009, 12:58 PM

if you actually read the court documents posted here and not the bare bones shock value story, you will see the reality of the situation. It clearly states several times that the judges decision was not based solely on the refusal to have a c section. The mother is a schizophrenic who refuses treatment for get condition. She called the police on the hospital staff alleging they were assulting her. After the child was born she was told there would be a hearing to determine if she could maintIn patental rights. She couldn’t even be bothered to show up. Clearly there is more evidence that shows her continued mental state played into the decision more than he refusal of a c section. It’s just another case where the media has blown things out if proportion.

Charmed July 28, 2009, 1:17 PM

If you read the court papers you will see this decision was based on more than her refusal for the C-section.

This is a very sad case. I wonder how the child would be doing if the mother had ‘held it together’ doing childbirth? Would this be another story of horrific child child abuse years later? We will never know.

From the outside looking in, it looks as if the court tried to do everything in its power to reunite the biological parents with the infant. The parents have some blame in this, regardless of their mental state.

Amber July 28, 2009, 1:51 PM

I would say NO to. For me I have to have C-Section because thats what my doctor said and yes I didn’t want the c-section, for my life and my baby life yes. But this is goin way to far. Doctors now days went every women to have a C-Section, why because it easy and fast. They don’t want to sit there and wait for you to push your baby out forever. And the baby came out just fine how dare they say oh you are a bad mother because you said No to a C-Section are you flapping serious. Our bodies are our bodies, we women knows what is best for us and our children. If they don’t want a damn C-Section, then they don’t need it. If this country is suppost to be a Christian Nation, then where are the Christians. And who cares if she was crazy at least she didn’t have a abortion like some women. Get over yourself people.

S July 28, 2009, 2:03 PM

It’s all about money. They sold the kid for profit. If a state tops last years number of kids who are adopted the stae gets a bonus. New born white babies are at a premium.

What the Hell! July 28, 2009, 2:22 PM

People refuse surgery everyday and nothing or no one is taken away from them. That is her right it’s her body. The baby turned out to be fine, so what’s the big deal? The doctor’s are just mad because she was right and all their years of medical training was wrong! So they seem to be setting her as an example. Meaning if you don’t listen to us, there will be reprocutions! We don’t like it when your right and we’re wrong, so we’ll teach you!

AMW July 28, 2009, 2:27 PM

Why doesn’t the court enter into punishing women that have late term abortions? They indeed are excused from murder charges. I do understand that the action was taken due to other factors than the fact that the mother refused the c-secion. If she had the c-section would there have been any court action?

amy July 28, 2009, 3:31 PM

Oh Brother ! This woman did not lose custody of her child simply because she refused a c-section ! She behaved like a raving lunatic during labor, she did not disclose her pysch history and she refused a c-section even if it meant putting her childs life at risk. I don’t think that this woman has the capability to care for a child, she certainly has not shown the best judgement so far.

Angie July 28, 2009, 3:34 PM

No, and that’s a shame.

meeka July 28, 2009, 3:59 PM

this is unbelievable and a tragedy that should have never happened i had a c-section when i was 17 and would not recommend it and by the way i went thru my medical records and i did not need to have it but i was young and dumb but had 2 vaginal deliveries after that i hope she gets her baby back with a hefty lawsuit against whoever

Stacie July 28, 2009, 4:36 PM

Did the writer of this article not read the entire court opinion? It clearly states that the child was not removed simply for the actions of the mother during labor or prior to the birth of the child. In fact, the court specifically ruled that the fact that this woman refused a c-section could not be a factor in determining custody of this child. However, this woman had/has severe mental issues and was non-compliant with her psychiatrists, DYFS and the court system. THAT is why she lost her child !!

Angie July 29, 2009, 12:40 AM

First, the C-section rate is 1/3 of all women in the US in a hospital but it’s only 4% for women who use a midwife first. That shows that there a NUMEROUS unnecessary C-sections and I ought to know. Three children, all C-section. How many were valid? The first I was told was too big for me (at 8 lbs). The second delivery, the doctor had an uncle visiting from Italy and wanted to go home. The third, he was definitely small enough but I was never allowed to even TRY a VBAC. It’s a money game.

So let’s say this woman had a mistrust of a doctor’s and hospital’s surgical happy attitude. And she’s combative and irrational while in delivery AND while being pressured to consent to a surgery she felt unnecessary? Then they bring in a slew of psychatrists to determine whether she’s mentally sound because she’s possibly suspicious of whether the c-section is truly necessary, knowing that many c-sections today ARE unnecessary.

Then she and her husband act paranoid after the fact, after the hospital has reported them to Family Services? They throw up her “past mental history” in her face which was described as “POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER” (not some psychotic breakdown) and try to use that as a reason she’s unfit. The doctors who examine her and her history per court order find different conclusions. She’s fine, no mental illness. No, she’s paranoid schitzophrenic. No she’s bi-polar. But the foster mom said they did a great job with their daughter and would be wonderful parents.

Is it possible the woman and her husband are scared, angry, not thinking straight because they lost their child and the state’s trying to take away their daughter. And the state is scrambling to justify WHY they had a right to do so since her refusal of a C-section isn’t to be considered.

Does this woman have a mental disorder that would interfere with her ability to parent? From what I read, it’s hard to determine since what was presented was one-sided that justified the decision to remove the child from the home. I’d have liked to hear more from the parents but this isn’t a court transcript, just the findings so the evidence presented is going to be slanted towards the decision made.

Still scary to think this all started because a woman in labor was acting irritable and erratic.

MaryAnne July 29, 2009, 1:23 AM

How is that possible???? When I was in labor, I acted irrationally!!! I BEGGED them to knock me out and take the baby out because they had given me three, yes, THREE shots of pertusin(spell check) to induce labor and by the 23rd hour, they said they were considering a c-section … I kicked the doctor by mistake (automatic to her checking me internally!), begged them to not tie up my legs (which they nicely did not do) and THEY kept me in the hospital from Mon-Fri for who knows what reason…we ALL have a story to tell, this just seems incredibly impossible!

Michelle July 29, 2009, 2:21 AM

If she had mental probs the baby should have been taken away!!! What about that texas mom (prob bi polar and depressed), she ate her 3 1/2 week old son this week after beheading him. Save the babies!!

aj July 29, 2009, 3:01 AM

I’m sorry, this is utterly rediculous… all these conclusions and suppositions. What mother would not be a little combative and paranoid after going through what she went through? If you pulled that on me and held me to anything said when in pain and sleep deprived, well we would all be in the same boat! Furthermore… my husband’s ex-wife abused and neglected my step-sons for years while using and dealing drugs and noone bothered to terminate her parental rights! We had to spend thousands and thousands of dollars on legal proceedings and live in poverty now because of it. She finally lost custodianship of the boys while she was in rehab… lost custody of another son to his father, then went on to have a child with a third man that was taken away at birth for about 10 months. That child and mother DID test positive for drugs and/or alcohol and yet she was allowed to regain custody of that child and go on to have yet another! This poor couple has been enthralled in this drama less than 3 months and they are talking about terminating rights!!!! These parents need to be counseled properly and be made to feel like they have a chance at being a family. My understanding is that the family would be forced to separate in order for father to maintain parental rights. Unbelievable. This family should be given at least 6 months to prove or disprove their ability to parent and properly care for themselves and their child/children. This really does seem like a medical condition being used as an excuse to destroy the fabric of a family who gave birth to a healthy baby only to have it ripped from their arms. Is there anyone out there that could carry a child to term, deliver, and have the child torn away and not have some sort of depression/detatchment or psychosis? That in itself is traumatic enough to push most of us to that point!!! Shame shame shame on these “professionals” for pushing their way through an obviously flawed system!!!!

D July 29, 2009, 2:59 PM

ISA 49:25 But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will SAVE THY CHILDREN.

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