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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
Angel on Fire July 29, 2009, 3:56 PM

So I guess that since I refused to get a C-Section with my 7yr old , I don’t deserve to have her? Yeah I have had “mental” problems too. Heck I don’t believe in a lot of the junk (YES JUNK!) that they are trying to force on us, does that make me a bad mother? NO.

greg July 29, 2009, 5:05 PM

read the court ruling people.

janet July 31, 2009, 12:23 AM

I gave birth to both of my sons in the state of N.J.
Obviously, some laws have changed since that time..
The problem today is that we have way to many people trying to govern our rights as individuals. Maybe this mother has some real problems that need addressed. I tried accessing the court reading online but I was unable to. That makes it real difficult for me to voice an opinion on just hearsay..however, certain people have a way of gaining power over other people over the most trife of situations. For example: the husband, or father of the newborn, may have caused the problem or created a problem. Or even decided he didn’t want to be a responsible parent..Or maybe child protective services went overboard. Perhaps a hospital staff member didn’t think rationally. There are many other possibilities that could have taken place. I feel for the mother. It a sad day when we all assume the worst when we really only know what someone else said and we weren’t there to witness any action by any party…just hearsay…I wish I could read the court ruling…then give a fact based opinion on that…but then again that would still be only an opinion where the mother had no control whatsoever about the impending event, and just a court ruling after the fact. So my friends…be realistic and honest. If you have never been in such a horrifying situation or know of no one that has, then you know nothing….Lets hope that the mother wasn’t a victim of her past mistakes. No one is perfect..but being a parent makes me feel sad for her….We as humans are allowed to make mistakes..and it shouldn,t reflect on our ability to parent a child unless we are out and out criminals, or just unfit as a human being to make the right choice. This sounds like a witch hunt…but then I don’t have all the facts….neither does anyone else except the people involved…..and even then the facts could be distorted by someone in great power…just because! chow everyone…use your common sense…Janet

Mark July 31, 2009, 2:05 PM

Those of you who keep saying to read the court documents to get the full story need to read the court documents to get the full story.

Yes, the courts said it was more than this woman’s refusal to give consent for a C-section that led to the decision to take away her child. Yes, the court cited two shrinks’ and a social worker’s opinions that she might (MIGHT) prove an unfit parent. Yes, the two court-appointed shrinks got restraining orders against the woman. The document also cites two shrinks and the foster parent (who saw this woman and the child’s father regularly interact with the child) who said they had no legal reason to find her unfit. Indeed, the foster parent believes this woman and the child’s father would make ‘wonderful parents,’ her words. And I’m not too surprised this woman became hostile with people (the shrinks) who keep telling her (and the courts) she is an unfit parent).

The fact that the court NOW says her decision and behavior during the delivery are immaterial is simply more CYA — the same kind of CYA that led to the decision to separate the child from the parents. Too much bureaucracy, and too much government. The default position needs to be a child belongs with her parents absent incontrovertable evidence of danger to the child. We’re a long way from that in this case.

Rachel Kot July 31, 2009, 11:51 PM

It is important to remember that a county will not step in without good reason. Typically, if a pattern had been developing that would lead to the final decision. I don’t know if you all have worked with adults with Mental Illness, but it is not an easy process to remove parental rights without strong cause to do so. She could have done a number of things prior to labor, and that may have been just one of the issues that came up. The courts also prefer the children stay with the family. She must have done quite a bit to get to the point of losing her child.

geri August 2, 2009, 12:12 AM

I’m completely outraged! Something needs to be done in our country! We have NO rights anymore. Regardless of the rest of the story, this woman ahould have been investigated porooperly and then if she was founf to be unfit the proper procedures could have been done. I would not only sue but make this a bigger issue then anyone has ever seen!

Leona August 3, 2009, 6:25 AM

I don’t think that she should have had her baby taken from her. It seems that the medical personnel think that they know it all and c sections at times are just a way for them to just get things done so they don’t have to wait for the baby to finally want to come out. I guess my daughter should have been taken away from me when I didn’t want a c section

Jessica Powers August 3, 2009, 10:07 AM

An example of the medical community and social services getting too big for their britches.

Anonymous August 3, 2009, 7:24 PM

If this was the only reason for having a c-section. It is still the patients right to say no. This was not abuse unless there not telling us everything.

She Bal August 4, 2009, 11:31 AM

From Where Im concerened a mother should do anything to make sure that her child is safe, and if that means having a c-section if the baby is in distress and might die, she should do it. refusing it coiuld have meant in that situation that the baby could die and she wouldnt have the child in any case, but having a baby possibly die didnt seem to concern her, so I dont think anything wrong was done

leuce7 August 5, 2009, 11:29 AM

I read the ENTIRE court document (Why do they teach them to write this way? It’s so long-winded).

Every one of the following is in it:

—The *appeals* court said they shouldn’t consider the refusal of the c-section in their opinion, but the original court DID.

—The first psychiatrist that they brought in to examine the 42-year-old, first-time mother’s mental stability and ability to decide to refuse a c-section said she was perfectly fine.

—Her original psychiatrist diagnosed her with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Depression, but when she left treatment he wrote she was within her rights to leave.

—She was on state disability while seeing her first psychiatrist, and the state’s doctors who examined her said she was fine, but now the original psychiatrist says she has schizoaffective disorder (which is NOT schizophrenia, they are DIFFERENT) years after he treated her.

—The hospital called in a second psychiatrist after the first one said she was okay and within her rights to refuse; the second psychiatrist was saying she was not okay, and during his examination, she gave birth vaginally to a healthy baby.

—The court reversed the decision that the father was unfit, but said that the mother can’t live in the same house with the baby.

—The woman said she did give consent (signed a form earlier) in court, but the testimony from doctors was the she DIDN’T give consent, and the judge said this “discrepancy” about the refusal or consent about the c-section IS allowed as evidence, and did influence the court’s decision.

—The foster mother said the baby’s parents were great when they visited, and that they would make wonderful parents.

I don’t think the baby should have been taken away. Even if she did exhibit irrational behavior, mood stabilizers are prohibited during pregnancy because they might harm the baby, so you know she wasn’t taking any of those, and maybe that made a difference in how she came off.

This seems such an unfair infringement on her and her baby’s rights, and just goes to show how little the general public understands about mental illness, and what great prejudices people with mental illness face in this world.

Jennifer August 10, 2009, 5:59 PM

Warning: Do not go to St. Barnebas Hospital, 94 Old Short Hills Rd, Livingston, N.J.07039
for any procedure including for labor and delivery. There is something wrong
at that hospital. The staff is delusional and they will call child protective services on you and have your
newborn taken away if they want to. I urge people to go to another hospital

Noe August 14, 2009, 2:09 AM

Irratic and irrational? I’m sure that those nurses and doctors have seen all kinds of strange behavior, to describe that in a hospital record this woman must have been above and beyond. I tried to access the court ruling, but I couldn’t
however I’m confident that whatever this woman was saying or doing must have been more than enough to warrant concern for the baby’s wellbeing. Lots of women refuse c sections. That’s your right to refuse, every nurse and evry doctor are aware of that. It had to be more than that decision.

Anthony August 18, 2009, 12:07 PM

There has to be more…it just don’t add up.

Sean August 25, 2009, 6:33 PM

I hate people who think suing is the awnser for everything but in this case i think it would be appropriate to go after the hospital who knows having the surgery may have even violated her religous beliefs hospitals shouldn’t and DON’T have the right to force any treatment on anyone for any reason

mikech August 26, 2009, 9:00 PM

There is not enough information here, but I believe that the woman was acting “crazy” and that to be given custody of the child was clearly not in the best interest of either the child or society as a whole. While it seems extreme, how likely is it that after being “parented” by this person, the child grows up an anti-social nut job that requires our care in either the psychiatric or criminal institution?

Dottie September 25, 2009, 1:12 PM

What is crazy to me is the fact that if she had opted for an abortion that would have been fine. She wouldn’t have been charged with neglect. right? This is the craziest of the crazy things going on in this world.

Otto December 1, 2009, 8:33 AM

Of course the woman may have been “IRRATIC”! She waz in the middle of LABOR 4 cryin’ out loud! It’z OBSCENE that her child waz taken away from her. After all, the baby waz fine & some KNIFE-HAPPY docterz didn’t get 2 mutilate her. Just another PRIME example of how our rightz r bein’ ripped-out from under us.

discount codes March 22, 2010, 10:06 AM

I guess I am totally informationally prepared to second guess the judge and medical workers in this case. I can, without a doubt, say they were all wrong. Because I read this short, one-sided article, never met the discount codes mother in question, was not present at the hospital, did no hear the witnesses and spent a whole minute considering it.This mother should have her baby back and be compensated for the stacked social services. The supreme court in the past ruled grandparents can not just walk in and take a child away from a mother or father so why is this happening. Just like the black professor’s case…the man was inside his own home. Yet police unions are demanding an apology from the president for calling the officer stupid. I reviewed, he said the manner was handled stupidly. why in the blazes in a free christian country does every one have to fear a social worker or a cop? think police state set up largely by richard cheney.

Jane April 24, 2010, 7:56 PM

Go to The people who work for child protective services abuse and neglect the children
in their care/

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