Family Finally Reunited after CPS Intervention

Why did the Rengo family ever have their children taken away? And what took so long to return them? If you haven’t heard any stories like this, then you might be surprised what an agency like Child Protective Services (CPS) is capable of. The Rengo family had their children taken away from them for a month and a half. It’s questionable when they would have received them back if there hadn’t been a social outcry all over the media and Facebook.

What Were the Issues?

Rengo-family1It doesn’t matter where you read about this story when it comes to the real problem. It turns out there was nothing wrong. Allegedly, the family was reported for having an unassisted homebirth with their twins (which is not illegal!!), not following doctor’s advice to supplement with formula (I don’t blame them), and not using steroid creams on their 10-month old eczema. There were also unfounded allegations of abuse. It seems that a concerned family member called CPS when the twins were born at home, which started the process that lead to the children being removed.

The couple let in paramedics who evaluated the newborn babies. They seemed to be healthy and well, but the paramedics recommended they be seen by a doctor (standard procedure for them). The parents refused. They had no plans to let these new babies leave the house to keep them safe and healthy.

The Court Twists the Story

From what I can read, the court twisted the story around. The judge even referred to the CPS workers as heroes, when in reality, they’re child abductors. The family has been reunited after a month and a half of being without their babies. This is traumatic for all three children. And the oldest is now suffering from pneumonia. The parents have now been issued recommendations on where to live, what to feed the children, etc, which isn’t really any of the court’s or CPS’s business. There was never a question of abuse of the children.

The judge also had a problem with the family living in a one-bedroom apartment. While this may seem crammed for today’s standards, that doesn’t necessarily put any of those children at risk. In fact, families used to house in similarly small living quarters and even share a family bed. Additionally, I have a feeling it’s not by choice but because that’s what they can afford. Besides, they have three kids under 1. I don’t think extra indoor space is a requirement for safety and health and happiness, either. Certainly not a reason to take someone’s kids away.

There Is More to the Story

I understand that there is more to the story. According to some news sources, there is a police record with one or both of the parents. They have also been 21 calls to the police! (although most of that happened before the first baby was born) And while none of that has anything to do with the health of the twins or the boy, this is probably what triggered CPS to take them. My heart is aching for those parents regardless. I know CPS is there to protect children, but in this case, I don’t think what they did was justified. I sincerely hope that this couple will work out the differences with CPS to avoid having their kids taken away again. I cannot imagine the heartbreak the older boy went through since he knows very well who his parents are. Similarly, I can’t imagine how these poor parents feels after losing their newborn babies and having strangers care for them.

When it comes to custody battles with young children, I find it completely unacceptable that it takes a month and a half to reach a decision. And considering the outcry this case has received, this was probably fast in terms of our court system. Why couldn’t they have worked with CPS without taking the kids away? Were they really in danger? And is that family a flight risk? I doubt it.

What This Means for You

Even though having a homebirth supposedly wasn’t the issue, I’m sure it didn’t increase anyone’s confidence in this couple’s ability to care for their children. To avoid any interactions with social services, I would recommend keeping homebirth plans to myself. I certainly wouldn’t recommend calling the police to solve domestic disputes, either.