‘Baby H’ taken again as living arrangement collapses

A Williams Lake, B.C. couple who was abruptly given their baby back Wednesday on the eve of a family court appearance Thursday, lost her again within 24 hours.

Social workers demanded either the maternal or paternal grandmother to live with the couple. A judge agreed, although no one has explained to the family why they need parental supervision to parent their newborn, who was taken after hospital staff called the provincial Ministry of Children and Family Development (MFCD) to report that the mom was neglecting her baby 90 minutes after having a C-section.

According to the father, after court on Thursday the couple – first-time parents in their early 30s – and the father’s mother returned to the couple’s apartment, where an argument about child care broke out.

The grandmother left and called police, who responded along with a caseworker to remove the baby, the father told APTN. The baby has since been placed with a paternal aunt.

‘Baby H’ is 16 days old. She’s now in her fourth home since being seized from the Kamloops Royal Inland Hospital on June 14.

The paternal grandfather was against the plan imposed by MFCD from the beginning. He feels the parents have done nothing wrong and MCFD has no business forcing adults to live with a parent in order to look after their child, and that the ministry is being meddlesome and arbitrary.

In an audio recording of a meeting about arrangements to get the baby back, both the mother and father expressed concerns about having to live with their mothers.

“I don’t really know [the baby’s dad’s] mom,” said Baby H’s mom. “I don’t really know your mom either,” said the dad. “Well you know her more than I know your family; I know your dad more,” the mom can be heard saying in the recording.

Social workers wouldn’t back down and a judge backed them up.

Baby H’s paternal grandfather said the plan was destined to fail and he’s sad that it did, but not surprised.

“MCFD screws up and they punish the parents,” he said.

Baby H and her parents at the Williams Lake courthouse. File photo.

Another meeting with social workers is scheduled today to come up with a new plan.

The grandfather says the only acceptable plan is to return the baby and leave them all alone.

Meanwhile the baby’s dad said on top of the ongoing stress from all this, they’re realizing they will have to start looking for a three-bedroom house.

“If they’re not backing down on someone having to live with us, we need three bedrooms; this place is too small,” he said.

Mi’kmaw lawyer Pam Palmater calls these questionable newborn apprehensions “race-based genocide” against Indigenous women.

“We all know that moms who have had their children stolen from them – especially Indigenous moms – are more likely to suffer from suicide, heart attack, stroke, depression, anxiety, addictions, homelessness,” she told APTN Thursday.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission suggested parents-to-be receive prenatal services and preventive care to learn how to safely care for their children.

With files from Kathleen Martens.

Host/Producer - Winnipeg

Melissa is a proud Red River Metis and award-winning journalist who has spent more 14 years covering crime, courts, politics, business and entertainment for newspapers in four provinces.
She then joined APTN Investigates in 2009 and APTN National News in 2018 and in that time has garnered numerous awards and nominations including from the World Indigenous Television Broadcasters Network (2013), Canadian Association of Journalists (2016, 2019) and Canadian Screen Awards (2018, 2019).


14 thoughts on “‘Baby H’ taken again as living arrangement collapses

  1. First, I want whoever lied and reported supposed “neglect” within 90 minutes of the child’s birth found and fired. Second, this family needs reunited and left alone. And finally, there needs to be more done to prevent this happening again!

  2. ALL information is not here, so too many opinions are wrong.
    No matter what, the Ministry does not just up and take infants. There are real reasons.

  3. These social workers are committing genocide. This is wrong The mother and baby are supposed to be bonding now. THIS will do long term DAMAGE to the child and this MINISTRY is to blame

  4. This happens too much! First-time parents need time to earn how to takec of a baby! This applies to every race in the world! They don’t come with instructions!! I don’t hear of many white babies apprehended in hospital! Every person does things for a baby a little differently, so that may be the problem with the Grandma calling police, or maybe she doesn’t like the mother of the baby!!! They are old enough to take care of a baby!! It’s not like they are teenagers! Something is drastically wrong!!!

  5. Taking children and controllling births and/or preventing births is a tactic of genocide.

  6. America (and the rest of the world, for that matter) has a long history of separating parents from children, and then sending the children far away. Research the orphan trains, you will be shocked that you never knew this about the past.

  7. Wow this is disgusting! Give those parents their baby back and go worry about the children that are actually being abused and neglected

  8. And any supports the family receives should abso-frigging-lutely be culturally-based and empowering. What a nightmare for this poor family. The worst is that child protective services never acknowledge the trauma THEY cause in these baseless apprehensions. My prayers go out to this family.

  9. 90 minutes after having a c-section I could not move nor even attempt to take care of my baby. Shame on those nurses, shame on the social workers, and shame on the judge.

  10. This is disgusting. Grandparents shouldn’t be given even remotely that much authority without serious evidence of abuse. The baby was JUST born. These poor people aren’t even being given a chance to parent. And in the meantime the baby and mother are losing very valuable time to bond and that baby will have long term health consequences as a result. Who’s being negligent here?

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