Child Protection Services Takes Custody of Infant at Hospital Because Mother Took Prescription Drug

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Wish TV-Indianapolis reports

The birth of a baby should be one of the most exciting moments a couple will ever experience. But an aggressive campaign by the state to screen newborn infants turned that moment into a nightmare for one couple.

Little Kate Ellis is healthy and normal but her birth was traumatic for her parents. It started just minutes after Kate was born.

Kate's father, Mike Ellis, said a doctor walked in and told Kate's mother that he was going to have to administer methadone.

Ellis said he was shocked and worried about giving such a powerful drug to his daughter.

"And I knew methadone...I've heard in the past that is for people that have a heroin habit. That threw up red flags immediately. I said, 'We're not doing that,' immediately," said Ellis.

Ellis was in a panic. His baby had just been born at Methodist Towers. He wanted to talk with a pediatrician.

His wife, Shannon Ellis, was in a panic too. But her medical history is what triggered the methadone suggestion.

Shannon said her doctor had prescribed hydrocodone for her after she suffered injures in a February car accident. She and Mike trusted that the prescribed drug would not affect the baby. 

"Why would you prescribe this to her if this was going to be an issue?...He didn't have an answer for any time I asked that. I said, 'I'm very upset'," said Mike.

"If I had to do it all over again I would have dealt with the pain," said Shannon.

It turns out that anytime a mother is on a drug, prescription or not, a doctor can order a newborn to be screened. If a parent questions or protests, which Mike Ellis did, the red flags go up and the state takes action.

Back at the hospital a urine drug screen result on Kate was negative. But it was already too late. Child Protective Services was in the process of taking custody of her away from Mike and Shannon.

Thanks to Puppetgov

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