CPS Takes Breastfed Babies Because Parents Were ‘Homeless’

CPS Takes Breastfed Babies Because Parents Were ‘Homeless’
Family Health

Krishna and Amber Mehta found themselves homeless through no fault of their own and were making the best of it – that is until Child Protective Services (CPS) stormed into their lives.

They have children aged 6, nearly 2 years, and 9 months, and the two younger babies were still being breastfed by their mother. Child Protective Services has allegedly taken the children and placed them in 3 different foster homes, and their mother has been accused by Social Services of having a mental disorder because she is “homeless.”

The couple became homeless, though both were working when they had to take an emergency trip to Oregon to see Krishna’s mother who was dying of cancer. The doctors had given her only weeks to live. Sadly, they drove cross-country to try to let Krishna’s mother see the children before she passed, but they were too late.

The family had planned to stay with their dying mother and have an unassisted birth because Amber was expecting at the time. After their ‘freebirth,’ they planned to get back on their feet and return to the Midwest.

They did give birth to a beautiful baby – Mira – but then found themselves with no place to live. In order to make the best of a less-than-ideal situation, they sunk the rest of their money into an RV so they’d have a place for their children. Amber says:

 “We faced homelessness with all the courage and hope we could, believing that we were strong enough to make it.”

The Mehta family turned homelessness into a great adventure, before CPS. Source: Mehta family.

Expecting days that were too cold to weather in Oregon, the family decided to make an ‘adventure’ out of their RV living and headed south. They stopped in various places, “helping others where they could.”

Oddly, the medical kidnapping story of Erica May and Cleave Rengo’s homebirthed, breastfed babies went viral (original story here) around the same time that the Mehta’s faced their unfathomable ordeal. They went to California’s Slab City by invitation from a friend.

The LA Times called this ‘oasis for RVs’, “an unlikely community growing, perhaps because of the troubled economy.”

The Mehtas shared resources with other families, and sometimes traveled into town to try to make some money while living in their RV – when Child Protective Services entered the scene.

Enter Child Protective Services

The Mehta’s were enjoying lunch at a place called “Doc’s Missionary” where “Doc” fed those that were hungry. When their 20-month baby started getting cranky, Krishna offered to take the baby for a ride in the RV to calm her. Amber stayed behind and nursed the younger baby to sleep while at a hot spring.

Amber became concerned when her husband didn’t return as soon as she had expected with their middle child. By dusk, she thought maybe he had run into car trouble or had a flat tire. She went looking for him with a friend and when she returned to Slab City friends told her there that her husband had been arrested by Imperial County CPS.

When Amber called to check on her husband, she was told that police officers would be coming to check on her and her children and that they “should find a suitable shelter such as a hotel for the night.”

Even though officers visited her the next day and found the children to be perfectly safe, the RV was impounded, with the keys to a minivan inside, along with Amber’s purse.

The RV that became their home. Source: Mehta family.
The RV that became their home. Source: Mehta family.

Slabbers got together money for a hotel room for Amber for the night.

To make a long story short, the police lied to Amber to try to get her to incriminate her husband after questioning her for a considerably long stretch. Police told her the next day that her husband had been charged with driving drunk, having an open container, marijuana possession, and child endangerment. Essentially – they didn’t have enough evidence to convict her husband or to hold her child.

That isn’t where it ends though. CPS called the police to pick up the other two children, without a warrant and without cause. Krishna was released after being held for 72 hours, with no charges being filed. He was taken to the hospital after his arrest because he is a diabetic, and they found no alcohol in his blood, just very high blood sugar – likely caused by his arrest.

The “open container” he was accused of having was found in some recycling bags, which Krishna says were torn open as officers searched the RV.

Police also accused Krishna of child endangerment for not having Tara in a car seat. However, there are reportedly photos of her buckled in the car seat during the search.

Judge Orders Children Returned

Three days after CPS took the Mehta’s 20-month baby, a judge found no grounds for the children being held, allegedly saying that Tara should have been returned the moment that her mother was found safely with the other children. CPS was ordered to provide services for the family, and Krishna was ordered to drug test and enter treatment.

You would think that was enough – but social services sent a social worker to check on the Mehta family again and then threatened to take all of her children because “slab city was unfit for children.”

To read the rest of the story, and what you can to do help this family, you can do so here. You can also contact these representatives and voice your support of the Mehta family:

Governor Jerry Brown is the governor of the state of California. He may be reached at (916) 445-2841.

The Senator for the district that Slab City is located in is Senator Ben Hueso. He may be reached at (916) 651-4040, and contacted here.

Assembly member Eduardo Garcia represents the district. He may be reached at (916) 319-2056, or contacted here.