After Parents Decline Birth Certificate and SSN: Newborn Gets Kidnapped
Categories: News, Life Stories
Theirs was a spiritual journey of getting back to nature and rejecting the materialism that they felt held them in bondage. Christian and Danielle Holm began their journey together in early 2016 as itinerant missionaries, traveling across the country and speaking to churches as they sought to live simply and biblically.
The last thing that they expected was for Child Protective Services to seize their 1 day old baby literally off of his mother’s breast in an Alabama hospital. What started out as an apparent case of mistaken identity has turned into a nightmare that the family cannot wake up from. They don’t understand why their baby was taken from them, or why he still remains in state custody in foster care while social workers continue to challenge their religious beliefs.
According to a close family friend who contacted Health Impact News, the couple are grieving.
The most sacred thing to Danielle and Christian is the bond of male and female coming together and giving life with God. This bonding process in the beginning of a baby’s life has been stolen from them.
There was never any reason for their baby to be taken from them to begin with, and even now, they have adequate housing and anything else that could ever be needed and they still don’t have their baby back.
Story Reported in Local Media
The Anniston Star first reported their story on October 13, 2016, just days after the couple’s baby was born on Monday, October 10. Excerpt:
Just out of Regional Medical Center, Danielle has a belly still swollen from a pregnancy that ended Monday with the birth of a healthy baby boy.
Her arms, however, are empty. Her son was taken from her the day after he was born and is in the custody of the Cleburne County Department of Human Resources pending a hearing at Cleburne County Courthouse this morning.
“We told them that we were going to do whatever we could,” she said as tears ran down her face. “I’m his mother. I’m supposed to be nourishing and bonding with him right now and I can’t.”
Judge Issues Gag Order, Family Friend Contacts Health Impact News
Shortly after the story was reported, District Judge Melody Walker of the Cleburne County Circuit Court issued a gag order on the couple, forbidding them to speak about their case.
Since that time, Health Impact News was contacted by a close family friend who talked to us about the couple and their story. The source, who asked not to be named, made it clear that the information that she gave us was from conversations which occurred before the gag order was placed on Danielle and Christian Holm.
She communicated that the Holms want to cooperate with DHR to do everything that they can to get their baby back. They are heartbroken, and they are scared. The source is concerned that the couple may have unwittingly stumbled into a great deal of corruption, and their baby could be an innocent victim of some sort of trafficking ring.
Couple Chooses to Leave Materialism Behind, Pursue Spirituality
Though their simple lifestyle of hiking and backpacking through state parks may suggest otherwise, the Holms come from a background of means and education. 32 year old Danielle holds a triple bachelor’s degree in psychology, sociology, and biology. She has worked as a nurse, chiropractic assistant, child and adolescent mental health counselor, personal trainer, and was a group leader for Special Needs children at a youth center. Her husband Christian, 35, comes from a very well-off, politically connected family. He spent several years caring for his ailing grandparents before their deaths.
They met and fell in love after finding common ground online. They decided to make a life together in August of 2015 and moved to New Hampshire together. Both increasingly felt that possessions and materialism were holding them in bondage. After they married in February, they made the conscious decision to give away their possessions to charity and live simply, traveling as itinerant missionaries and getting closer to nature.
Excerpt from The Anniston Star:
The process of surrendering is difficult, though. It took them until May to start travelling, and even then they were driving, he said. They only recently left their car in a storage unit in Montgomery and started walking.
They found the journey amazing; people they met along the way would give them money, food and water to keep going, they said. On the way they stopped at probably 30 churches to talk with people and minister to them, Christian said.
They travelled about five miles a day and ended up camping at Cheaha State Park a few days ago, Christian said.
They Wanted as Close to Natural Birth as Possible
The expectant couple reportedly sought prenatal care and preparation along the way from midwives, doulas, ob-gyns, and lactation consultants. They researched and read and asked questions.
They considered seeking a midwife in Alabama, since they expected to be in the state when the baby was born, but they found information that told them that midwifery is illegal in Alabama. However, the only reference in the Alabama code to non-nurse-midwifery is in the section governing nurse-midwives, Al Code 34-19-3 (b):
(b) Nothing in subsection (a) of this section shall be construed as to prevent lay midwives holding valid health department permits from engaging in the practice of lay midwifery as heretofore provided until such time as the permit may be revoked by the county board of health.
There is no definition of lay or other non-nurse midwives, such as traditional midwives, in the Alabama statutes. Because of conflicting information in the media and online, the Holms did not know that having a traditional midwife was an option open to them. Instead, they prepared for an unassisted, husband-coached, natural lotus birth, planning to birth as closely to nature as possible.
When Danielle went into labor, they had been camping for several days atCheaha State Park inCleburne County, Alabama. After 2 days of labor, they reportedly became concerned about some bleeding and decided to call an ambulance, which took them to Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center (RMC). Danielle gave birth to a baby boy the next morning, and he was “perfectly healthy” according to a family friend.