Family Goes Camping, CPS Takes the Kids

A family from Michigan just found out the hard way that, according to Child Protective Services, it really does take a village.  They went for an extended camping trip and CPS took their kids.  If mom hadn’t been a Native American – Indian, thank you – the kids would still be in the custody of the state.

The family owns their own home, but decided to spend the summer camping.

“Our family decided to go camping for the summer to a 10-acre property we are buying,” Antonia said, noting they do own a house. “We had intended to stay the summer while we finalized plans on what we were going to do with our lives. We cannot say we would have stayed the whole summer due to the fact Christopher is donating a kidney to his mother and we may have been called home to do the surgery at any point. If this were to happen we planned to return home for the duration of the surgery and the recovery period however long that was.”

The parents simply “wanted our children to experience the outdoors” …

They had several tents to provide for living accommodations, a kitchen, and storage.  They had a propane stove for cooking and hot water, they purchased water for the family at Wal-Mart, had solar lights, and a generator.  They also had some chickens, ducks, and turkeys for some of their food supply.  They had purchased shower passes at a nearby state park, and were doing laundry at a local laundromat.

On May 19th, the parents had left the camp, the kids were in the care of their 16 year old.  That’s when the Government swooped in.

“When we arrived back, the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department was at the property claiming to have received a report of squatters on the land,” Antonia said. “We provided documentation of our right to be on the land, which was verified the next day by the land owner.”

A CPS representative also was on the property, and had concerns about the living conditions. CPS made four allegations, according to the official court document:

  • The family was not in a “stable living environment.”
  • The family had no electricity or water source, and was using kerosene as a means of heat.
  • The children were playing in the woods, cared for by a 15 year old.
  • The youngest child had a diaper rash.
  • The 17-year-old girl, who has Cerebral Palsy, was cold.

That’s half the story.

Antonia … knew of the diaper rash and it had been healing. The 17-year-old girl had a temperature of 96, but Antonia said this was after sheriff deputies and CPS “had the tent flap completely open for at least an hour and a half.” When she was admitted to the hospital it was 97.7.

“I witnessed her without covers for at least part of that time,” Antonia said. “I was told by her case worker that the doctor who examined her said she was very well taken care of.”

As for the children playing outside in the cold, “none of the children were displaying any signs of being cold — shivering or teeth chattering. As a matter of fact, they kept taking off their coats, which to me indicates that they were not cold.”

None of the allegations, he said, warranted removal of the children.

The family moved back into their home and CPS went away.  A good ending to what could have been an ongoing nightmare, loss of their children to the state, and maybe even prison terms.

This is your government at work.  CPS, in every state we know about, is an out-of-control agency.  They ignore kids at real risk, kids die in their care all too frequently, and they harass families to comply with state mandated standards.

It will be the CPSs of the world that take kids out of homes the government designates as unfit and assign them to state run boarding schools as proposed by Arne Duncan, Barack Obama’s Secretary of Education.

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