Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Woman: Poppy Seeds, Not Drugs, Led to Losing Child
(Nov. 10) -- The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of a Pennsylvania couple whose baby was taken away from them after the mother failed a drug test. The ACLU says the mom is drug free and blames the failed test on a poppy-seed bagel.
"This was devastating on our whole family," Elizabeth Mort, 21, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I held her for a few minutes, and they took her and left. I was devastated. I just cried and cried and cried."
Mort's daughter, Isabella Rodriguez, was born on April 27 at Jameson Hospital's North Campus in Lawrence County. Before the birth, per hospital policy, Mort was required to submit a urine sample for drug testing. She agreed to the test but reportedly was not told the results.
On April 30, the day after Mort was discharged from the hospital, a caseworker with Lawrence County Children and Youth Services obtained an emergency order and removed the baby from Mort's New Castle, Pa., home because she had allegedly tested positive for opiates.
According to the lawsuit, the level of opiates in Mort's system was well below federal workplace drug testing standards and was caused by Mort ingesting a bagel containing poppy seeds before giving birth. The lawsuit also alleges that Mort passed a subsequent drug test and that Children and Youth Services admitted the mistake, but kept her daughter in foster care for five days before finally returning her to her parents.
The lawsuit, filed by the ACLU in Oakland, Pa., seeks policy changes, damages and attorney fees, the Gazette reported.
"I'm hoping that they'll either change their policies so it doesn't happen to another family or they'll investigate it better before they take babies from their homes," Mort told the newspaper.
Officials with Jameson Hospital's North Campus have not yet commented on the case. According to the Gazette, county representatives said they acted appropriately.
Original Link- http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/pennsylvania-woman-poppy-seeds-not-drugs-led-to-losing-child/19711181?icid=main%7Chtmlws-main-w%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk3%7C183489