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Indigenous couple accused of neglect shares audio recording of meeting with ministry after baby seized

Last Updated Jun 27, 2019 at 7:14 am PDT

The Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, B.C. (Source: Google Maps)
Summary

Family accused of neglecting 90 minute old baby is sharing a recording of their first meeting with the ministry

Baby H was removed from her parent's custody 48 hours after she was born in Kamloops

Baby's mother couldn't attend the meeting with ministry staff because she was on prescription drugs following c-section

KAMLOOPS (NEWS 1130) – We’re getting a better idea of what happened when social workers seized an Indigenous newborn in Kamloops earlier this month, “Baby H.”

APTN — which broke the story — has published an audio recording of a meeting between the father, the baby’s maternal grandmother, and Ministry of Child and Family Development staff, which is making the rounds.

In the meeting, ministry staff refer to a report from hospital staff who accused the mother of being too “out of it” to tend her baby’s basic needs within an hour and a half of the girl’s birth by c-section.

“Baby’s not being properly cared for, that’s the reality,” a woman, believed to be with the ministry, is heard saying in the recording. “She was crying, she wasn’t being fed.”

Her father is heard trying to defend his ability to care for his daughter to no avail. Then, the MCFD accuses the baby’s grandmother of neglect, claiming Baby H was left crying while the mother and grandmother slept.

“Their role is to make sure the baby’s needs are being met while the baby’s in hospital,” the staff worker says.

“Yes, that’s what we’ve all been doing,” another voice, believed to be the grandmother’s, is heard saying.

The father, adds, “I don’t recall a time when her diaper was wet and we didn’t change her.”

Ministry staff seized the the baby 48 hours after her birth, shortly after this meeting. The father says the ministry has asked him to remove some posts about the family’s experience from social media.

Meantime, the family has told APTN that the hospital also accused them of being homeless, then changed the accusation to say the parents live in a group home. In fact, the couple has a two-bedroom apartment in Williams Lake.

The infant is now in the foster system. A ministry staff member is heard in the recording saying how long Baby H will remain in foster care will depend on how the parents interact with support services outside of the hospital.