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A DeSoto, Texas family has been reunited with its newborn after CPS removed the child over concerns about her “severe” jaundice.

Temecia and Rodney Jackson’s precious newborn, baby girl Mila, is back in her parents’ custody as of April 20, according to CNN. Mila’s return came almost a month after the Texas Department of Family Protective Services took her away from her parents March 30 — a week after her birth. 

Temecia and Rodney welcomed their daughter through a midwife-assisted home birth. The parents took their little one in for a check-up several days after her birth and were alerted that the child had jaundice. The couple believes their pediatrician, Dr. Anand Bhatt, and local Child Protective Services targeted them because they chose their midwife’s assistance over the doctor’s to treat Mila’s condition. 

After the parents defended their right to keep and care for their child during authorities’ first attempt to collect Mila, Desoto Police Department officials entered the couple’s home and ripped the child from her mother’s arms. Rodney was also briefly arrested.

Authorities claimed they removed Mila “due to her health being in immediate danger of serious long-term consequences,” CBS News detailed.


“We’ve been treated like criminals,” Rodney said during a news conference. “This is a nightmare that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.”

“We were blindsided when hours later, in the middle of the night, he [Dr. Bhatt] called CPS on us because we had chosen to go with the options that he had provided,” Temecia explained in an Instagram video posted April 17.

The mother of three emphasized that Dr. Bhatt approved the couple’s at-home treatment method for Mila. She also noted that their care plan for the little one was supervised by the licensed midwife who helped them birth the child.

“It feels to us that it is retaliation [for] us not going with what he [Dr. Bhatt] wanted us to do, although he gave us options.”

 The midwife, Cheryl Edinbyrd, told CBS News that the couple had supervised visits with Mila during the child’s weeks-long stint in foster care. 

Edinbyrd explained that the parents ordered resources and worked on a plan to tend to the baby’s jaundice within their home before Mila was taken. 

Their treatment plan included adjustments to Mila’s nutrition and a blanket and baby goggles for the child to wear during light therapy. The latter is a standard treatment for the condition.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, newborns can suffer from physiological, breastfeeding and breast milk jaundice. As a common occurrence, “up to 60% of full-term babies develop jaundice during their first week of life.”

 The Afiya Center has heavily advocated for the Jacksons since their daughter was taken from them in the harrowing ordeal CPS put them through.

Marsha Jones, the executive director of the Dallas-based reproductive and equality-focused nonprofit, told CNN that the dangerous and problematic treatment of the Jackson family speaks towards a larger, systemic issue regarding Black families and biases in child welfare cases.

“There’s no reason this baby should have been removed from her home,” Jones said. “This family was not being heard. The Black midwife wasn’t being heard.”

“We have to ask whether there is a better way of addressing children’s medical needs instead of the system we have now where doctors are reporting suspicions, which we know is highly biased, and investigating families, which we know is very traumatic,” added Dorothy Roberts, a law professor, sociologist and author of Torn Apart: How the Child Welfare System Destroys Black Families – and How Abolition Can Build a Safer World.

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