A Texas newborn prepares to be reunited with his parents just weeks after being placed in foster care.
Here’s what we know about the case and the actions of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
What happened to Mila Jackson?
Mila Jackson was born on March 21, 2023 during a home birth to Texas parents Temecia and Rodney Jackson.
A few days later they took her to the doctor for her newborn appointment and she was diagnosed with jaundice.
Then, on March 30, DFPS removed her from her parents’ care after her 12-year-old pediatrician, Dr. Anand Bhatt reported her to the agency.
The report came after he took a bilirubin test – used to find the cause of conditions like jaundice, anemia and liver disease – and the levels came back to 21.7 milligrams, which Bhatt said was “a cause for serious concern.” may be. because it could lead to brain damage, according to CBS News.
The Cleveland Clinic reports that any level above 20 milligrams in newborns older than 72 hours means the baby needs treatment.
Court documents show the Jacksons were willing to treat Mila’s jaundice at home because they “didn’t believe in modern medicine,” and they even bought a blanket and glasses for light therapy, but they never got the chance.
Bhat told the court that he “authorized the assistance of CPS to help this baby receive the medically necessary and needed care,” according to ABC7.
On March 30, officers arrived at the Jacksons’ home with an arrest warrant and removed Mila “because her health is at imminent risk of serious long-term consequences,” according to CBS News.
“We were traumatized,” Temecia said during a news conference via CBS News. “We were woken up at 4am and 5am by police pounding on our door.”
In a statement shared with CBS News, the Afiya Center, a reproductive and birth justice organization representing the Jacksons, called the ordeal a “direct attack on Black mothers and parents, Black families and midwives — and Black midwives in particular.”
“Our state already has a ruthless track record of removing black children from their homes with horrific results. Now this loving, caring family is afraid they might fall into that category,” the organization said.
“We are dedicated to improving the health of mothers and children and families like the Jacksons. We support midwives and the immense role they play in advancing maternal, prenatal and infant health. We are outraged by this clear violation of this family’s right to choose their health care options and we stand in solidarity with them.”
Where is Mila Jackson now?
Three weeks after Mila was taken from her home, it was announced that she would be reunited with her family.
The announcement was made “late yesterday and overnight” on April 20, 2023.
“I’m just glad that justice has prevailed and I’m grateful to the Afiya Center and everyone involved in the return of this baby,” Jacksons’ midwife Cheryl Edinbyrd told CBS News.
“I’m excited to actually give her her first postpartum visit and celebrate being home with her parents.”
At this time, neither Temecia nor Rodney have commented on the reunion.