A family in the Dayton area is entangled in a criminal prosecution as a result of their homebirth. Nine weeks ago, the Levier family welcomed the second child to the world at home with the assistance of a midwife. He was born safe and sound. A few hours later, they were a bit concerned about mom so they made the decision to call 911 just to be safe.
In Montgomery County, whenever 911 is called and a child is involved, the police show up as well. The EMTs insisted that the newborn baby needed immediate medical attention (despite being perfectly happy and healthy) so mom and baby transported in the ambulance and baby was monitored for a while to confirm his good health. Meanwhile the police further investigated, taking statements from Dad and the midwife, who identified herself as a doula.
Six weeks later, the Levier family was given a summons to appear in court regarding charges of child endangerment. Both parents have been charged and arraigned. The next legal step is in late September. Their attorney hopes to have the charges dismissed, but in the meantime, they are facing the expenses of attorney’s fees for representing BOTH of them while dad’s work schedule has been drastically reduced for September.
The family has given me permission to share this news with you and I thought it important for these reasons:
1.To offer financial support as well as broader community support during this very diffuclt time. We are asking you to support the Levier family and homebirth in Ohio by making a donation today. You can do this through OFSB’s paypal account. Use the “donate” button at the bottom of this post, and please be sure to include your name and mailing address. Also, if you would like to plan a fundraiser in your community for their support, contact Stephanie Beck-Borden and we’ll help get the word and out and share what resources we can.
2. To let families know about another way the law may be used against them regarding homebirth. Even if the charges are dismissed, it will have been 12+ weeks of anxiety, worry and expense for the Leviers. Many have had the experience of being hassled by Child Protective Services, but this is a criminal proceeding!. We have believed that while midwives are at risk for prosecution, families were not. This is a distressing development to say the least.
3. To share another real life example of why Ohio Families for Safe Birth believes that having licensed midwives is important for both families and midwives. If this family’s choice of care provider and location for birth were legally recognized, I don’t think they would be in this situation.
Thank you, in advance, for you support of the Levier family. It is greatly appreciated.