These Chinese language Immigrant Dad and mom Misplaced Custody of Their Child When CPS Presumed They Did not Consider in ‘Western’ Medication
A Houston couple just reunited with their baby four months apart after a Child Protective Services (CPS) social worker allegedly made an unsubstantiated claim that their parents did not believe in “Western” medicine and accused them of child abuse. The couple’s lawyers said the assumption was made simply because they were Chinese immigrants.
Baby Casey Lee was born seven weeks premature in the spring of 2020 and had a well-documented history of medical problems. Mom Wenqi Hao and the baby’s father had brought Casey to 34 doctor visits and followed all instructions regarding prescribed medication and how to use her baby’s feeding tube.
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Despite this history of care and support for their young daughter, when parents took Baby Casey to Texas Children’s Hospital with a broken leg in January 2021, CPS began screening her for child abuse.
“I need a lawyer. I need a lawyer, ”Wenqi Hao told ABC 13 News about how she was feeling at the time. “Because (I come from) another country, another culture, my English is not good.”
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Attorney Thuy Le and her co-attorney Mike Schneider represented Casey’s parents in a lawsuit with CPS. While the procedure was ongoing, the baby had to live with a caregiver. Fortunately, a neighbor offered to take care of Casey so mom and dad could see her every day.
“Every night I clean baby. After the clean baby, I’ll leave my neighbor’s house, ”said Hao. “My neighbor tells me that every time I close the door, my neighbor cries for me. It’s awful. “
The lawyers argued that the CPS case officer was making a racist, stereotypical claim about Casey’s parents based on zero facts.
“We tried to tell CPS, ‘Look, this is not a case of abuse. If you pull out the medical records, you can see that mother and her husband took this baby to different health professionals more than 34 times to deal with medical issues, ”Le said. “This case was really about stereotypes between these two parents. When you talk to them and other doctors, everything indicates that these parents went out of their way to support their baby. “
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“This social worker claimed that these parents did not believe in American medicine, they only believed in Chinese medicine,” Schneider said. “The social worker made up this whole story based on an Asian stereotype that Western medicine does not trust her. “They just love Chinese medicine,” which is the opposite of “true”.
Last week the judge ruled in favor of Casey’s parents and found nothing to substantiate the allegations of abuse. The baby, who is about to celebrate his first birthday, is now happy at home with his parents.
In a statement to the news channel on Wednesday, CPS said it “does not tolerate discrimination against any group based on ethnicity or belief”.
While Casey’s parents are generally private individuals, they said they share their story to let anyone with language or cultural barriers know that they can still fight for their rights and that there are people who are ready to help.
“My English is not good and so many (people) have helped,” said Hao. “I want to do something to help other people. I am lucky. I’m so so happy “
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