UPDATED: Parents Want 2nd Opinion on Child’s Health; CPS Takes Child

UPDATE MONDAY 7PM MST: A judge has ruled that the baby be transferred to another medical center and will allow the family to be reunited with their child. The parents must not take the child from the hospital without appropriate discharge and must follow all medical advice.

Additional information provided indicates the child has had a known heart murmur and the family has been under regular pediatric cardiologist care with the understanding that heart surgery would be necessary but had not been considered an emergent basis.


As mom to a special needs child our family is well acquainted with social workers and state agents. In these tough financial times many state workers are being paid less and working more.  For the most part the workers want to do what is best for the family. But what happens when an accusation appears to be made without merit? Can a child be removed from its parents simply because an accuser thinks he might know best?

In the case below parents of an ill baby take the child to the hospital. Following, by the parents’ accounts, what appears to be errors on the part of hospital staff and talk of extreme open heart surgery the parents remove their child and take it to a neighboring hospital for a second opinion. At the second hospital doctors release the child to be taken home with the parents for continued health care.

At one point, Anna says, a nurse came in and started giving the baby, named Sammy, medicine.

When she asked what it was, the nurse allegedly replied, “I don’t know.”

“I’m like, you’re working as a nurse, and you don’t even know what to give to my baby…?” Anna said in an ABC10 Action News interview. They later found out that medicine was antibiotics, which Anna claims the doctor told her Sammy shouldn’t have received. After doctors started discussing heart surgery, the Nikolayevs decided they wanted a second opinion.  They weren’t categorically opposed to the procedure, but they wanted a different doctor. “If we got the one mistake after another, I don’t want to have my baby have surgery in the hospital where I don’t feel safe,” Anna explained.

But it seems staff at the first hospital reported the family to Child Protective Services because the parents took the child out of the hospital without permission.  And according to the reports and parent statements police assisted CPS agents to forcibly take the baby from its mother.

We all want our children to be safe, to be protected. Child abuse is horrendous and should be treated seriously. Everyone believes that it is better to be safe than sorry.

But when is the accusation the only proof necessary to take a child from its parents?


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Teresa Wendt

A stay at home mom who runs a household, manages the finances, cares for a young adult autistic son, and cooks from scratch. Traveling from Arizona to Alaska summer of 2013. Visit my blog at https://ramblinroseaz.wordpress.com/ and follow along.

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  1. Inexcusable that so many in chid services feel a vindictiveness when they don’t like something – the hospital worker(s) who called CPS are the same – making a judgement without all the information. Since when are the parents de facto considered untrustworthy? This is treating them as if they are criminals, guilty of something rather than the so-called presumption of innocence. This is twisted. California should be ashamed – but no, it has become a communist cesspool.

    1. Those workers, most unmarried, do not have the knowledge nor the expertise of determining whats better for the child. They concentrate too much on parents rather than the child. I lived next to one, and she said many times “I don’t know whether I did the right thing”. On the spot determinations are made and a big percentage of the choices are wrong. Out of the mouth of a Social Worker.

  2. I cannor imagine the horror these parents had to deal with…I do know that we are ‘encouraged’ to get a 2nd opinion before a major proceedure. Doctors are human & make mistakes. Recently, our family had a situation that warranted doing just that. Had #1 been accepted my husband’s larynx would’ve been removed..the 2nd resulted in NO loss & remission for a year! (Praise the Lord)..A child has only a parent to speak…it is their duty. Over zealous CHP can do a lot of harm. Are these parents still trying to ge the baby?

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