Contributed to TLB by: Health Impact News and Medical Kidnap
They just wanted to honor a dying grandmother’s deathbed wish to see her grandbabies one time before she leaves this earth. Now, thanks to the intervention of a Texas Ranger and CPS, that may never happen. Ahmed and Olubunmi Giwa were arrested last weekend and all of their children seized by Child Protective Services when they tried to fly out on an emergency trip to see Mr. Giwa’s mother. Olubunmi doesn’t understand why they are doing this to her family:
What human being would not understand a dying person’s wish to see their grandchildren before she passes? CPS is denying her dying wish! This is a humanitarian issue. They’ve turned themselves into God.
Ahmed’s mother is reportedly doing very poorly. The family was simply planning to visit her in Nigeria for a couple of days. They had return tickets for everyone, and their car was parked in the parking deck at the airport the whole time.
Ali Giwa was medically kidnapped on April 14, 2015, by Harris County CPS – a county the family doesn’t even live in – on allegations of “failure to thrive.” It is still unclear how Harris County has jurisdiction in this case. Though Ali has some developmental delays, CPS never mentioned to the judge that he is in the 75th percentile with his height and weight. He was returned home on July 29, but the bizarre case remained open.
Now, CPS has taken the 2 year old’s twin sister and his 3 year old sister as well and placed them into foster care, accusing his parents of “interfering with child custody” and attempted international kidnapping, of their own children.
Medical Kidnap first reported the Giwas’ story in May of 2015, after Randy Wallace of Fox 26 Houston broke the story:
Later, we reported that the Giwas were told that they had to fire their attorney Julie Ketterman, who is known for her tenacity in fighting CPS, if they ever wanted to see their son Ali again. They were also placed under a gag order, and forced to sign a “Rule 11 Agreement” as a condition for getting their son back.
Houston Couple Gagged and Told to Fire CPS-fighting Attorney in Order to See Medically-Kidnapped Child
On Saturday, November 7, the Giwa family drove to the airport in Dallas, Texas. However, CPS had flagged the children’s passports. When they arrived in Dallas, they were detained by Dallas Customs and Immigration, and the Border Patrol. They explained what CPS has done to them, and asked the authorities to do their research.
A CPS social worker went to the airport, demanding that the Giwas be arrested. The customs and border patrol official reportedly researched the issue and found the coverage of their story online by Randy Wallace of Fox 26 and by Medical Kidnap. They reportedly recognized that the family has done nothing wrong, and refused to arrest Ahmed and Olubunmi. They were prepared to allow them to continue their journey.
Texas Ranger Arrives – He Is No Chuck Norris
Since CPS was apparently getting nowhere with Customs, Immigration, or Border Patrol, or even the airport police, they called in a Texas Ranger. The Giwas were not permitted to make any phone calls or contact anyone for help. The Texas Ranger proceeded to arrest the couple. When Olubunmi questioned the ranger’s authority to arrest them, he reportedly told them:
I have more power and authority than the federal authorities. I am over them!
He refused to allow them to call any friends or relatives to pick up the children. The ranger allegedly told them that he had the power to turn over their children to CPS, and that was what he was going to do.
When the Texas Ranger demanded their passports, the border patrol agents reportedly refused to hand over any of the family’s passports except the one belonging to Ali Giwa, because there was an open CPS case involving him. The other children had never been in CPS custody before.
Though airport police appeared reluctant to participate, the ranger enlisted them to transport the Giwas to the local police station. When they arrived, the officer reportedly questioned what authority they had to hold the Giwas. Nonetheless, they were issued a warning for “the offense of interfering with child custody,” and put in jail, with a $10,000 bond, each.
Contrast this ranger’s behavior with that of the man forever associated with the concept of the Texas Rangers, Chuck Norris, star of “Walker, Texas Ranger.” He wrote a powerful piece last year for Townhall.com, which makes his perspective very clear. In “Who Owns Our Kids Anyway?” he wrote:
It’s time for the government to stop overreaching into our families and dictating where children can pray, what children will learn, what children will eat, what medical treatment children will receive and where children will go to school.
Government needs less of a role in running our families and more of a role in supporting parents’ decisions for their children. Children belong to their parents, not to the government. And parents ought to have the right and government support to parent them without federal mandates, education or invasion in our homes.
Social Worker: We Have No Intention of Returning Your Children
The Giwas were able to bond out of jail at 11 pm on Sunday, November 8. The first thing they did when they got home was to text the Harris County social worker to ask where their children were. She sent them this text:
Unfortunately, we have no intention of returning your children to you at this point. You will need to contact your attorney.
They were alarmed to learn that the judge approved the “emergency removal” without a hearing. Their children were placed in foster care with strangers, even though Olubunmi’s mother and several friends are available who could take care of the children. CPS refused to consider them, even though federal law requires that placement of children taken by CPS only be in foster care if there are no family or friends available to take the children – a law that is ignored by CPS in the majority of the stories we cover at Medical Kidnap.
Bizarre Allegations Used as Grounds to Medically Kidnap Ali Giwa
The Giwas were originally accused of medical neglect, stemming from disagreements with doctors in the U.K., where Olubunmi was studying last year for her second PhD. She already holds one PhD in Education.
Ali is a twin boy who is developmentally lagging behind his twin sister. Their parents have sought medical answers, but doctors have never been able to give them any.
The first dispute with doctors occurred when Olubunmi was still breastfeeding her toddlers past a year old, and a doctor in the Scotland took issue with that. The doctor told the mother that breastfeeding should stop when children turn one year old.
However, the mother did not agree. She is in good company – the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends AT LEAST one year, and the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for at least 2 years. This should have been a non-issue, but the doctor decided to report Mrs. Giwa to Child Protective Services.
Shortly after, she took Ali for a routine checkup, where the doctor ran some tests about his developmental delays, all of which came back normal. The doctor suggested an MRI. According to an affidavit by the social worker to the Harris County Family Court,
It is unclear what the MRI would be looking for, but mother was concerned about “side effects” from the procedure and was reluctant to allow child to have the MRI.
What she was concerned about were side effects from the anesthesia they would use to put Ali asleep for the MRI, and the doctors told her that they couldn’t guarantee his safety. Olibunmi asked the doctor,
Will the result of this test make any difference in the therapy he is already getting?
When the doctor told her that it wouldn’t, she decided not to take that risk just then, opting to wait till he is older to do the procedure. She learned that the British Health System said that a developmental delay did not necessitate an emergency MRI, so no appointment was given for it. Again, this should have been a non-issue. But not to CPS.
Around January of 2015, the family moved from Scotland to Britain, out of concern for the children because the colder climate was leading to the children being sick a lot. However, Child Protective Services in the U.K. construed this as “the mother [being] too quick to move from Scotland.”
A U.K. judge ruled in the family’s favor, and the family believes this should have ended the issue then and there.
International CPS Collusion
The crazy allegations followed them back home to Texas, where Harris County (a county where the family doesn’t even live) took a referral by a U.K. social worker to heart and began pursuing the Giwas, accusing them of medical neglect, allegedly without any evidence other than hearsay. They labeled Ali as “failure to thrive,” neglecting to mention in their reports that Ali is in the 75th percentile for height and weight. They also neglect to mention that Ali was in therapy both in the U.K. and when he returned home to Texas. His mother, who holds a PhD in Education and is trained in Special Education, is trained to do therapy with Ali herself.
As Medical Kidnap has previously reported, Harris County CPS forced the Giwas to sign a “Rule 11 Agreement” after they took custody of Ali, as a condition of returning Ali to his home. The document contains several intrusive and seemingly unconstitutional requirements. CPS is accusing the parents of not abiding by the agreement, even though they, themselves, did not abide by the point that was most important to the Giwa family, that of returning their little boy home. According to the agreement, that was supposed to take place on June 26, but they kept him in foster care until July 29.
Rule 11 restricted the Giwas’ freedom of movement, forbidding them from traveling outside of Harris County (where they do not live) and counties bordering Harris County without prior written consent of DFPS, the Attorney Ad Litem and the GAL.
It also placed a gag order on them, which is considered unconstitutional by their attorney, forbidding them to talk to the media. This is a tactic being employed by family court judges all over the United States. Fortunately, a few judges recognize the Constitution they are sworn to uphold, and refuse to issue such orders.
One must ask the question: is it ever acceptable for a court to seize a child for the act of his parents exercising their freedom of speech or freedom of the press? That seems to be what is happening here, because there are no grounds given for seizing Ali’s sisters except for these allegations based on allegedly shaky grounds.
Psychological Evaluation Demanded – ONLY with CPS Approved Psychologist
The Giwas completed the items that CPS ordered them to do in the service plan issued in June. One of the CPS demands was that the Giwas submit to a psychological evaluation. They obtained one with a licensed psychologist with 10 years of experience, paying for the evaluation themselves. However, CPS wants them to go to a psychologist that they work with, to be paid for at taxpayer expense. They were told that the results of that test would not be told to them until the next court date. Olubunmi has a problem with this demand, because it looks like a set-up to her. She says:
Even a baby understand that that’s going to lead to foul play.
Indeed, many families and even attorneys have reported to Medical Kidnap that the psychological evaluations with the CPS-approved psychologists are designed for the parents to fail, giving CPS reason to keep the children.
Additionally, the Giwas have been ordered to obtain very expensive genetic testing for Ali, for which they would be required to pay $5000 out of pocket. A genetic test had already been completed, and an additional test was not deemed medically necessary by Medicaid or private insurance, so they refuse to cover it. However, CPS is demanding the parents to pay for it out of pocket. Since he has been in CPS custody, they have not taken him for the testing they see as necessary.
Confused Social Worker Justifies Taking Ali’s Sisters
Almost none of the information contained in the affidavit about the Giwa daughters refers to them. Just about everything in the allegations allegedly concerns their brother, except a report about the events in the airport. The Harris County social worker testified in the affidavit (though she allegedly wasn’t there) that the children were calling the social worker in Dallas “Momma” while their parents were being detained, reporting that “the children did not want to go into the room with the parents; they stayed in the hallway with [the social worker].”
What she allegedly left out of her report was that the worker enticed the children with toys and allegedly kept calling the children to her. She also had the parents’ iPad. She allegedly construed their interest in the toys as disinterest in their parents, and apparently confused toddlers asking for their mother as somehow calling her Momma.
Nothing else in the documents allegedly even refers to the girls.
Randy Wallace of Fox 26 Reports on Thursday’s Court Hearing
Randy Wallace interviewed the Giwas and their attorney Julie Ketterman, who has been re-hired by the couple. He notes that CPS “offers no proof” of their allegations against the Giwas.
“It’s very traumatic for the whole family,” Ahmed Giwa said.
Now CPS has taken all three children into protective custody, even though a CPS case worker admitted in court Ali is doing much better.
The Giwa’s say their only crime was wanting their kids to meet their grandmother before she dies.
“I would have done it,” Ketterman said. “I would’ve done it in a heartbeat because you cannot get that back. Once that grandmother is gone she’s gone.”
See the Fox 26 story here, and be sure to thank Randy Wallace for continuing to cover this important story.
Call to Action – Tuesday Court Hearing
The Giwas have court again at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, November 17, at the 314th Juvenile Court, 1200 Congress Street, Houston, Texas 77002. They would love to see the streets lined with people supporting them in their fight for their children. A Facebook page has been set up by supporters for the family – Save Ali Giwa from Harris County Child Protective Services.
Ken Paxton is the Attorney General of Texas. He may be reached at (877) 673-6839 (877) 673-6839 FREE, or contacted here.
Olubunmi says that this isn’t about the children to CPS; it’s about retaliation against them because they went to the media and are exposing them. Their Constitutional Rights to freedom of speech, freedom of movement, and the right to enjoy their own children are being denied. But they will never give up fighting for their children.
I miss my babies. I can’t wait for them to come home so I can love on them.
Other stories of alleged CPS abuse against Texas families include: