Their newborns were taken at birth. Years later, these women still don’t know why – CBC

3 Ottawa women say ‘birth alert’ practice left them grappling with trauma decades later

Sep 29, 2022

Three Ottawa women say they were left traumatized after giving birth in hospitals across Canada, where child welfare authorities threatened to, or actually took their newborns away without explanation.

Today, these women say they are victims of birth alerts but the path to answers isn’t easy.

Birth alerts are notifications issued by child welfare agencies to local hospitals about pregnant people who they deemed “high-risk.” In turn, health-care providers are required to alert welfare authorities when the subject comes to seek medical care or deliver their baby.

The alerts often include directions to take additional action — such as medical testing on the parent or baby, or to prevent the baby from leaving the hospital with the parent. It can lead to newborns being taken away from their parents for days, months or even years.

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