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  1. #1
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    MO - lawyer said hospital may have stolen black babies

    http://cnews.canoe.com/CNEWS/World/2.../22376386.html

    "May 2, 2015

    A lawyer for a long-separated mother and daughter said on Friday he is investigating whether staff at a now-closed St. Louis hospital may have taken babies from impoverished young black women to put them up for adoption.

    Melanie Gilmore was reunited with her mother, gospel singer Zella Jackson Price, after 49 years in March in an emotional video that has been seen by almost 300,000 people on YouTube. Price was told by a nurse at Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St. Louis in 1965 that her baby had died, said family attorney Albert Watkins."

  2. #2
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    http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/1...alive-30728836

    " Eighteen black women who were told decades ago that their babies had died soon after birth at a St. Louis hospital now wonder if the infants were taken away by hospital officials to be raised by other families.

    The suspicions arose from the story of Zella Jackson Price, who said she was 26 in 1965 when she gave birth at Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St. Louis. Hours later, she was told that her daughter had died, but she never saw a body or a death certificate.

    No one is sure who was responsible, but Price's daughter ended up in foster care, only to resurface almost 50 years later. Melanie Gilmore, who now lives in Eugene, Oregon, has said that her foster parents always told her she was given up by her birth mother.

    Price's attorney, Albert Watkins, is asking city and state officials to investigate. In a letter to Gov. Jay Nixon and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, Watkins said he suspects the hospital coordinated a scheme "to steal newborns of color for marketing in private adoption transactions." In a letter to Watkins, the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services called the allegations "troubling" and said it would like to help him track down relevant documents it might have, such as birth or death certificates."

  3. #3
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    100 women have come forward wondering if the children they too thought were dead, may actually be alive. Others are wondering if they are children taken from their birth mothers or if they have a sibling they’ve never met. The answers lie in documents more than 50 years old.

    In newly discovered court documents that reveal proof of a baby stolen at birth from Homer G. Phillips hospital. The document was found inside an old St. Louis City Court file from 1992. The court record documents what appeared to be forgery and a conspiracy to steal a baby from a blind, illiterate mother.

    http://fox2now.com/2015/05/18/fox-2-...lips-hospital/

  4. #4
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    Oh wow... :-(

  5. #5
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    "A blind mother had her daughter stolen from her while she was in hospital just hours after birth, newly-surfaced documents have confirmed.

    Lorice Jackson gave birth to Marnita at the private Homer G Phillips Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, 1961, which is at the center of claims newborns were sold by hospital officials for cash without their mother's consent.

    Hours later doctors told her the baby had died, but she was not given a death certificate and wasn't allowed to see the child.

    But the revelations that followed show that she is in fact still alive, but was raised by somebody else."

    Rose Jackson, one of Lorice's other daughters, was attending 5th grade at Hemstead School when she noticed a girl who looked similar to her.

    She told FOX 2: 'I was like wow, she looks like me and I was curious and I went and asked her name, you know just being a kid, being friendly.'

    The girl said her name was Marnita. Curious, Rose went home and told her mother.

    Marnita went home and did the same, but her mother reacted by transferring her to another school."


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz3aeNxkjZJ
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  6. #6
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    Hard to imagine learning about this.

    "The woman who ...claim[ed] that she and other black babies were stolen after birth from the city’s historic Homer G. Phillips hospital was not born there, newly discovered records show."
    "Other documents... showed that Diane Jackson — now Melanie Gilmore, 49 — was born prematurely in 1965 at City Hospital No. 1, across town.

    "But Gilmore’s mother, Zella Jackson Price, and a lawyer pressing the issue, Albert Watkins, remained unconvinced in interviews Thursday.
    "Jackson Price insists that she had never been in City No. 1, and that she was told at Phillips, also known as City Hospital No. 2, that her newborn was dead. Gilmore was adopted, and the women were reunited this year, with a relationship confirmed by DNA.
    "Jackson Price said Thursday, “Even if the records show she was born at city (hospital), the records are lying...."
    I know they’re trying to assassinate my character.
    "State foster care and adoption documents released in June show that Gilmore had been abandoned at City No. 1. Those records say that police and hospital staff were unable to locate Jackson Price when Gilmore was ready to go home, roughly five months after her birth." bbm

    Article states atty Watkins said he has not yet seen latest records on the baby's care.

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/latest-st-louis-hospital-record-discovery-again-contradicts-claim-of/article_422d7a74-5ea7-52dd-a1a2-798499402eff.html Aug 6 2015
    Last edited by al66pine; 08-07-2015 at 01:00 AM. Reason: correct date of link & add 'bbm'

  7. #7
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    Aug 14 update: hosp med records contradict woman's 'baby stealing' claim

    Curious -
    - Woman insisted she gave birth at Homer G. Phillips Hosp in 1965, was told there her baby did not survive.
    Med records of City Hosp #1 (not HGP ^) show woman's stay, dau's birth, & dau's 4 mo stay.
    - hosp & LE could not locate woman in April 1966, 4 mo after birth, when baby was to be released.
    - birth cert for woman's son born 3 yrs later did not show birth or death in place for other children.

    When conflicting, which version is gen'ly more believable and reliable: an individual's memory of 50 yrs ago or 4 mo of daily hosp records entered by multiple med professionals 50 yrs ago? (Yes, there could be exceptions. Occasionally? Rarely?)

    Per previous article, Jackson Price said, “Even if the records show she was born at city (hospital), the records are lying....I know they’re trying to assassinate my character.” bbm


    The update:
    "U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan released medical records Friday conclusively contradicting the claim underlying speculation that a baby-stealing ring may have preyed upon black newborns at Homer G. Phillips Hospital in the mid-20th century."

    "....St. Louis Health Department had located Gilmore’s records on microfiche, showing her birth and care at City No. 1....
    "Callahan said that Price was admitted to City No. 1 on Nov. 20, 1965. After 28 hours of labor, her baby was born three months premature and weighing just over 2 pounds on Nov. 25. The mother was released Nov. 29.
    "The hospital records show baby Diane’s daily care, testing, medication and feedings until she was released to Children’s Services on April 4. Officials have said neither the hospital nor police could locate Price.
    Callahan, and the records, say Price abandoned her baby.

    "Officials also released birth certificates for Price’s children. In the certificate for her son, born in 1968, she does not show Diane as either a birth or a death in the place to list other children." bbm

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/st-louis-top-federal-prosecutor-deflates-baby-stealing-ring-claims/article_b977339a-a356-5cec-ad2b-c41aa11447eb.html. Aug 14
    Last edited by al66pine; 08-15-2015 at 02:28 PM.

  8. #8
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    Aug 15 update: Allegedly stolen babies, many more death records found

    StL Post-Dispatch reported ~250 ppl asked about babies who allegedly may have bn stolen as far back as the 1930s.
    Per open records law, it obtained records for many and found that ~ 3/4 of babies' deaths were confirmed, many by death/certs and/or by records showing unclaimed or abandoned remains were sent to the StL U or Wash U (Medical) Schools.

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/c...b4834d2da.html Aug 15

    See link re-
    - attorney Watkins who admits he loves media attention & legal "stunts" he's bn involved in.
    - attorney Donna Clark Frayne who rep'ed other mothers, and how/why she dropped rep'ing them.
    - high infant mortality rates, lack of/ltd prenatal care during that period.
    - more.

  9. #9
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    St. Louis MO baby-stealing ring, decades back? Driving force in attempt to 'rectify?'

    "ST. LOUIS • A lawyer whose theory about a baby-stealing ring has been debunked by authorities is back in court, trying to get an adoption thrown out."
    "The lawyer, Albert Watkins, has petitioned the St. Louis Circuit Court to invalidate the 1983 adoption of Diane Jackson, his client. Jackson had been wrongly told her biological mother was dead, and Watkins claims the foster mother who sought the adoption wanted it primarily to receive Jackson's disability payments.
    Watkins wants the court to declare Jackson "the lawful and biological daughter" of gospel singer Zella Jackson Price. Watkins said doing so would ensure that Diane Jackson is the heir to the estate of Price."
    "... Diane's birth in 1965..." *

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/c...1cdb31a07.html Nov 24 bbm Plus links to prior stories on same subject.

    Who wants to ensure that (purportedly illegally adopted baby, now adult) dau is heir to Price's estate?
    1. If bio-mom Price wants ensure Diane is her heir, she can accomplish that for ~$ 100-300 by executing a will naming Diane as a or the only beneficiary. Financial & publicity benefit to atty = very low. Or a trust.
    2. If ~50 y/o bio-daughter wants to ensure that, she could ask bio-mom to ^ (if bio-mom is so inclined). Financial & publicity benefit to atty = very low. Or a trust.
    3. Or is atty the person most enthusiastic about this approach - nullifying a (30+ y/o?) adoption with far more extensive financial & publicity benefit for him?

    JM2cts, could be wrong on alternatives to adoption-invalidation alternatives. Anyone?

    __________________________________________________ ___________
    * Dates seem a bit off - if dau was born in 1965, but adoption was in 1983. Correct, or error by reporter or atty?

  10. #10
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    Frankly, I'm surprised any records exist. The standard is usually to keep medical records for ten years. I would be highly suspicious if the hospital just-so-happened to have voluminous records for that long ago.
    “Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both.” - Eleanor Roosevelt


    In no way should any of my statements be construed as legal opinion or advice. While I am a lawyer, I am not a verified poster here at WS. The above statement(s) are an expression of my personal opinion, for entertainment purposes only, and copyright.


  11. #11
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    Hosp med records re newborns in 1960s -

    Quote Originally Posted by AnaTeresa View Post
    Frankly, I'm surprised any records exist. The standard is usually to keep medical records for ten years. I would be highly suspicious if the hospital just-so-happened to have voluminous records for that long ago.
    Thanks for response and incorporating your legal experience and background in your posts, this one and others.

    Aug 6 pix caption: "Melba Moore, acting director/commissioner of health, shows a reporter a sample of the more than 3,000 boxes that contain patient records collected from Homer G. Phillips hospital, on Thursday, August 6, 2015 at the Health Department in St. Louis."
    from Aug 7 article: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/c...499402eff.html

    If "usual" retention standard for med records is 10 yrs, maybe these were retained longer, because it was city hosp? IDK. Or perhaps bureaucratic inertia in failing to periodically review records-destruction-schedules, and shred? IDK.

    HGP city hosp was closed in 1979, so I doubt many searches could be done electronically/by computer. After bio-dau's atty requested city to produce records (no litigation at that time, IIRC) in 2015, took months for city to locate. Yes, there were voluminous records for many pts, but poorly organized, took some time to do manual searches to locate med records for this bio-mom & baby. Records have bn provided to atty for dau.* JM2cts, could be all wrong.

    __________________________________________________ __________________________
    * See also my posts 7 & w links about other atty rep'ing other bio-moms & why she dropped further inquiries re matter.

  12. #12
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    Here's a good primer on records retention and the various laws governing it. http://library.ahima.org/xpedio/grou...me=bok1_049252

    In Missouri, state law requires retention for seven years. http://www.healthinfolaw.org/state-topics/26,60

    When I was putting myself through school, I worked for two years in a doctor's office here in Ohio handling medical records requests. Although ten was the standard, often places would discard early. If an office or hospital had closed, although arrangements were supposed to be made for the records, they were often "lost" or quickly discarded.

    I find it very odd that so many records were still around. It seems awfully convenient. It being a city hospital probably had nothing to do with retention - bureaucratic inefficiency is far more likely, I'd guess.
    “Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both.” - Eleanor Roosevelt


    In no way should any of my statements be construed as legal opinion or advice. While I am a lawyer, I am not a verified poster here at WS. The above statement(s) are an expression of my personal opinion, for entertainment purposes only, and copyright.

  13. #13
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    If a number of babies all died within similar time span, one might expect the medical community or statisticians, to document why that was happening. imo.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnaTeresa View Post
    Here's a good primer on records retention and the various laws governing it. http://library.ahima.org/xpedio/grou...me=bok1_049252

    In Missouri, state law requires retention for seven years. http://www.healthinfolaw.org/state-topics/26,60

    When I was putting myself through school, I worked for two years in a doctor's office here in Ohio handling medical records requests. Although ten was the standard, often places would discard early. If an office or hospital had closed, although arrangements were supposed to be made for the records, they were often "lost" or quickly discarded.

    I find it very odd that so many records were still around. It seems awfully convenient. It being a city hospital probably had nothing to do with retention - bureaucratic inefficiency is far more likely, I'd guess.
    Thanks for links w interesting reading.

    "Very odd" and "awfully convenient"? Not sure I am following. Seems like inefficiency in retaining records waaaaay past purge/destruction dates even if thru inertia (if true) was prob'ly a good thing for City of St Louis (no lawsuits re ID'ing bio-mom. Only in past few mo's was lawsuit filed to negate adoption ~50. yrs ago) and for the 'long-lost' ~50 y/o woman who wanted to reconnect w her bio-mom and did.

    Are you saying awfully convenient, as in, suspiciously convenient, as in, maybe StL City employee(s) fabricated records way back when, or in past yr when record requests surfaced? I may be misunderstanding.

    Must be perplexing for adoptees to wonder about bio-parents. Glad the woman was able to reconnect w bio-mom.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by al66pine View Post
    Thanks for links w interesting reading.

    "Very odd" and "awfully convenient"? Not sure I am following. Seems like inefficiency in retaining records waaaaay past purge/destruction dates even if thru inertia (if true) was prob'ly a good thing for City of St Louis (no lawsuits re ID'ing bio-mom. Only in past few mo's was lawsuit filed to negate adoption ~50. yrs ago) and for the 'long-lost' ~50 y/o woman who wanted to reconnect w her bio-mom and did.

    Are you saying awfully convenient, as in, suspiciously convenient, as in, maybe StL City employee(s) fabricated records way back when, or in past yr when record requests surfaced? I may be misunderstanding.

    Must be perplexing for adoptees to wonder about bio-parents. Glad the woman was able to reconnect w bio-mom.
    Cannot speak for AnaTeresa, but i interpreted the post to suggesting, " suspicious in the past year", also imagine that no info. for adoptees is equally perplexing for many bio-parents.
    Could be wrong.
    imo, speculation.

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