Child care agency takes baby into custody after US mom exhibits mental problems

The Director of Guyana’s Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA), Ann Greene yesterday said that a six-day-old baby was removed from his mother’s care on Tuesday as he was severely dehydrated and is currently still being observed at the George-town Public Hospital by a team of doctors.

Greene told Stabroek News that the CCPA had to take action after it was discovered that the child’s mother, an American citizen was not of lucid mind and could not physically care for the child. Greene stated that “he mother needed to be evaluated and the baby needed rescuing, it could have been a life or death situation.”

She continued that the CCPA, the American Embassy and the woman will need to meet to find a resolution, “I have always said this that children belong with their parents, but they belong in a safe environment and that is what we need to make sure the child is returned to.”

Greene said that in discussions with the American Embassy over the course of the last two days, situations were being put into place to have the woman and her child return to the United States. She did say that as of yesterday she was not aware of if any evaluations would be done on the woman and if local psychiatrists would treat her.

When Stabroek News spoke with the woman yesterday afternoon, she was visibly confused. She said that she came to Guyana looking for her family on September 27, but was unable to say who purchased her tickets only stating that “various organisations who know about my cause helped me.”

The 37 year old, mother of five stated that she wanted her new born back and that she was hoping to still find her family in Guyana, but was not aware of any information on how to get in contact. She told Stabroek News that three of her children are currently wards of the state in America.

Since the woman does not have a fixed address, she had been living in and out of hotels before giving birth at GPHC. Hospital staffers became suspicious of her mental state after she   left the hospital without formally checking out. She has refused to be taken to any shelters in Guyana however the Mark Benschop Foundation has offered her assistance until today when she will be taken to the American Embassy.

Benschop told Stabroek News that “you can’t just a leave a person like this on the streets, so she needed a place to stay while this all works out. She wants to go back to the states”.

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