Idaho Childrens Protection Service (CPS) would like to put us on their central registry for Ten years saying that we neglect our children when we never have. In April of this year our house was raided while we were in the mountains. Our oldest son had been accused of brining cannabis to school. He was ten. He didn’t bring cannabis to school. In Fact, he was later offered cannabis at school and panicked that he might get blamed for something that he didn’t do Again. Due to the school not being able to assure us of his safety, all parties agreed it was best to have him finish the school year at home. Our children were taken away for 17 days after that raid, needlessly so, due to being placed in “imminent danger!”
I have Multiple Sclerosis and need medical cannabis to treat my condition but we lived in Idaho which is not a medical state. We fight long and hard every day to get medical cannabis legal in our state so people don’t have to go through what we went through, or God forbid, worse. Our children weren’t in imminent danger due to us. That came in the legal form of law enforcement, CPS, and Idaho Code. Idaho Code says that since there was paraphernalia for my medical use in my room that we were neglectful parents. This code does Not have to be applied to every case, therefore there is no need to place us on the registry. Please join us in requesting that our names not be listed on the Central Registry at all by signing this petition.
On May 9th, a Magistrate Judge ordered that the Department of Health and Welfare’s Legal Custody of our children be vacated and that the Child Protective Legal Case be dismissed. This action followed the courts receipt of an affidavit from a Licensed Social Worker for the Department. In her affidavit she requests the courts action of dismissal and noted that she had “not identified any additional safety concerns within the home or regarding the Rinehart/Ogle families.”
Our placement on the Child Protective Central Registry would have a damaging consequences beyond the sheer ugliness of us being characterized in law as “posing a medium or high risk to children.” For years, My husband Josh has wanted to adopt our oldest child from his biological father. Josh came into our lives when my older son was just two years old, he is now 11. He stepped into being his father figure when it became apparent that we were a perfect family fit. We later went on to have our younger child together. I refer to my older son, as “our oldest” because in our eyes he is Josh’s son. In fact, since 2006 Josh and my oldest have wanted to “adopt each other.” Our oldest son’s biological father has provided me a signed statement that it is his intention to relinquish his rights to our oldest son so that Josh may legally adopt him. Josh has explained in a court affidavit that he would like to work with children, and would eventually like to be a child psychologist. Both plans of Josh- to adopt our oldest Legally and to get a job with children- would be obstructed for ten years by his being designated on the registry.
For the sake of the children, as well as us, we ask that our future plans to be a legal family unit, and Josh’s future vocational future not be put at risk, which is what will happen if our names are placed on the Child Protection Central Registry. We ask that you scrutinize the Division of Family and Community Services conclusion and join us in asking in our 2nd appeal to not have our names placed on the Child Protection Central Registry, and that you please sign this petition in opposition our names being placed on that registry or in support of it being removed if it is already there!! We need Your help to do this! We have already lost one appeal to accomplish this. It is time they see that the public will not stand for this.
Being on the Central Registry shows up in Federal Background checks as someone who is neglectful to children, or a medium to high risk to the children. Josh would also be great at taking care of other sick people, as he has gained a lot of experience in taking care of me through my worst times. Due to him helping me through my MS he could be a great blessing into a seriously ill patient’s life that may need care. I am always drawn to people in a bad situation and want to fix it for them, which leaves me constantly wanting to help improve environments for vulnerable populations. We are not neglectful people and we do not deserve this label.
Our children are well cared for! They are clean, live in a clean home, and have clean clothing. They are happy and healthy. (aside from the panic attacks they now have due to this ordeal) We try out hardest to supply them with the best foods- no steroids, hormones, corn in feed-free, free range, non GMO food. We know and provide their favorite toys, and we play with them. We make sure that they have art and music in their lives as well as physical activity. They are well balanced in expressing themselves. We support their interests, hang out with them, ask them questions. We know their friends, and their friends parents. Josh has attended Almost every single field trip that our oldest son has ever had. Our youngest is kindergarten aged this school year. Our kids have fun. In our house we encourage good self -esteem, and self- confidence, discourage bad behavior and promote happiness. We do not neglect children. We nourish them.
Our children are very well educated as far as cannabis being medicine and they don’t see any paraphernalia that I may have had as an object of fascination. It was nothing more than a medical device that I used in my bedroom. It was a medication and to be respected as such. Much like diabetics have devices to deliver their medicine is how our children view my cannabis paraphernalia.
Since late April, when CPS took my children, I have not had my cannabis regiment and have fallen ill. The MS is in a full on exacerbation, after two years of not one. My not continuing with my medication was a condition on us getting our children back.
Thank you for reading our story and for your signature! Please follow me on Twitter @RinehartLindsey or on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/IdahoThree.
Also here is a letter to our boys: http://www.ladybud.com/2013/07/01/lindsey-rinehart-a-message-to-my-precious-boys/
With Deep Gratitude,
Lindsey and Josh Rinehart