Disabled Texas Mother Fighting to Get Her Son Back After State Removes Him Over Medical Choices



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Joslyn Sanders gave birth to her son Josiah in May 2021. He has been a beacon of joy for his mother and his grandfather, Jason Sanders. However, after the mother took her son in for a visit to his pediatrician late in 2023, a series of events occurred that resulted in Child Protective Services (CPS) seizing the child because she would not allow him to be placed on a recommended medication. 

Now, the family finds itself in a desperate fight for reunification.

The ordeal began in March 2023 when Joslyn had stopped breastfeeding her son. He started experiencing eating difficulties and had a minor seizure. She took Josiah to the pediatrician, where it was discovered that he had a mild calcium deficiency that later improved. 

In October, she took her son to his primary care physician because he had developed a rash. The doctor prescribed a steroid cream and an antibiotic.

The mother brought Josiah to Green Apple Therapy for Feeding Difficulties early in December. The rash later improved, but the child still had some remaining swelling. The family took Josiah to Dallas Children’s Hospital for further treatment. The doctor wished to prescribe Clindamycin even though the infection had not become dangerous.

However, Joslyn was wary of the medication because of its black box warnings and potential side effects. 

“Clindamycin is Black Boxed by the Food and Drug Administration, and it’s also reserved for more serious infections,” Joslyn told RedState. “My son had less than a local infection, so I’m just asking the physician, ‘Is there another alternative that we can do?’”

Nevertheless, the doctor insisted on prescribing Clindamycin, which prompted the mother to withdraw Josiah from the hospital to seek alternative treatment. After consulting with other professionals, the child was prescribed Bactrim, a milder antibiotic.

Unfortunately, on the same day, CPS repeatedly called Joslyn after finding out that she refused to allow her son to be placed on Clindamycin. CPS agents, accompanied by two armed police officers, came to Sanders’ home to conduct a wellness check. They demanded that Joslyn bring Josiah to Dallas Children’s Hospital again, but she refused, informing the agent that she already has a pediatrician and nutritionist for her child.

Joslyn recounted the details of the visit, explaining that the CPS worker provided a notification of rights. The mother noticed on the document that the agency must have a court order to conduct wellness checks. When she brought this up, the agent told her that CPS was taking Josiah from the home due to “medical neglect.”

“So I was asking her, I was like, ‘Where’s your court order at? It says that on this document that you gave me, you have to have a court order.’ After I asked her that, she stepped outside. When she came back in, she then said, ‘You no longer have the opportunity or the choice to take your son back to the hospital. We’re taking your kid.’ And she took my Josiah. She told us that we can follow her back to Children’s Dallas. We followed her in two different cars. We got down there, we checked in at the front desk, we got our name badges, and then we went up to where they just check your vitals and stuff. That’s when another CPS worker showed up, and she told security to kick us out, and we had to go across the street.”

Jason discussed how CPS did not allow the doctors at the hospital to contact his daughter or himself about Josiah’s condition.

“CPS tells the doctors, they cannot call the mom or the grandfather, which is me. The investigators who are attempting to see if there’s been any neglect want to talk to the mom and the grandma. CPS tells them to not contact us. The nutritionist wants to talk to us. CPS tells them not to talk to us. So how can you provide a proper evaluation or even a treatment plan for a two-and-a-half-year-old who can’t communicate for herself?”

He then said that while Josiah has been in state custody, CPS began giving him Clindamycin on December 21 against the wishes of his mother. Not only that, they refused to allow either Joslyn or himself to see the child’s medical records, blocking access to the online portal MyChart.

They later found out that Josiah was experiencing specific symptoms, including a fever, coughing, swollen stomach, and vomiting. These are all known side effects of Clindamycin.

Josiah is currently being kept with a woman who has been married to one of their relatives. 

“However, the lady does not know my son,” Joslyn said. “I’m aware of her, but she does not know my son.”

Joslyn is only allowed to spend one hour per week with Josiah under supervised visits. The family was not even allowed to spend the Christmas Holiday with him. In fact, according to Jason, CPS was rather elusive in the days after the holiday when they asked to see Josiah.

“So, for the appointment for Christmas, and that’s her first holiday without her son, my grandson, we had a scheduled four o’clock appointment on Tuesday, the day after Christmas. The CPS trainee calls and asks, ‘Can you all make 1:30?’ Well, because we’re in the city, we were already there in the area to make sure that we don’t get stuck in traffic. So we said, ‘Yes.’ She calls back 10 minutes later and cancels the entire appointment completely.”

Jason told RedState that the trainee seemed to mistakenly admit that the doctor had actually seen Josiah on Christmas Day despite having said that he had not been seen. 

“We come to find out that on that day they placed the [narogastric] tube, a feeding tube in my grandson. So, he’s not eating as well with them because they’re giving him stuff that he’s not used to in his diet,” he explained.

The grandfather also explained how the CPS agent withheld material information about Joslyn’s and Jason’s efforts to ensure that Josiah receives the medical treatment he needs. 

“She withheld material information” that the child “had been under care from his primary care provider because he received an alternate antibiotic” the day before the state took him from the home.

Joslyn’s fight to regain custody of her son underscores systemic failures at multiple levels, from lack of communication and transparency to a brazen disregard for parental rights. It is not an isolated case. This scenario occurs far more often than many would think. 

The Sanders’ fight for justice is one of many happening across the nation and serves as a clarion call for change in systems intended to protect children.





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