Emily Donlin is an Iowa mother who is under investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services because her infant’s umbilical cord tested positive for cocaine.
The only thing is Emily has never done cocaine in her entire life. In fact, she’s so holistic she doesn’t even take over-the-counter painkillers or vaccinate her children.
How on Earth did this happen?
Allie Beth Stuckey invites Emily on the show to share her most disturbing story.
Although Emily had a home birth, she took her son Paul into the hospital shortly after his arrival to ensure he was healthy, and fortunately, everything checked out perfectly — initially.
However, two weeks later, Emily’s family received a knock on their door from DHHS saying Paul had tested positive for cocaine.
Naturally, Emily was shocked and confused. She explained that she had never taken drugs and that this must be a mistake.
Their home was proven to have “no safety concerns.” The DHHS agent examined the children and confirmed they “[didn’t] have any behavioral indicators,” and she assured Emily “she didn’t see any signs of drug use” in the home.
Yet despite their favorable evaluations, Emily’s family was forced to “undergo a 20-day investigation” that would include a “plan” that required her mother and husband to trade off supervising her when she was with her children.
“Looking back … I would have done so many things differently,” Emily laments, but at the time, she “felt [she] didn’t have any other choice” and “just accepted.”
Despite the upsetting situation, Emily and her family “had faith that the truth [would] come out” since they “had nothing to hide.”
Unfortunately, that’s not what happened at all.
Emily was forced to undergo a three-month hair test that tested for five different drugs, one of which was cocaine, and the test “came back negative” for all five drugs.
“We were like, ‘Okay we’re good, right?’” Emily tells Allie.
Unfortunately, the answer was still no.
“We were then told that, well, actually the three-month hair test had nothing to do with the positive test and proving my innocence; it had everything to do with a second allegation, which we weren’t told about … that there were drugs in our home,” she explains.
Thus Emily’s negative hair test proved that there were no drugs in their home. But it did not disprove her son’s initial positive test at the hospital.
“About a week later, we received in the mail the report saying I am founded for a case of child abuse, and I am now on the child abuse registry,” Emily explains.
As a result, she was told she must fulfill certain “voluntary services” to avoid a court order, but the social worker refused to tell her what those services would be unless Emily agreed to them.
When Emily continued to press for information about what voluntary services she was agreeing to, the social worker said, “It sounds like you’re declining services, [and] when you decline services, then you go to a CINA [case],” which stands for “Child in need of assistance” and moves the case into “the judicial system.”
Once the case escalated to a CINA case, “We received court appointed lawyers — both my husband and I” and “our children received a guardian ad litem,” which “is a lawyer that represents our children’s best interest in the court,” says Emily.
Somehow, they still didn’t lose hope.
Before their court date, Emily submitted “25 pieces of evidence” proving her innocence, including “a 12-month hair test” she paid for herself that covered “the entirety of [her] pregnancy.”
But this negative test was still not enough to prove her innocence.
In the hearing, the court ordered “a retest on the original sample (the umbilical cord) and a DNA test on it” to ensure the sample actually belonged to Paul.
They also determined that Emily would undergo “voluntary services,” which they finally explained would involve “two monthly visits with DHHS,” “a random drug test,” as well as “a “substance abuse evaluation” and “treatment plan” should she test positive on the randomized drug test.
However, during their first mandatory DHHS visit, the social worker told Emily that their department was recommending she undergo the evaluation and treatment plan before the drug test was even conducted, denying the court’s original order.
They tried to “get the manuscript from the trial” to prove the judge’s original orders but were denied.
Having lost faith in the entire system, Emily decided to reject the evaluation and treatment plan, knowing she was innocent and in no need of intervention.
She completed the drug test, which was another three-month hair test, and like all her other tests, “it was negative,” and she fulfilled her obligation to meet with DHHS twice, thus checking all the required boxes laid out in the first court hearing.
A few days before the second hearing, Emily and her husband received DHHS’ filing, which included “eight recommendations,” one of which was to have “the custody of [their] children moved under the Department” (meaning foster care), even though at this point, Emily had taken “seven negative tests” and fulfilled all of the requirements outlined in the first hearing.
When she followed up with the hospital about the retesting of Paul’s umbilical cord, she was told she needed to contact the lab that conducted the test, but when she called the lab, they refused to work with her and told her she needed to go through the hospital.
She also found out that the “25 pieces of evidence” she submitted to the court hadn’t even been reviewed. In fact, the court claimed it “didn’t even know [she] did this 12-month hair test.”
At this point, Emily and her husband were left with literally nothing except prayers.
And clearly, it worked.
“They dismissed our case” in the second hearing, Emily says, and thankfully, the DHHS (probably because they had no real evidence) did not pursue a contested hearing.
While Emily getting to keep her children is excellent news, she is still currently on the list of registered child abusers.
To hear the full story and learn where Emily is at now, watch the video below.
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