Advocates also report that some asylum seekers in the Western District of Texas who have given birth in USMS custody were forced to hand over their newborns to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). Reuniting with their newborn hinges on their release from federal custody, and whether they can access legal help to navigate the child welfare system.
…Dr. Shelly said she doesn’t know if the U.S. citizen newborns of detained parents are eventually adopted or whether detained patients are deported without regaining custody of their babies. The OB-GYN is also unsure if foster parents have any obligation to remain in communication with parents remanded to USMS custody.
According to USMS, the onus for child care placement is on the detained parent, though it appears as if asylum seekers who give birth in USMS custody don’t have many choices at all.
…U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) could release these women shortly after they are first apprehended, and then refer them to organizations like Annunciation House that can offer support as they pursue asylum and prepare to give birth. But that’s not what happens.