Remember Heath and Deborah Campbell, the New Jersey couple who named their three children Adolf Hitler, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation and Honszlyn Hinler Jeannie? The Campbells lost custody of all three of their children in 2010, and back then I joked, “Let’s hope little baby Ahmadinejad is not on the way.”
Well, it turns out, I was on to something. The Campbells recently added another child to their brood, Hons Campbell, born at 2 a.m. on November 17, 2011. Hons was removed from his parents’ custody by the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services just 17 hours after his birth, and the Campbells are calling it a kidnapping.
“There’s no legal binding court order,” Heath Campbell told reporters. “It’s basically a kidnapping, but they use different terms.”
Deborah Campbell said “guards were stationed at her hospital room to ensure she had no contact with the baby. She said she left the hospital earlier than she would have been discharged because she did not trust them,” according to Lehigh Valley Live. A hearing was scheduled for today to determine whether or not the agency will keep custody of the baby. Yahoo! reports that in 2009, a DYFS spokesperson said “children are only taken into custody if there is a suspicion of abuse or neglect,” adding, “We would never remove a child simply based on their name.”
The doctor who delivered Hons Campbell was responsible for calling Family Services. I tried to find information regarding New Jersey law and the legality of what has happened to the Campbells (after all, there is little abuse that can be enacted upon a child 17 hours old in a hospital setting, so I can’t see what cause DYFS might have cited for the removal), but there doesn’t seem to be anything readily available online about the prior removal of children from the home affecting the custody of children born subsequently.
If the Campbells aren’t allowed a chance to have children now based on their history, isn’t the government effectively sterilizing them? (Something a commenter on Lehigh Valley Live suggested actually be done physically to the couple. Ouch.) An appellate court ruled in 2010 that, “A defendant’s history of prior domestic violence is vital in assessing the risk of harm to an alleged victim of domestic violence or other abuse,” so that may be the dynamic at play here.
Your thoughts? Is this fair? I feel for Deborah Campbell, because I believe she herself is in an abusive relationship, since it is reported that she wrote a letter to authorities before her children were taken from her saying, “If anything may happened to me please do an altops on me b/c My husband has done something to me. Im afread that he might hurt my children if they are keeped in his care.”