A Florida mom will appear in court Wednesday to try to regain custody of her baby son, who was taken from her because she wanted to feed him a vegan diet.
Police removed the 12-day-old child from Sarah Markham’s custody in June after a pediatrician grew concerned the baby had lost 10 percent of his body weight and was dehydrated.
According to a report from WKMG, Markham told police at her Orlando-area apartment that she didn’t want to feed the child the formula the doctor had prescribed, because she didn’t agree with ingredients, many of which she believed were derived from animals.
Instead, she said, she had purchased an organic soy formula after contacting a “natural” or “vegan” doctor.
She reportedly could not produce any documentation that she had seen the second doctor.
Police arrested her on neglect charges after she failed to take the child to a hospital, although she had promised police she would. Authorities placed the child in state custody after he was treated at a nearby hospital.
Since that time, Markham has only been permitted to see the boy while under supervision. She still faces criminal charges.
Her attorney, Mark O’Mara, said he thinks the state is being heavy handed and that his client’s actions never came close to neglect
“Not even close,” he told WKMG. “It's absurd. It's a mom trying to do the best she can, acting as a vegan which she has the entire right to do taking care of her child.”
The baby is now reported to be healthy.
Markham, who has been out on bond since she was charged, will fight to regain custody of her son Wednesday, when she appears in court to face the neglect charges.
O’Mara said he hopes the judge will recognize Markham’s efforts to comply with state orders since the arrest.
“She has done everything they've asked her to do: Mental health evaluations, drug evaluations, parenting classes, everything they've asked her to do she's done and she's done it very well, and yet we have to go to trial on this tomorrow. It's absurd,” he said.