by Monte Sahlin
By AT News Team, November 17, 2014
A 24-year-old Adventist woman was arrested in a suburb of Orlando, Florida, because she insisted she wanted to raise her baby on a vegan diet, according to both the local ABC television affiliate and Tech Times. Sara Markham was processed by the Casselberry Police Department but has been subsequently released and regained custody of her baby son, Caleb.
A pediatrician that Markham took the baby to became concerned because of weight loss. The doctor directed Markham to take the baby to the hospital immediately and begin the use of animal-based infant formula. The young mother purchased vegan baby formula instead and took her baby home.
Child protective services personnel were informed that the baby had not been taken to the hospital and as a result Markham was arrested and charged with child neglect. Markham follows a vegan diet and wants to raise her son on a vegan diet. She was attempting to breast feed the baby and finding it difficult to do so.
The child had lost more weight than was acceptable in the view of the physician and was considered in a condition of "failure to thrive." It is unclear to what extent the vegan baby formula was part of the problem.
Mark O'Mara, the attorney for Markham, told the ABC television affiliate that the doctor told the mother to take her son to the hospital after she told him she was opposed to using an animal-based infant formula to supplement breast feeding. There is no information on the extent of the baby's condition because both the doctor and child protective workers have refused to discuss the case with journalists.
Despite the fact that Markham has regained custody of the baby, she still faces charges in court. "There's no case," Bo Markham, the baby's grandfather, told Tech Times. "There's no abuse. There's no neglect. There is simply a doctor who has been challenged by a mother and he didn't like it."