SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - A new mother is fighting for custody of her son, who she hasn't been alone with since he was 12 days old, because of her vegan beliefs.
Instead, she told investigators she wanted to try feeding him vegan formula.
Now she's fighting to get him back while she faces criminal charges.
“They've kept a child away from mom,” said attorney Mark O’Mara. “My client can only see her child once a week or twice a week because they're requiring the child be out of county.”
Sarah Markham was arrested in June when her son was less than two weeks old. He had lost 10 percent of his body weight.
But instead of taking the boy to the hospital under doctors' orders, Markham wanted to try supplementing breast milk with vegan formula.
Markham is a Seventh-day Adventist, according to an arrest report, and holistic healing is in line with her beliefs.
Channel 9’s Karla Ray asked O’Mara if it rose to the level of child neglect.
“Not even close,” O’Mara said. “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.”
O'Mara said Markham is only allowed supervised visitation a few times a week at the order of Seminole County Child Protective Services.
Markham is set to face a judge on Nov. 12 to fight to regain custody of the now healthy boy while she faces criminal charges.
“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,” said O'Mara.