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Vegan mom arrested over unhealthy newborn has son returned to her

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SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - A vegan mother who had her newborn son taken from her several months ago after he began losing weight has him back.

On Wednesday, a Seminole County judge told Sarah Markham that she would get custody of her son Caleb, with the provision that she provide a nutritionist's report within 10 days.

Markham was arrested in June when her son was less than two weeks old. He had lost 10 percent of his body weight. A doctor said Caleb was failing to thrive and told Markham to take her child to a hospital.

Rather than taking the boy to the hospital, Markham wanted to try supplementing breast milk with vegan formula.

"There's no case, there's no abuse, there's no neglect, there's simply a doctor who has been challenged by a mother and he didn't like it," said Bo Markham, Caleb's grandfather.

The judge agreed, throwing out Seminole County Child Protective Services' claim that Sarah Markham was not fit to care for the child.

Attorney Mark O'Mara said he expects the criminal case against the mother to be thrown out as well.

"My hope is that they'll simply dismiss it and not go forward on this at all," said O'Mara.

Caleb stayed with grandparents after being removed from his mother's care and now weighs 17 pounds.

"He's still on a soy formula -- he's been on it, he likes it, he's doing well. He's growing healthy and I can't ask for anything more," said Markham.

Karla Ray is covering this story and will have the latest on Channel 9 Eyewitness News at 5:30.

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