Stone: Someone should be accountable for babies' deaths

Photo by J.D. Sumner

Photo by J.D. Sumner

ALBANY, Ga. -- A Dougherty County Commissioner said Monday that the death of a second child to the same 14-year-old mother was "unacceptable" and demanded that someone -- either with the family or in government -- be held accountable.

Last week, Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards confirmed to The Herald that his office was investigating the death of a newborn child. That child, who had not been named, was born to the same 14-year-old mother who lost a 4-month-old boy last year.

While both deaths remain under investigation, Dougherty County Commissioner Jack Stone said Monday that the situation brings tears to his eyes.

"This is something that is really upsetting to me," Stone said. "I can't understand how the leaders of this community could let this happen again."

Stone hinted that he believed the State Department of Family and Children Services should have known that the mother was pregnant again and should have been aware so that the proper prenatal care could have been given.

When the first child died, The Albany Herald called both the Department of Family and Children Services and the Albany Police Department to find out how each was involved.

According to police officials, the APD's Family Protection Division is supposed to be notified by DFCS whenever a child under the age of 16 gives birth. Officials with DFCS are supposed to be notified by doctors at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital whenever a minor gives birth.

Citing protections of privacy guaranteed under the Healthcare Privacy and Portability Act, neither the APD nor DFCS will confirm whether it was properly notified that the 14-year-old mother had given birth to her first child, nor will either say if it was aware she was pregnant the second time.

"This is uncalled for; I don't know if it's Family and Children Services who's to blame here or what, but this is just unacceptable," Stone said. "It brings tears to my eyes."