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Judge did not tell mother to stop breastfeeding

The judge in a Pennsylvania custody case that was was widely reported on in New Jersey media outlets after the mother spoke to a local television station has offered his side of the story. The 10-month-old baby's mother told a reporter that she was ordered to stop breastfeeding her baby so the child could have overnight visits with her father. The judge told the television station that he is in favor of breastfeeding and that no such order exists.

According to the judge, the parents agreed months earlier to two overnight visits with the father every two weeks. The mother had not been complying with the agreement that she made with her daughter's father and the judge told her that she would have to follow the order. The judge added that the couple's baby is eating some solid foods in addition to breastfeeding.

The 25-year-old mother's lawyer attempted to explain her client's statements. She said that she may not have expressed herself the right way and thus her statements may have been misinterpreted. She defended the judge, saying that the custody dispute is not just about breastfeeding but more about her concern that the father is seemingly uninterested in their child, and that the judge wouldn't say a mother can't breastfeed her baby.

Divorced fathers who want to be able to exercise their parental rights with respect to their children sometimes have to get a court order to do so. An attorney who is experienced in family law may be able to help a father present his case to a judge in order to obtain child custody or visitation privileges.

Source: Morning Call, "Judge: Mother's claim she must stop breast-feeding is 'fictionalized'", Riley Yates, November 15, 2013

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