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August 21, 2019 Official Statement-Bland/McAdams

          Taylor Bland and Joshua McAdams first want to thank the entire community for their continued support.  The parents have received a number of requests for interviews; however, because a ruling will not be made until September 9, interviews are not appropriate at this time.  

          All parties agree that this case is about Noah.  Not a single witness questioned the love and strong bond between both parents and their little boy.  This is not a case about domestic violence or mental illness.  Admittedly there was a single act of domestic violence that occurred three years ago.  Joshua accepted immediate responsibility, and Taylor cooperated with the police and prosecuting office.  Joshua completed all terms and conditions of his probation successfully, and most importantly has always expressed unequivocal remorse for his action.  This incident was investigated by the Department at the time of the offense, and no further action occurred.  Joshua has committed no other acts of domestic violence.  Likewise, this is not a case about chemotherapy. Noah appeared as a healthy, active child until immediately prior to his hospitalization.  The parents took appropriate action and sought medical attention when necessary.  They were obviously devasted by Noah’s subsequent diagnosis, and despite a number of concerns they consented to all tests, procedures and the initial rounds of chemotherapy.  From April 3 until April 16 the parents remained at Noah’s bedside at the hospital. Noah was discharged from the hospital on April 16, 2019, and at that time the parents believed their child achieved remission.  As such, the parents sought a second opinion to address their concerns, and admittedly they were hopeful that they could avoid chemotherapy.  The parents did not stop all medical treatment, and continued to provide to him all necessary prescribed oral medication.  

          On April 29, 2019 Noah was taken into state custody and placed into foster care before his return to Florida.  Noah was in good overall health and had no signs of infection.  At that time the parents had not obtained a second opinion, of which was anticipated later that week.  The parents initially challenged further chemotherapy after Noah was taken into custody because they had not obtained a second opinion and remained hopeful that they could avoid chemotherapy.  After significant research, and the assistance of a number of oncologists and alternative practitioners, the parents agreed to subsequent chemotherapy treatments.  After May 8, 2019, the parents have voluntarily consented to all medical procedures, without court order, including the chemotherapy protocol.  The parents remain adamant that alternative therapy should be incorporated into Noah’s care, and that remains a point of contention.  

          Noah’s remission was confirmed shortly after his return to Florida, and he remains in remission.  

          The parents have the right to explore alternative options and should not be penalized for their decision to consult with practitioners outside of conventional medicine, particularly when there was no evidence of imminent harm to Noah.  Noah, age 4, has been separated from his parents since April 29, 2019.  This fight has not been about domestic violence, mental illness or chemotherapy – this is about bringing Noah home. Again, the parents express their gratitude to the community.  

Brooke Elvington,

Attorney for Taylor Bland & Joshua McAdams