Joint Position On Separation of Parents and Children from IBLCE, ILCA, and LEAARC

The International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®), the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®), and the Lactation Education Accreditation and Approval Review Committee (LEAARC) stand together in opposition to policies that unnecessarily separate a parent from their infant or young child.

The unnecessary separation of parents and young children has lifelong physical, psychological, and emotional impacts that have been well documented by health organizations worldwide, including UNICEF and the American Academy of Pediatrics, regardless of feeding status. In addition to these serious consequences, separation also disrupts breastfeeding, leading to further potential harm.

For breastfeeding to occur, mothers and babies must have unrestricted access and physical proximity to one another. The importance of breastfeeding for both infants and parents is well documented. These health protections extend into adulthood.1,2 Because of the range of health benefits conferred on the breastfeeding dyad, breastfeeding is recommended by the World Health Organization3 for up to two years of age or beyond. Separating parents from their breastfeeding children during this critical time has long-term consequences.

As organizations committed to ensuring worldwide health through support of parents and young children, we stand in opposition to policies that unnecessarily limit access to or separate parent and child.

Maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health: Breastfeeding. World Health Organization. Retrieved from Date accessed 6/20/2018.
Victora, C., Bahl, R., Barros, A., França, G., Horton, S., Krasevec, J., …Rollins, N. Breastfeeding in the 21st century: epidemiology, mechanisms, and lifelong effect. The Lancet, 387(10017), 475-490.
3 Nutrition: The World Health Organization’s infant feeding recommendation. World Health Organization. Retrieved from Date accessed 6/20/2018.

7 Responses to Joint Position On Separation of Parents and Children from IBLCE, ILCA, and LEAARC

  1. Riquel Neal 20 June 2018 at 16:58 #

    Yes. I stand behind you fully. I wish it were something we could do to stop this. This is more than wrong or awful, this is horrific. This is acts of slavery and consevation camps all over again!!!

  2. Jeanne Batacan-Wade 20 June 2018 at 18:05 #

    I understand the issue. BUT —- Stopping it at the source is absolutely crucial. Parents immigrating into any country illegally with their children are setting their children up at GREAT RISK. And yet, it continues and when they get arrested for breaking our laws by illegally crossing borders, driving without a licence or insurance, etc., etc., etc., part of the price the whole family pays is separation.

    And, what about all the children who are separated from their [legal] mothers – who committed crimes and are now incarcerated??? They are separated but there is no outcry. Children are the ones who suffer when their parents break the law.

    There is a saying “You buy the ticket, you take the ride”. It sounds harsh but it is a reality in any country that is trying to uphold the laws that are on the books.

    Our problem here is that, for too many years, everyone has been choosing to looking the other way and the impact on our society, schools and health care system is HUGE. American citizens (we) are paying the price.

    • Trevor MacDonald 20 June 2018 at 23:15 #

      It is not illegal for people to cross a border and apply for asylum. In fact, it is a right that is protected by international and US laws.

      People flee their homes when they are at great risk of torture, persecution, abuse, and/or death in their home countries, and for this reason they are NOT required to apply from their home countries for asylum prior to crossing the border (obviously tipping off the home country may lead to the afore-mentioned torture, persecution, abuse, and/or death the person is seeking to avoid). They may cross the border in any way they can, and THEN apply for asylum, in accordance with the law.

      • Jeanne Batacan-Wade 20 June 2018 at 23:45 #

        I understand that Trevor. But you can not convince me that the millions of immigrants that are coming and have come illegally, in the past few decades have come for asylum. They come because they know our laws were not being enforced. It was relatively easy. And when they started families here it would complicate their deportation. Everyone is up in arms because our immigration laws are now being enforced……just like in most other countries in the world.
        Talk to someone like my husband and his family members who all went through the proper channels, documentation process and waiting periods to come to the US Legally. They are the staunch supporters of following the laws of the land. Illegal immigration is a burden to our educational and medical system.

        Name me ONE other country that will educate and provide medical care to illegal immigrants.

    • Alison Resch 22 June 2018 at 06:36 #

      Jeanne, was your husband running for his life? That’s the difference between immigrating & seeking asylum. The previous admin deported more people than ever before so you can’t say it wasn’t enforced. No one is advocating for wide open borders, but any situation where you are separating parents & children, babies from their mothers, and holding them in detention centers all across the country is wrong. The moral standard of this country has been demolished by trump & the people who blindly follow him emboldened by his words & actions.

      • Jeanne Batacan-Wade 22 June 2018 at 16:25 #

        No Alison, he was not running for his life. I do know the difference between immigrating and seeking asylum. They are two different issues that are getting blurred. Illegal immigrants and their “dreamers” are the biggest on going issue in this country and has been for decades. These are the people that have taken the toll on our educational and health care system. The outcry about separating families when the parents are deported started here. Apparently no one thinks the parents, who entered illegally with their children, hold any responsibility for their actions as it affects their own children.

        The US, Canada and many other democracies around the world have always taken in asylum seekers. Always. The big issue here is that the US can not process the current masses of people wanting to enter using the term “asylum seekers” – many of which are not.

        It is a messy and complicated issue that could have been solved many years with a secure…SECURE southern border, It was much easier when immigrants were coming by boat – they had to be processed through Ellis and Angle Islands.

        And, unless you have had your head in the sand for the last few decades, you can’t blame President Trump and the people who “blindly” follow him. The moral standard in this country has been slowly declining for many, many, many years. Through many administrations – Republican and Democrat alike.

  3. Trevor MacDonald 21 June 2018 at 22:34 #

    Canada! In Canada, as soon as someone is deemed eligible to make a claim for asylum (even if they crossed the border outside of a usual point of entry), they have access to “social assistance, education, health services, emergency housing and legal aid while a decision is pending on their claim.” So yes, Canada provides education and medical care to those who crossed the border even while they are still waiting to find out whether or not they will actually be granted asylum. Asylum seekers are not usually detained during this waiting period. This information is readily available on the Canadian government’s web site.

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