Mom who allegedly pushed 'urine therapy' on son only allowed supervised parenting time: B.C. court
A mother from Maple Ridge, B.C., has temporarily lost her right to unsupervised parenting time over allegations she made her young son drink his own pee as part of a controversial practice called "urine therapy."
Those concerns came to light during a custody case decided this week in B.C. Supreme Court, which heard the mom fed the eight-year-old boy smoothies she had mixed with his urine.
The child's mother and father, who can't be named to protect their boy's privacy, separated last year, but remain living on different floors of the same house.
They have been increasingly at odds since she began pursuing a fringe "natural and holistic" lifestyle about three years ago, according to Master Kimberley Robertson's Aug. 30 decision.
"It has created significant distrust by the (father) as to the respondent's judgment in ensuring that the child is safe in her care, which came to a head when the allegation that she was imposing urine therapy on the child arose," the judge wrote.
The mom's interest in alternative medicine previously resulted in her seeking unsupported remedies such as homeopathy to treat her breast cancer – all of which failed, ultimately leaving her with no choice but to undergo surgery.
Eventually, that inclination also brought her to urine therapy, described in the decision as "a centuries-old practice of drinking one's own urine and massaging it into one's skin."
The mom admitted in court that she started drinking her own pee last January, and even that she appeared on an obscure podcast called "Healing Powers of Urine Therapy," but denied forcing her son to take part in the practice.
The father told a different story.
He recounted an after-school incident on April 14, in which the child approached him looking confused and guilty and said, "I have a secret, you have to promise me not to tell mom."
"Mom made me pee in a jar, then she put the pee into my fruit smoothie," the boy said, according to his father. The child later specified that only a few drops had been mixed into the drink, and not the whole jar.
The boy later repeated the allegations during an appointment alone with their family doctor. The child said he "didn't want to do it, told his mom he didn't want to but she encouraged him to," according to the physician's notes, which were presented in court.
The mother was adamant that wasn't the case, arguing instead that the father had "suggested" the idea of urine being in the boy's smoothies, and saying the child was prone to believe it because he was aware of her interest in the practice.
Robertson noted that even if that were the case, it would raise red flags of its own.
"Even if the child was not being fed his own urine, the fact that he easily believed he could be is harmful in its own right and ought to have been concerning to the respondent," the judge wrote.
The court heard the father had found jars of urine in the mother's bathroom, some of which were either left uncovered or covered with a paper towel, and that they left a foul odour. The dad said he worried their son would be bullied if his friends learned about the situation at home.
There were also concerns raised about the mother's fasting, which the father said went on for days on end and left her physically incapable of caring for their son.
The judge wasn't convinced that foregoing food left the mom unable to parent, but ultimately said she agreed with the father's assessment that while his former partner loves their son, her "judgment and health are questionable at this time."
She ruled that the mother can have parenting time from Sunday mornings to Wednesday evenings, but only with supervision from a professional or a third party agreed upon by both parents.