Md. mom says Patient First demanded paperwork to prove her parentage of black daughter

Karen Dresser, left, and her daughter

A white mother is reaching out after her black daughter was denied treatment at an urgent care facility.

It was just a routine visit to Patient First, or so the Karen Dresser thought, but when she couldn't produce papers to prove her relationship to her daughter, she was told to go find them or go elsewhere , Carl Willis reports.

"At first I was just number, I was in disbelief, actually," she says.

She says workers at the Waldorf facility didn't believe that her 12-year-old adopted daughter was hers.

"We are a family in every sense of the word," she says. "And for somebody just to make the assumption that we weren't is hurtful."

She was so stunned that she turned to Facebook and posted a question, asking if anything similar had ever happened to other mothers.

"By the time I was home, I had lots of people saying 'No, never, never, never, never,' so I know it was a color issue."

7 On Your Side took the concern to Richmond-based Patient First. They gave this response:

"During registration, if a minor patient is accompanied by an adult who states that they are the patient's parent, we take them at their word. If the adult states that they are the child's guardian, we required documentation to confirm that before the patient can be registered."

Dresser said she insisted she is her daughter's mother.

She says workers need to be better trained on how to handle these kinds of situations.

"I think people out there need to understand that families come in all shapes and sizes and that it's important to respect all families," she says.

Dresser wrote a letter and got an apology from the corporate office.

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