Mom jailed for breastfeeding while drinking; Waitress fired over incident

The Arkansas mother says she doesn't believe she was doing anything wrong
March 27, 2014 3:52:51 PM PDT
A mother, who was thrown in jail and charged with endangering the welfare of a child after breastfeeding her baby while drinking, said she didn't know she was possibly breaking the law.

"I did drink. I did breastfeed," Tasha Adams told ABC News' "20/20" in her first on-camera interview. "I didn't know it was illegal. If I knew it was illegal, I wouldn't have done it."

Last week, Chuck Clawson, the deputy city attorney for Conway, Ark., dropped Adams' child endangerment charge because there wasn't enough evidence to prove she had one too many drinks to care for her child.

Tune in for the full story on ABC News' "20/20" on Friday, March 28 at 10 p.m. ET

The 28-year-old is a stay-at-home mother to her three children: 6-year-old Cal, 2-year-old Hyd, and 8-month-old Ana. Adams and her family live in Toad Suck, Ark., a small town where alcohol is banned. But unlike Toad Suck, Conway, Ark., is not a dry town.

After the funeral of a family friend, Adams and her parents stopped for dinner at Gusano's Restaurant in Conway. Adams also brought her baby, Ana, because the 6-month-old was still nursing at the time.

"We had a pizza, and then we had a big old thing of spinach dip," Adams said. "Then, I had a beer with that, and then I had another one later on after."

Over the course of an hour and a half, Adams said she had two beers and nothing more. But when Jackie Conners, an off-duty waitress, showed up early for an after-hours staff meeting, she said she saw something very different that disturbed her.

According to Conners, Adams began to breastfeed Ana, but she wasn't drinking beer. She told the restaurant management, and when they didn't act on the situation, Conners, who has a daugher of her own, called police.

"And they said, 'Ma'am, we've got a report that you were drinking alcohol while breastfeeding,'" Adams recalled. "I said, 'OK, I didn't know that was illegal.'"

Adams was right. Arkansas law doesn't say anything about drinking and breastfeeding. But after Adams admitted that she had two drinks, the officers made a judgment call: they told Adams to call a sober family member to drive her baby home and then arrested her for endangering the welfare of a child.

Conners, who said she was just trying to do the right thing, was fired the week after she called the police on Adams.

Read more on this story from ABCNews.com.

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