Karen Dresser, who is white, said that an emergency clinic in Maryland discriminated against her and her daughter who is Black. Amelia, her 12-year old adoptive daughter, was denied treatment after the clinic staff assumed that they were not related because of their different skin color.
“At first, I was just numb. I was in disbelief, actually,” Dresser told WJLA News. “We are a family in every sense of the word.”
Dresser, a 51-year old school teacher and mother to Amelia whom she adopted in 2007, said she took her daughter to Patient First Urgent-Care Clinic to be treated for what they believed was a broken finger. However, they were greeted with skepticism by the clinic staff and her daughter was denied service.
“A receptionist asked if I was her guardian and I interpreted that as ‘parent,’ so I said yes,” Dresser told Yahoo Lifestyle. “But it became clear that she didn’t believe me.”
Dresser said the receptionist still wasn’t convinced even after she informed them that their clinic had previously treated her daughter. Instead of pulling up her file, the receptionist demanded her to show proof of guardianship instead.
According to Dresser, a nurse eventually advised her to buy a splinter for her daughter at Walgreens. She eventually decided to just to bring her daughter to another nearby clinic, where she was immediately treated without any hesitation.
Dresser shared the whole incident on Facebook, where she said she wasn’t sure whether to “be ticked off or cry.” She also shared on Facebook the letter she wrote to the clinic. Since, then the clinic has apologized and issued a statement about their policy to check on the documentation to confirm if an adult says he/she is a child’s legal guardian.
Still, Dresser believes that the whole ordeal was “racist and discriminatory.”