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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Lubbock, Texas, United States

    Default Newborn Removed from Caregiver's Custody

    My question involves guardianship in the State of: Texas. I was just in a situation where a friend of my sisters had asked me and my husband if we could help her out with her baby. She has no family her in Texas. My husband and I recently closed our home from foster care we were foster parents for 8yrs. So my sister told her friend about us and she wanted to give us custody of her newborn baby while she got herself together but while in the process of making these decisions Cps was called. the baby was only 4 days old when Cps came and sent mom for a drug test. Mom called me and told me she was going to give me temporary custody of the baby so if I could go pick her up because she did not want the baby to end up in the system. So I went picked up the baby from mom then had a paper notarized stating mom was giving us temporary custody. Cps found out called me and had me bring the baby to there office with all her belongings and had the judge sign an order of removal. My question is how is this right if the baby was still in moms custody?? Somebody help please!!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Involving CPS

    Having a document notarized doesn't give that document any special legal power or authority. Custody and guardianship issues are things decided by a JUDGE and there are procedures that need to be followed. For example, the FATHER of the child has the right to be informed and challenge anyone else taking guardianship or custody of his child. Mom can't just trample over that and make a sole decision about what happens with the child. Kids can't just be passed around with a "note". Nothing in your post gives us any information about dad, where he is, if he even knows about the child, or anything else. But let's say for the sake of argument that dad is either dead, incarcerated, in a coma, deployed overseas, or otherwise unable or unavailable to become the custodial parent. As a former foster parent, you'd likely have a decent shot at getting temp custody (you've already been inspected, certified, been through trainings, etc). BUT, the problem is that you didn't petition the court to become the guardian. Now with the child under the care of CPS, they will build a case plan with mom - telling her what she needs to accomplish before they'll return the child to her, and giving her a time frame to do so. If mom has some issue that isn't going to be accomplished quickly, such as drug rehab (months), then CPS may seek the father to evaluate if he's a suitable candidate. If they can't find him, or he's found unsuitable, they'll seek other alternatives, including potentially foster care. If you're interested in assisting in that capacity, then you'll want to let CPS know. Because you are already a friend of the mother, they will then have to evaluate if you'd be a suitable placement or not (based on the facts of the case and whether or not they feel you are likely to permit mom access to the child or other ways that you being friends with the mother who had her child removed might not be in the child's best interest). All you can do at this point is notify them of your willingness and see what happens.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Involving CPS

    While states typically respect the action of a parent to provide a child with a safe environment when dealing with personal issues, before protective services becomes involved, it's quite another matter to try to end-run an active protective services investigation by handing off the child to a third party. That's true even if the third party is an appropriate caregiver.

    If you investigate the history of the case, I expect that you will find that something triggered CPS involvement in the case before mom decided to hand off the child -- that much is suggested by your statement that mom handed you the child because she expected CPS to remove the child from her care. For CPS to be ordering a drug test when an infant is four days old, there is going to be a lot more going on than a hunch. Mom may be on the central registry from a past case of abuse or neglect, she may have been arrested for drug use during her pregnancy, the baby may have showed signs of drug withdrawal at birth, it seems reasonable to infer that the baby's meconium tested positive for drugs....

    As a third party interested in gaining custody, if your license is no longer active I suggest looking into renewing your foster care license. Every little bit helps. As aarvarc indicates, assuming dad is an appropriate caregiver he's going to get priority, as may members of the parents' immediate families, although they'll presumably have to pass home studies.

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