If CPS takes your child, can you have another baby? It’s a question that parents never want to ask, but unfortunately, it’s more common than you think. When Child Protective Services (CPS) takes a child away from your home, it can be devastating for you and the rest of your family. Not only do you lose your child, but you also struggle with future family planning. So, can you have more children after an incident with CPS? Like many issues related to child custody, it’s a complicated issue. Read on to learn the facts about having children after a CPS custody battle.
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What happens when CPS takes your child away?
Sadly, child custody cases involving CPS can get pretty ugly. Usually, you will know if you are at the center of a CPS investigation, however, you may not know how the case is proceeding. CPS may not be contacting you for a variety of reasons. As a result, you should always try to contact CPS and find out as much as you can ahead of time.
However, CPS has very few legal obligations when it comes to providing you with information. While CPS cannot (legally) lie to you, they also don’t have to tell you everything. This is certainly frustrating, but it can be helpful to think about the situation from the perspective of a government agency. CPS is charged with keeping children safe. If they think that you could be a threat to the health or safety of your child, they will not be inclined to give you all the information they have on file. Therefore, if you’re at the center of a CPS investigation, you need to be ready for anything.
Oftentimes, when CPS is preparing to take a child away from his or her parents, they will write up an affidavit that describes any alleged abuse or neglect. Then, the social worker managing the case will submit this affidavit to the agency’s team of lawyers, who will take the affidavit directly to the courts. In some cases, you may not even be informed of the court date unless you specifically request it.
However, if you don’t even know that there’s a court case pending, you won’t know to ask about it. Thus, it’s very important to acquire an attorney as soon as CPS visits your home or as soon as you become aware of a CPS investigation. For more information on acquiring an attorney, be sure to check out our guide on free legal aid in all 50 states.
Whether or not you know about the court case and can attend to defend yourself, the judge always has the power to rule against you. When this happens, CPS can legally remove your child from your custody. So, what happens next?
CPS took away my child. Now what?
If CPS takes away your child, you’ll likely feel completely devastated. However, it’s important to remember that hope is not lost. In most states, when CPS takes away your child, they will keep custody of your child for a period of one year or longer (but no more than 18 months). During this time, you will almost certainly be advised to take parental classes, visit a counselor, and demonstrate to Child Protective Services that you are a good parent. If you play your cards right, you could convince the courts to grant you custody of your child once again.
That said, it’s not always easy to stay in the good graces of CPS or the courts. One false step and you could end up losing custody of your child for good. If this happens, your family — including any children that you’d like to have in the future — could be in jeopardy.
If CPS Takes Your Child, Can You Have Another Baby?
So, we’ve come to the most important question: if CPS takes your child, can you have another baby? The short answer is that technically, yes, you can have another baby. You can give birth to another child after CPS has taken away custody of one or more of your children. However, your newborn baby could be at risk of being taken away by CPS as well.
That’s right. If you’re having a baby and you’ve previously had children taken from your custody due to abuse or neglect, CPS can send the authorities to take custody of your baby at the hospital. In other words, you may lose custody of your baby on the same day that you give birth.
That said, this doesn’t always happen. CPS would need to know that you are pregnant and be aware of your due date. They could easily be tipped off by a medical professional or even someone you know who is aware of your prior experiences with CPS. In any case, once your baby is born and registered with the state, their identity will likely set off red flags. So, even if you are able to take your baby home from the hospital, you may find CPS at your doorstep within days, weeks, or months of your child’s birth.
Your ability to have another child after CPS takes a child from your custody may also depend on the laws in your state and the details of your case. If you had a child taken from your custody more than a decade ago and have had no legal issues since then, you may not encounter any problems with CPS. Nonetheless, having a baby after CPS has taken your child away could be a huge risk. You never know if and when CPS could show up.
The Bottom Line
So, if CPS takes your child, can you have another baby? The answer is complicated, but in many cases, you cannot keep custody of your baby if you’ve had a child taken by CPS. When a court orders the removal of a child from your home, in essence they have deemed you unfit to be a parent. In any case, there are ways to prevent issues with CPS and maintain custody of your children. Be sure to check out our guide on what CPS can and cannot do to learn more!