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Can CPS take my baby away??

Cleveland, OH |

I'm a 29 year old mother of a 2 year old boy. I have serious panic attacks and agoraphobia. I finally got up the courage to see my psychiatrist again in over a year, and a friend gave me a "chill pill" so I wouldn't pass out right there. I was shaking really bad. My psychiatrist told me to take a urine test right then and there, and if I didn't she would consider it dirty. So I admitted to the pill, smoking weed, and drinking, but I do this when the boy is in bed and when his father is home from work. His father doesn't drink or smoke, so there is ALWAYS a sober party watching my boy. I would never put my son in a position that he could potentially be harmed. I don't even smoke cigarettes around him. I took the test. I know I will fail the test. Can they take my baby?

Thank you all, I'm never drinking or smoking again. I love my baby and will do anything to keep him safe. It's on the way to the dump as you read.

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Attorney answers 3


Child-related matters are found in Sec. 2151 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Courts take into consideration the parents' mental and/or substance abuse problems in determining what is in the best interests of the child. Your history could come up if child protective services becomes involved. Before the best interests of your child are taken into consideration, it must be shown that your child is either neglected, abused, or dependent.

I have represented parents who were criminally prosecuted for child abuse, because their child was exposed to marijuana smoke. Courts have held that, in and of itself, that is child abuse.

I suggest you immediately cease using illegal drugs and/or abusing alcohol. Furthermore, you should seek out counseling if you need it to deal with substance abuse problems (NA and/or AA). It is best if you treat your problems before CPS becomes involved.

Also, if your doctor suspects that your child is neglected, abused, or dependent, he or she is required by law to notify CPS.

Don't post anything about this online, and do not speak about it with anyone. Only talk to a lawyer about it, and do so privately (not on a public AVVO message thread).

If you have any questions, my firm's website can be viewed at

Good luck!

No attorney-client relationship is established via The material posted by Kyle J. Bristow, Esq., is for educational purposes for prospective clients only and people should not make legal decisions based on it. You are advised not to take, or refrain from taking, any action based on what Mr. Bristow has stated on this website.



I haven't imbibed in a while, it's only a once and a while thing, but done, and done. Thank you.


Yes, children's services can step in and take your child away. You need to acknowledge and address your substance abuse issues (and/or taking other medications like a "chill pill") and get help. Get an assessment and start a treatment program. Show that you are making an effort to stop your illegal activity. Otherwise, yes, the State can take your boy away from you. Good luck!


If CPS investigates and finds that the child is endangered they can most definitely remove him from the home.

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