Can a doctor in your state take custody of your child without court approval?
Many states have laws granting physicians, hospitals, and other medical personnel special independent authority to take temporary protective custody of children under certain circumstances. Usually this is because the physician suspects the child is in “imminent danger” of suffering some form of injury, abuse, or neglect. And even though medical personnel are not government agents, most of these states do not require them to get a court order before seizing custody of children.
Sadly, improper use of these often vague laws is typically the beginning of what some call a “medical kidnapping” case.
Most of the temporary protective custody laws limit the length of the custody to 24-72 hours, or until the applicable court opens next. Many states require CPS, the juvenile court, and/or the parents to be notified.
Thankfully, around half of the states do not have laws granting medical personnel such special independent authority to take temporary protective custody of children.
Most states do have laws allowing law enforcement, hospitals, or physicians to take custody of newborns, usually if they are abandoned. These are generally referred to as safe haven laws, and are not covered in this research. This research also does not cover the requirements for law enforcement or social workers to take temporary custody or obtain a warrant/court order.
If a situation involving Medical Child Detention ever arises for you, being a Heritage Defense member gives you the peace of mind knowing that we are here and ready to fight to protect your home, your children, and your parental rights.
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