If you are a mother who has lost custody of her child due to drug or alcohol addiction, you have been through a traumatic experience. No mother wants or even expects to ever lose custody of her child. But if the reason for losing custody was a chemical addiction, there are a few things that you should know that may provide you with hope for your future with your child.
There are several reasons you may lose custody
One obvious way to lose custody is to be arrested and charged with a drug related crime. Naturally, there must be a conviction, but once this happens, it is possible to lose custody of your child. And you may not lose custody right away. A judge may order you to take and pass drug tests periodically. If you fail one of these tests, your local Department of Child and Family Services is likely to file an order or protection to have your child removed. And finally, if you are going through a divorce, your spouse may demand drug testing in order for you to retain custody. If you fail the test, your spouse may get full custody.
You will need professional treatment for chemical addiction
If you have lost custody of your child, you need to find a drug rehabilitation facility to begin your road to recovery. To have a chance at regaining custody, this is an absolute must. Courts will want evidence of your sobriety, and this will begin with rehab. If your addiction is bad enough, and it likely is because you lost custody of your child, you should consider an inpatient treatment program. You will be living in a residential facility with other addicts for several weeks, as you go through detox and work with others in similar situations to end your drug addiction. Once out of this facility, there will likely be an outpatient program that includes drug testing to demonstrate you are still sober.
There are different paths to regaining custody
Because the circumstances can vary, your path to regaining custody may be different from other mothers. If, for example, you have an ex-spouse, he may fight you over the custody issue. If your child is in foster care, you may first ask the courts for supervised visitation. This can lead to unsupervised visitation and finally, to getting full custody of your child. An attorney can explain the most likely path for you.
Keep in mind that there are many different situations a drug-addicted mother can find herself in, the circumstances of losing custody can vary, and the path to regain custody may be different for each mother. Therefore, it is important to consult with a child custody attorney, especially one with experience in custody issues for recovering addicts.