Parental Substance Use as Child Abuse - Indiana

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A child is a 'child in need of services' if before the child becomes age 18, the following are true:

  • The child's physical or mental health is seriously endangered due to injury by the act or omission of the child's parent, guardian, or custodian.
  • The child needs care, treatment, or rehabilitation that the child is not receiving and is unlikely to be provided or accepted without the coercive intervention of the court. 

A child is 'a child in need of services' if, before the child becomes age 18, the child is a victim of an offense under § 35-46-1-4 (neglect of a dependent child).

Evidence that the illegal manufacture of a drug or controlled substance is occurring on property where a child resides creates a rebuttable presumption that the child's physical or mental health is seriously endangered.

Citation: Ann. Code § 31-34-1-10

Except as provided in §§ 31-34-1-12 and 31-34-1-13, a child is a child in need of services under the following circumstances:

  • The child is born with any of the following:
    • Fetal alcohol syndrome
    • Neonatal abstinence syndrome
    • Any amount, including a trace amount, of a controlled substance, a legend drug, or a metabolite of a controlled substance or legend drug in the child's body, including the child's blood, urine, umbilical cord tissue, or meconium
  • The child needs care, treatment, or rehabilitation that the child is not receiving or is unlikely to be provided or accepted without the coercive intervention of the court.

Citation: Ann. Code § 31-34-1-11 

Except as provided in §§ 31-34-1-12 and 31-34-1-13, a child is a child in need of services under the following circumstances:

  • The child has an injury; abnormal physical or psychological development; symptoms of neonatal intoxication or withdrawal; or is at a substantial risk of a life-threatening condition that arises or is substantially aggravated because the child’s mother used alcohol, a controlled substance, or a legend drug during pregnancy.
  • The child needs care, treatment, or rehabilitation that the child is not receiving or is unlikely to be provided or accepted without the coercive intervention of the court.

Citation: Ann. Code § 31-34-1-12

A child is not a child in need of services under §§ 31-34-1-10 or 31-34-1-11 if a drug detected in the body of the child under § 31-34-1-10 or the condition described in § 31-34-1-11 was caused by a legend drug, and during pregnancy the child's mother possessed a valid prescription for the legend drug, was not in violation of the Indiana legend drug act, and made a good-faith attempt to use the legend drug according to the prescription instructions.

Citation: Ann. Code § 31-34-1-13

A child is not a child in need of services under § 31-34-1-10 or 31-34-1-11 if a drug detected in the body of the child under § 31-34-1-10 or the condition described in § 31-34-1-11 was caused by a legend drug, and during pregnancy the child's mother possessed a valid prescription for the controlled substance and made a good faith attempt to use the controlled substance according to the prescription instructions.

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 35-46-1-4

A person who has the care of a dependent, whether assumed voluntarily or because of a legal obligation, who knowingly or intentionally places the dependent in a situation that endangers the dependent's life or health commits neglect of a dependent, a level 6 felony.                    

However, the offense is a level 5 felony if it results in bodily injury or either of the following apply:                     

  • It is committed in a location where a person is violating § 35-48-4-1 (dealing in cocaine or a narcotic drug), § 35-48-4-1.1 (dealing in methamphetamine), or § 35-48-4-1.2 (manufacturing methamphetamine).                                 

It is the result of a violation of § 35-48-4-1 (dealing in cocaine or a narcotic drug), § 35-48-4-1.1 (dealing in methamphetamine), or § 35-48-4-1.2 (manufacturing methamphetamine).