Parental Substance Use as Child Abuse - Maryland

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Citation: Family Law § 5-706.3(d) 

The Department of Human Resources, in cooperation with the Department of Health, shall develop intervention systems in at least four counties designated by the Secretary of Human Resources that include drug treatment for a mother of a child who is born drug-exposed and supportive services for the family of the child.

An intervention shall be initiated when a child is born drug-exposed and medical personnel have determined that the child is at a high risk of abuse or neglect.

Subject to the provisions above, the local Department of Social Services and the Department of Health shall assist the mother of a child who is born drug-exposed in obtaining drug treatment and providing supportive services to maintain family unity.

A Child in Need of Assistance petition shall be filed on behalf of a child who is born drug-exposed if the following are true:

  • The mother refuses the recommended level of drug treatment or does not successfully complete the recommended level of drug treatment.
  • The mother is unable to provide adequate care for the child.
  • The father is unable to provide adequate care for the child.

Citation: Family Law § 5-710(b) 

Promptly after receiving a report from a hospital or health practitioner of suspected neglect related to drug abuse and conducting an appropriate investigation, the local department may file a petition alleging that the child is in need of assistance under title 3, subtitle 8 of the Courts Article, and offer the mother admission into a drug treatment program. 

The local department may initiate a judicial proceeding to terminate a mother's parental rights, if the local department offers the mother admission into a drug treatment program under this subsection within 90 days after the birth of the child and if the mother does the following:

  • Does not accept admission to the program or its equivalent within 45 days after the offer is made
  • Does not accept the recommended level of drug treatment within 45 days after the offer is made
  • Fails to fully participate in the program or its equivalent

Citation: Crts. & Jud. Proc. Code § 3-818 

Within 1 year after a child's birth, there is a presumption that a child is not receiving proper care and attention from the mother for purposes of § 3-801(f)(2) of this subtitle if the following are true:

  • The child was born exposed to cocaine; heroin; methamphetamine; or a derivative of cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine, as evidenced by any appropriate tests of the mother or child.
  • Upon admission to a hospital for delivery of the child, the mother tested positive for cocaine; heroin; methamphetamine; or a derivative of cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine, as evidenced by any appropriate toxicology test.
  • Drug treatment is made available to the mother and the mother refuses the recommended level of drug treatment or does not successfully complete the recommended level of drug treatment.