Parental Substance Use as Child Abuse - Wisconsin

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Citation: Ann. Stat. § 48.205

A child may be held in physical custody if the intake worker determines that there is probable cause to believe the child is within the jurisdiction of the court and probable cause exists to believe that the child is an expectant mother, that if the child expectant mother is not held, there is a substantial risk that the physical health of the unborn child, and of the child when born, will be seriously affected or endangered by the child expectant mother's habitual lack of self-control in the use of alcoholic beverages, controlled substances, or controlled substance analogs, exhibited to a severe degree, and that the child expectant mother is refusing or has refused to accept any alcohol or other drug abuse services offered to her or is not making or has not made a good faith effort to participate in any alcohol or other drug abuse services offered to her. 

An adult expectant mother of an unborn child may be held in physical custody if the intake worker determines that there is probable cause to believe that the adult expectant mother is within the jurisdiction of the court, to believe that if the adult expectant mother is not held there is a substantial risk that the physical health of the unborn child, and of the child when born, will be seriously affected or endangered by the adult expectant mother's habitual lack of self-control in the use of alcohol beverages, controlled substances, or controlled substance analogs, exhibited to a severe degree, and to believe that the adult expectant mother is refusing or has refused to accept any alcohol or other drug abuse services offered to her or is not making or has not made a good faith effort to participate in any alcohol or other drug abuse services offered to her.

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 48.02(1)

'Abuse,' other than when used in referring to abuse of alcohol beverages or other drugs, means any of the following:

  • When used in referring to an unborn child, serious physical harm inflicted on the unborn child, and the risk of serious physical harm to the child when born, caused by the habitual lack of self-control of the expectant mother of the unborn child in the use of alcoholic beverages, controlled substances, or controlled substance analogs, exhibited to a severe degree
  • Manufacturing methamphetamine in violation of § 961.41(1)(e) under any of the following circumstances:
    • With a child physically present during the manufacture
    • In a child's home, on the premises of a child's home, or in a motor vehicle located on the premises of a child's home
    • Under any other circumstances in which a reasonable person should have known that the manufacture would be seen, smelled, or heard by a child

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 146.0255

Any hospital employee who provides health care, social worker, or intake worker may refer an infant or an expectant mother of an unborn child to a physician for testing of the bodily fluids of the infant or expectant mother for controlled substances, if the hospital employee, social worker, or intake worker suspects that the infant or expectant mother has controlled substances in the bodily fluids of the infant or expectant mother because of the use of controlled substances by the mother while she was pregnant. If the physician determines that there is a serious risk that there are controlled substances in the bodily fluids of the infant or expectant mother because of the use of controlled substances by the mother while she was pregnant and that the health of the infant, the unborn child, or the child when born may be adversely affected by the controlled substances, the physician may test the infant or expectant mother to ascertain whether or not the infant or expectant mother has controlled substances in the bodily fluids of the infant or expectant mother. If the results of the test indicate that the infant does have controlled substances in the infant's bodily fluids, the physician shall report the occurrence of that condition in the infant to the agency that is responsible for conducting child abuse and neglect investigations, and that agency shall offer to provide or arrange for the provision of services and treatment for the child and the child's mother. If the results of the test indicate that the expectant mother has controlled substances in her bodily fluids, the physician may report the occurrence of that condition to the agency that is responsible for conducting unborn child abuse investigations, and that agency shall offer to provide or arrange for the provision of services and treatment for the unborn child and expectant mother. No physician may test an expectant mother without first receiving her informed consent to the testing.

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 146.0257

If a hospital employee who provides health care, social worker, or intake worker suspects that an infant has a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, the hospital employee, social worker, or intake worker shall refer the infant to a physician for an evaluation to diagnose whether the infant has that disorder. If a physician determines that there is a serious risk that an infant has a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, the physician shall evaluate the infant to diagnose whether the infant has that disorder. If a physician diagnoses that an infant has a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, the physician shall report that diagnosis to the agency that is responsible for conducting child abuse and neglect investigations, and that agency shall offer to provide or arrange for the provision of services and treatment for the infant and the infant's mother as provided under § 46.238. 

A physician who performs an evaluation shall provide the infant's parents or guardian with all of the following information:

  • An explanation concerning the evaluation that was performed, the date of that evaluation, and the diagnosis resulting from that evaluation
  • An explanation that the results of the evaluation must be disclosed to an agency if the evaluation indicates a diagnosis of a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder