Can child protective services take your kids away if you have depression and anorexia?

Question by parenting is an option II: Can child protective services take your kids away if you have depression and anorexia?
If their is no abuse to the child/ren and no neglect to the child/ren and you seek out counseling for depression and anorexia can CPS take your kids away put them in foster care or even foster to adopt. I am really curious to what the answer might be.

And if the kids are white, healthy and ages 4 and under. And their parents are married.

Asking out of curiosity
anorexia-Loss of appetite, especially as a result of disease.

anorexia nervosa-A psychophysiological disorder usually occurring in young women that is characterized by an abnormal fear of becoming obese, a distorted self-image, a persistent unwillingness to eat, and severe weight loss. It is often accompanied by self-induced vomiting, excessive exercise, malnutrition, amenorrhea, and other physiological changes.

I said anorexia. Which means loss of appetite. Which can be due from stress or depression. Gaining an appetite is harder than losing an appetite when emotions are tied to eating.

Mental note: So counselor should know about depression. Not anorexia.
My house always has lots of food in it. I tend to stock up on groceries. Lots of different things to eat. Veggies, meats, fruits, breads, at least a dozen boxes of cereal! Canned goods and boxed goods and almost anything else you can think off.

Best answer:

Answer by Expecting
no, as long as the child/ren is fed properly and cared for properly. also if the mother is seeking help then it shows that she is aware of her situation and is seeking help. CPS would not take the kids.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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12 thoughts on “Can child protective services take your kids away if you have depression and anorexia?”

  1. CPS only takes children away if they are in any kind of harm. So unless you are depressed and often become angry and violent, I highly doubt they will take kids away.

  2. I wouldn’t think so – unless the person suffering from depression and anorexia will be in residential treatment and the spouse cannot handle being a single parent during that time.

    Most likely, they will monitor the situation and work with the parents to ensure that nothing goes wrong.

    As I live in MN – your CPS may act differently.

  3. no as long as your kids are looked after and not in danger then they wont do a thing… this is why people are scared to get help when they need it… dont worry and continue your counselling..

  4. If a parent is seeking treatment and managing their illness and the children are not abused or neglected there should be no problem.

  5. Actually I know someone who this happened to. After her divorce she become anorexic and suffered from depression. CPS took her children and their father now has full custody.

  6. An eating disorder can disrupt everyone’s life, and could be psychologically damaging to a child who witnesses this behavior. Im doubt if a parent’s eating disorder is grounds for termination of parental rights, though…unless there is evidence the child is suffering from this.

    As far as depression goes, many adults suffer from depression. As long as it is controlled with therapy and or medication and there is no danger to a child, it is NOT grounds for termination. Millions of Americans suffer from clinical depression.

  7. I think it is very possible and in some cases it is probably quite needed. There are all types of abuse that aren’t just physical but emotional and both depression and anorexia can come in very extreme forms.

    In many of the cases where a mother kills her children depression was a contributing factor and after the fact many question why no one, including the state, stepped in to help and protect the kids from possible harm stemming from the depression. Andrea Yates would be an example of this as she was suffering from postpartum depression. Children under 5 years old are also more likely to be victims of parental murder so in this case you present that could have had some impact if the depression was severe.

    Many people suffer from some type of depression but in extreme cases I think it would be wise for the state to step in regardless of if the parent is getting help. In the process of getting help the kids could still be at risk.

    If married the father may not be in a position to care for the kids full time due to work schedule or anything else despite being married.

    It is possible for there to be no neglect/abuse but a very real risk of danger. While I don’t think every parent who suffers from depression/anorexia should have their children taken from them I can admit that there are cases where it could definitely be a needed action for the children’s safety.

  8. YES!

    Anorexia is considered a life threatening mental disorder, it also comes with physical and emotional side effects that can leave a person unable to care for their children. If CPS becomes involved it would be on a case by case basis as to what action, if any, they would take. The only way they can remove the children is if both parents are suffering or if the non ED parent is away from the home for very long periods of time and the ED parent has no alternate support in place.

    Some of the things that may cause them to apprehend the kids could include, food hoarding if it involves keeping rotten food, lack of food in the home, physical or emotional symptoms that leave the parent(s) unable to care for the child properly (this is all in the eyes of the SW), if your children are picking up your disordered eating habits it can be considered mental abuse, if any depression that can accompany EDs if it is severe. There are probably more but this is what immediately comes to mind.


    Sorry to burst bubbles but race and age play a very large role here. As Mama Kate has already stated white and under 4 = an adoption agents dream come true. Ask my son, if you can find him.

  9. I believe they have to prove that there is harm possible to the children in the form of neglect or abuse. They may come in and take the children regardless but in most areas (I hesitate to say ALL but I believe that to be true) they must convince a court of the need for continued removal and if they were not able to do so then the children would be removed.

    There is a whole process that must be undertaken before the children could be placed for adoption. The seizure order used to get the children must be changed to a temp guardianship order which must then be changed to a permanent guardianship order before they could even consider placing them for adoption. These processes involve courts, lawyers and judicial oversight all throughout so the idea that they would swoop in, grab kids and place them for adoption “just because” they wanted to is absurd.

  10. I will be the first one to say that as sad as it is, CPS is a necessary agency. Most of the time, they do their jobs well and I commend the people who work there. These people put their hearts into their jobs and sometimes even put their lives on the line for the kids who need them.

    I will say unequivocally that ABSOLUTELY, children need to be protected when their families fail them BUT:

    Unfortunately, CPS can and has, taken people’s kids for all kinds of reasons even without abuse or neglect in the sense most people think of. Children have been taken because of religious beliefs (such as the recent FLDS case, several cases involving practicing Wiccans and some others involving fundamentalist Christian religions) educational choices (home schooling or alternative education), political beliefs (communists had their children taken, racial supremacists, etc.) and other lifestyle choices (such as communal living, nudists, etc.) among other reasons. Many times these cases result in the children being returned but there are also cases that resulted in permanent separations of families, some rightfully so and some not so rightfully.

    Most people think that they have nothing to worry about because they don’t abuse or neglect their children – but you never know what constitutes abuse or neglect to someone else.The CPS system has been abused by people because of its anonymous reporting and the devastation that it can bring to a family. It has been used to “get back” at people who have done nothing wrong.

    One of the other problems is that there ARE NO LEGALLY DEFINED RULES about what constitutes abuse and neglect and if it is played in the right light, ANYTHING can appear to be negative.

    Run a Google search on CPS fraud or CPS abuse and see what you get. Mixed in with the people who are pissed about being caught being bad parents are REAL VICTIMS who have paid the ultimate price for being “different” than the “normal”.

    CPS is generally a good thing and mostly removes children when they are in DANGER, but abuses DO happen (false accusations, over zealous SWs, etc.) and so do mistakes (filing mistakes, mistaken identity, poor evidence collection, missing files and sometimes even kids themselves! OMG!!, etc.).

    It IS possible that an unscrupulous person from CPS/DSS could attempt to take these children for the purpose of adopting them out but the chances are not that likely. (Most people who work for these agencies are good people, unfortunately they are not the ones who get all the press time…)

    My only real concern would be this:

    “kids are white, healthy and ages 4 and under”

    it makes them PRIME TARGETS for helping fill adoption goals, “targets” or “quotas” because they fall into the “highly adoptable” category and whether or not people believe it, there ARE federal incentives for States to adopt out from foster care.*

    I would be careful if I were this family.

    (Or ANY family! I am very careful with mine!! You wouldn’t believe how well I have learned to keep records!)

    Just to be safe.

    ETA: Randy said, “These processes involve courts, lawyers and judicial oversight all throughout so the idea that they would swoop in, grab kids and place them for adoption “just because” they wanted to is absurd.” and yet it HAS happened. Most of the time when these scandals are exposed the corruption runs deep and wide. Georgia Tann had corrupt Judges on her “team” and there are plenty of corrupt Court officials now.

    I wouldn’t venture to say it is common, but I wouldn’t call it absurd either. Like most things it is not that black and white, more like a marbled grayish thing…

  11. It’s really, really important that you get help. Leaving these conditions untreated is what will harm your kids, not trying to heal yourself.

    According to their professional ethics, anything told to a counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, etc. is considered confidential and privileged information unless there is imminent threat of harm or danger to the patient or others.

    So unless there was actually some evidence of potential abuse/neglect, I’m not sure how CPS would even find out about the psychological conditions? If the therapist informed CPS without very solid grounds, that would be extreme malpractice. Most therapists aren’t prepared to commit professional suicide like that, so I wouldn’t expect many to be willing to ruin their careers to try to stick it to a parent who did nothing wrong.

    Assuming CPS did somehow become involved, placing a child in foster care and placing a child for adoption through the state are wildly different things. The parents of a child in foster care will be given a case plan and time to follow it before termination of parental rights is considered (unless it’s a case of criminal abuse.) If the state eventually decides to TPR in a case of noncompliance with those case goals, there is an appeals process. So even if a child was apprehended and placed in foster care, the parent(s) would have the opportunity to get their child back. Adoption would happen only after a lengthy TPR legal process.

    So basically, for a child to be immediately removed and adopted out in this situation would require a tremendous number of people to violate their professional ethics in a coordinated way– highly unlikely to the point of being all but impossible.

    If you’re suffering from depression and an eating disorder… regardless of if it’s Nervosa or not… you really need to get help. I’ve suffered from both of those things, and I can tell you it WILL wreck your life, and your family’s life, if you don’t deal with it.

    The danger to your family comes from NOT getting the help you need. What you tell your therapist is confidential, unless you’re threatening harm to yourself and others. Therapists usually err on the side of confidentiality even in borderline cases. Getting the help you need will NOT cause you to lose your kids. You can safely seek counseling without worrying about CPS involvement as long as you are not a direct danger to your children, so please don’t delay therapy because of those fears.

  12. First of all, race – age – and parents marital status don’t play a part in this question. I kind of find it offensive that you’d mention race as a factor…and I’m white!

    Second, as long as the child is being cared for, fed, clothed, emotionally/mentally stable, etc. I don’t see why they would take him/her away.

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