Family Court Act Article 10, Child Protective Services Part 2, § 1027-A: Placement of siblings

If the authorities suspect that children are being abused or neglected, they have the authority to remove the children from the home. When this happens the children experience a range of emotions including fear, stress, and loss. Where the family consists of more than one minor, the impact on the children is even greater when they are separated from each other. Because the law has determined that it is generally in the best interests of siblings to remain together, the New York Family Court Act requires that authorities seek to place siblings together. Under New York Family Court Act, Article 10, Child Protective Services, Part 2, § 1027-A, placement of siblings, in cases where a child has been removed from the custody of a parent or the person who is legally charged with the care of that child, the social services official who removed the child must place the child with his or her minor siblings or half-siblings, unless doing so is not in the best interests of the children. Such a placement would be deemed to not be in the best interests of a child if in doing so the child's health, safety, or welfare would be in jeopardy.

Example

Anna is a single parent with 3 minor children: Jordan, Hailee, and Kate. Each of them has a different father. She has full custody of all of her children. Each of the children's fathers is married and has children with their wives. Jordan was accused of physically abusing each of her three children. As a result social services removed the children from her custody pursuant to a court order. While placement was available that would allow all 3 children to be placed together, each of the fathers wanted custody of his child. As a result the siblings were place with their fathers and half-siblings.

In the same example, if the fathers were not available social services would have been required to place the 3 children together.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Temporary removal with consent: New York Family Court Act, Article 10, Child Protective Services, Part 2, § 1021
  2. Preliminary orders of court before petition filed: New York Family Court Act, Article 10, Child Protective Services, Part 2, 1022
  3. Emergency removal without court order: New York Family Court Act, Article 10, Child Protective Services, Part 2, § 1024
  4. Hearing and preliminary orders after filing petition: New York Family Court Act, Article 10, Child Protective Services, Part 2, § 1027
Remedy

If your children have been removed from your custody because the authorities suspect that they have been abused or neglected, the law requires that they be placed together unless it is in their best interest not to be placed together. In addition, the law allows you to immediately file a petition to have your children returned to you. A hearing must be scheduled no later than the next court day after you file the petition. At the hearing if the court finds that there is no sufficient evidence of abuse or neglect then your children will be returned to you. If evidence of abuse is presented, then the court will explain to you the steps that you must take in order to regain custody of your children.

Family Court Act Article 10, Child Protective Services, Part 2, § 1027-A: Placement of siblings

When a social services official removes a child pursuant to this part, such official shall place such child with his or her minor siblings or half-siblings who have been or are being remanded to or placed in the care and custody of such official unless, in the judgment of such official, such placement is contrary to the best interests of the children. Placement with siblings or half-siblings shall be presumptively in the child's best interests unless such placement would be contrary to the child's health, safety, or welfare. If such placement is not immediately available at the time of the removal of the child, such official shall provide or arrange for the provision of such placement within thirty days.

New York Placement of Siblings Lawyer

If your child or your children have been removed from your custody based on a suspicion of abuse, the law requires that social services keep siblings or half-siblings together. Furthermore, under the Family Court Act there is a procedure that must be followed in order for you to regain custody of your children. In order to ensure that your rights are protected during this process it is important that you are represented by someone who has experience. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully representing clients in New York Family Court who are involved in disputes related to child custody. Contact us at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those involved in Family Court matters in the following locations:

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