Possibly. According to Social Services Law 384-b (5), a child is considered "abandoned" by his parents if "such parent evinces an intent to forego his or her parental rights and obligations as manifested by his or her failure to visit the child and communicate with the child" within the six-month period preceding the filing of the petition. An intent may be inferred from a parent's actions.
In New York, there are two types of proceedings that can be taken when a child is believed to be in danger: emergency custody and temporary placement. In an emergency situation, Social Services can take immediate action to remove a child from harm's way by requesting a Temporary Order of Protection (TOP). The TOP is issued by a judge upon receiving a Social Services report identifying the child as needing protection. Social Services can then place the child with a relative or another approved caregiver while they search for a more permanent solution.
If Social Services believes that the child's life is not in imminent danger but still needs help, they will seek a Temporary Placement. With this type of order, the child cannot be placed with a relative nor an approved caregiver, but instead must be placed in a foster home. Social Services can request a Temporary Placement at any time after taking emergency custody of the child. The length of time that the child can remain in these temporary placements is based on the same factors used to determine whether to grant permanent custody.
State laws range in terms of what constitutes abandonment of a kid by a parent. In general, there must be a period of time when the parent has no contact with the kid and does not pay child support. The duration of time is one year in most states, however this varies. For example, in Alabama a parent can't be found unless he or she has been absent for three years.
Abandonment is usually treated as a ground for termination of parental rights. This means that the parent will lose any right they have to ever see their child again. A parent may be able to fight for visitation after the state removes the child from the home, but if the parent cannot prove that they are fit to care for their child (e.g., if they are unable to provide food or shelter for the child), then they cannot get the child back.
Parents should not be forced to stay away from their kids because they can't afford to pay child support. If you cannot afford to pay, go to an agency that provides help for needy families and ask them how you can avoid being labeled as "abandoned" so you can visit your children. Some agencies may be willing to work with you if you tell them how to do so.
The best way to keep your children out of foster care is to make sure the people responsible for raising them are given every opportunity to do so.
(1) The term "abandoned" refers to a kid whose parents have failed to visit or maintain contact with the child for more than ninety days, regardless of whether the parents restore contact with the child after that ninety-day period. Permanent, interim, initial, and modification orders are all included in the term "child custody determination." "Abandoned" does not include a child who is placed in protective custody by a court or whose home state does not permit visitation by other than a legal guardian.
(2) To determine if a child is abandoned, it must be shown that one parent has done everything within his or her power to maintain a relationship with the child and has made no efforts to do so. There is a presumption that a parent who has had no contact with his or her child for more than ninety days has abandoned the child. This presumption can only be overcome by clear and convincing evidence to the contrary.
(3) If a parent is found to have abandoned his or her child, that parent will lose any right he/she might have to visitation unless the child's best interest requires otherwise. A finding of abandonment is necessary before a court can terminate parental rights; therefore, if you want to prevent your former partner/parent from getting your children, you cannot abandon them.