It is almost unfathomable when it occurs. You brought your sick child to the doctor or hospital seeking treatment. You never dreamed that this decision would alter the course of your child’s life and put the custody of your child at risk.

Perhaps there was some disagreement with the doctors regarding the child’s diagnosis and proposed treatment plan at some point. Maybe they recommended a risky surgery or prescribed a drug with dangerous, life-threatening side effects. When you suggested a less invasive procedure or another course of treatment, they shut you right down. As you attempted to leave the doctor’s office or medical facility, you were stopped by police and a Children and Youth Services (CYS) worker.

You just lost custody of your child in a medical kidnapping

Most parents have never heard the term “medical kidnapping.” But it is an all-too-real phenomenon that happens all over the country far too frequently when parents and medical professionals disagree about children’s diagnoses and treatment.

What you must do to protect your child

It cannot be stressed enough that this is a dangerous minefield no parent should walk alone. Unless you know the CYS system intimately, you will be at a decided disadvantage. Without an experienced legal advocate on your side, you could be barred from even exercising unsupervised visitation with your child.

And of course, during the time that your child is in CYS custody, he or she will be subjected to the very medical treatment to which you initially objected. So, do not waste time arguing with the police or the CYS staff. Immediately call your family law attorney to assist you with protecting both your child and your rights to parent them.