legal issues/co-sleeping/cps - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 09-24-2004, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
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after reading a comment in "talk among ourselves" over CPS and recommending a seperate sleeping area, I was wondering if anyone has had to deal with such issues. I live in a 1br apartment with DH and dd. The bedroom has 1 king size bed. Would/could anyone do something to us legally because dd doesn't have her own room. When I worked at the health department - homeless clinic (4yrs ago, part of my job was helping people find housing) I over heard that brothers and sisters couldn't share a room and no more than 2 kids in a bedroom. I'm thinking this was the "rules" for public housing and not the guildlines for the world. Any thought?

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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#2 of 9 Old 09-24-2004, 10:26 PM
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I think that with ANY rental there is rules as far as # of family members and the sex of everyone. I was looking for just a one bedroom apartment for me and my kids and I was told that no one will rent on to me, because the landlord could actually get in trouble. AND since I have a boy and a girl, by the time they were 5 (??? I think that was the *magic* age) , I would then HAVE to have a 3 bedroom apt. Well, we all still sleep in the same room.

I'm moving to a 3 bedroom in a month, I have no intention of giving everyone seperate rooms. One will be a toy room, one a sewing room and one a BEDroom. I honestly have no idea if CPS can come in and wreck a home over this. I would fight it tooth and nail as I KNOW that I'm a good mom, better than half the parenting I've seen in this apartment complex (and I KNOW these people, this is not a judgmental statement). I highly doubt my kids would be taken from me over this...

I wonder if anyone has heard of any incidents where kids were taken away for cosleeping?

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#3 of 9 Old 09-25-2004, 01:06 AM
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several years ago, i worked as a cps investigator. tough job. and, yes, the recommendation of our particular agency was that children of different sexes have separate rooms. however, i don't think that this was official policy.

in my opinion, i don't really see this as creating a problem with cps unless there is a person in the home who has perpetuated or is suspect of perpetuating sexual abuse. then, of course, it would be an issue. also, all cps workers are given training on cultural sensitivity and certainly this is acceptable practice in other cultures.
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#4 of 9 Old 09-25-2004, 01:20 AM
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No one could "do something" based on a law that requires people to sleep separately. You're probably right on in thinking that those were public housing guidelines - they help ensure that people get what in our society is considered adequate space for their numbers.

Just imagine a law enforcing such separation..... half of New York City would empty out as families living in one-bedrooms and lofts would be forced to find what some group of bureaucrats had decreed was appropriate living quarters. Ahhh... The strange luxuries of affluence! People assume that only poor people sleep together, and so if you're not dirt poor, and have at least two rooms, of course those who don't have sex together will sleep separately from everyone else! (i.e. put the baby in the living room, with mom and dad in the bedroom.)

No, they might raise their eyebrows and think you strange, but no one could call it anything other than different under the law.
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#5 of 9 Old 09-25-2004, 01:25 AM
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When we had our homestudy for our adoption we had a very pro-family bed social worker, but she had to write the homestudy in accordance with DCFS guidelines in order for us to get a foster licence, a requirement to adopt here. We had to demonstrate that we had separate mattresses for each child over 6 or 7, I think. And had to have a separate bedroom for our adoptive child, who would be the opposite sex of all our other children. Fortunately, we had the required amount of mattresses, even if we don't actually sleep in the supposed "ideal" arrangement. Our agency actually promoted cosleeping in their adoption classes as a great way to foster bonding. Hopefully these types of recommendations won't keep them from getting the positive message out to future adoptive parents.
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#6 of 9 Old 09-25-2004, 05:18 AM
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My ex threatened to make an issue out of this some time ago. I told him to give it his best shot! I must have looked more confident than I felt lol. Anyway, the way it works (at least as I understand it in my state) is that if you are on some sort of of housing assistance program (Like section 8 or HUD) then yes there are some requirements about all of this. I think it's 2 per bedroom, and kids of different sexes need seperate rooms after age 5 or 6. If you are not on a housing program but you rent there are rules about how many per unit and/or room but I don't think the issue of gender comes into play at all. If you own your own home I would guess (not sure) that there are no rules and it's your call.

This is one of those laws that seems like it originated out of a good place but sorta seems wacky to me. But then I have issues with authority ....

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#7 of 9 Old 09-25-2004, 10:07 AM
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I was told that you just needed to have a separate sleeping area for your children. Not a separate room, but a mattress (even an air mattress) with a sleeping bag or sheets and blankets on it would suffice. Basically, someplace for your child to sleep so that they were not "forced" to sleep in a family bed if they didn't want to.

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#8 of 9 Old 09-25-2004, 10:18 AM
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I always recommend that if you are worried, call CPS and ask. Don't give them any information, just get a feel for what they say. I know that in MN, the law says that no one can lose their kids just because they are poor and I would just defend that the apartment was the best we could afford. Who wouldn't want the kids to have a room (for storage and play) if you could afford it. I also haven't heard of this being an issue unless there are allegations of sexual abuse.

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#9 of 9 Old 09-25-2004, 11:42 AM
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Huh. I just read about this elsewhere the other day!

I'm on HUD, but the only guidelines were 1 bedroom for each 2 people. Nothing about genders or ages....

Maybe it depends on where you live?

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