What happens at a child protection hearing or trial?

5. Understand what happens next

Depending on what the court decides, you might still be involved with the (CAS) in court.

Access

If the court orders , you usually get some to your child.

But, if the court orders , all access orders made earlier no longer apply.

Ask the court for a new access order to your child. How the access order is worded is important. You should ask the court to be the “access holder“. This will give you the right to ask for an open adoption and get an openness order if CAS places your child for adoption in the future.

The court makes a new access order only if it thinks that an access order is in the . The court considers these things before deciding:

  • the child's views, if they can say how they feel.
  • that it's important to keep your child's identity and connection to their community, if they are First Nations, Inuk, or Métis
  • if the relationship between the person asking for access and the child is beneficial and meaningful for the child

The court might also consider whether it would be more difficult for the child to be adopted, if a parent has access.

The court might decide on access at the same time that it makes its decision after the child protection hearing. Or it might ask for another court date to hear more evidence before it decides to order access.

An access order to a child in extended society care can be very important. CAS must tell anyone who has access if they plan to place a child for adoption. Access ends when the child is placed for adoption.

However, the person with access has the right to apply for an openness order within 30 days of getting a Notice of Intention to Place a Child for Adoption.

If you don't have access, CAS doesn't have to tell you if they're placing your child for adoption.

Review

These court orders apply for only a certain amount of time:

  • a
  • a society care order
  • a society care order followed by supervision order

When the time period ends, you may have a status review to decide what happens next. The court can also make a new access order at a status review hearing.

Appeal 

If you disagree with the judge's order in the child protection hearing, you can the judge's decision. If you appeal, it means you ask another judge to look at the decision.  You can appeal only if the judge made mistakes during the case. For example, the judge didn't consider important evidence that one of your witnesses gave at trial. Or the judge applied the law incorrectly.

You only have 30 days to a Notice of Appeal when you want to appeal a final order.  Don't waste any time if you want to appeal. If you miss this deadline, you can ask the court for more time, but you need good reasons that explain why you missed the deadline.

You should talk to a lawyer who has worked on child protection cases about your options. 

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