For new moms, some of which never intended to become single mothers, COVID-19 has complicated the child custody process–especially when the foster care system becomes involved. As reported by AZ Central, the unspoken situation that occurred repeatedly throughout the pandemic was that of families whose children were in foster care, left to bond and communicate over Zoom.
This was a shift from the standard foster care interaction some parents were used to in pre-pandemic times. Typically, when state child welfare places kids in foster care due to parental neglect (not physical or sexual abuse), the parents are generally entitled to regular, supervised visits that allow physical contact.
However, when the pandemic began last year, visits between parents and children went virtual across the United States. This included new parents bonding with their children and infants over a video call.
Unfortunately, when the children are so young, they may not realize the person behind the screen is their mom or dad. Even worse–oftentimes, the judge will look at attempts at bonding when parents are able to regain custody of their children. And, if parents can’t persuade the judge that they have connected with their kids over a video call, it can really hurt their case of reuniting their family.
Now, with many individuals across the country becoming vaccinated, visits are back to a mix of in-person and online interactions–but for some families, the damage is already done.
Impact of Physical Interactions on Newborns
Studies suggest that the senses are a large part of how a baby will bond with its parents. In fact, having at least 50 minutes of skin-to-skin time immediately after birth helps the baby recognize the parent by smell alone. In addition, in the days after birth, the baby’s sense of touch and skin-to-skin contact with the parent has shown to calm and stabilize heart rates.
However, when parents are left to bond with their infants behind a screen, those fundamental moments of connection quickly fade.
This unfortunate reality is not just exclusive to Tennessee parents undergoing child custody battles, but to parents across the nation who have been intertwined with their state’s foster care systems.
If you are still having issues connecting with your children because of COVID-19, know that you may have options.
How Our Nashville Child Custody Lawyers Can Help
COVID-19 has complicated so many factors of daily life, and when it infringes upon your ability to regain custody of your children or causes complications in your pre-established child custody agreement with your ex, it can be heartbreaking and infuriating.
Our Nashville child custody lawyers understand how difficult this situation can be. We will do whatever is possible to protect your relationship with your children. If you need help with your child custody arrangement in Nashville, Springfield, or in Middle Tennessee, contact the child custody attorneys at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC today for more information.