The government may not seize a child from his or her parents absent a court order, parental consent, or imminent danger of physical or sexual abuse. Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable seizures apply to the seizure of children from their homes.

Child Protective Services (CPS) may obtain an emergency order placing a child in state custody without notifying parents and without a hearing when probable cause exists that there is an immediate danger to the physical health or safety of a child or a child has been a victim of neglect or sexual abuse.