Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

A Tough Choice.

Byline: Rebecca Roybal Journal Staff Writer

State takes woman's newborn son, her eighth child placed in foster care after allegations of neglect

Weeks before Rita Lopez was due to give birth to her eighth child, she bought all the things needed for a newborn: a crib, diapers, baby blankets, bottles, a car seat and more.

She didn't need them.

Hours after she gave birth on Jan. 17 to David Ray 9 pounds, 2 ounces the state stepped in and took the child a move Lopez's attorney says was "absolutely" wrong.

Lopez's other seven children had been taken into the state's custody last year on allegations of neglect and that she wasn't capable of caring for her kids because of limited cognitive ability. But Lopez thought she would be allowed to keep David Ray.

"I asked my social worker, 'Are you going to take my baby away?' 'No,' he said. I wanted to be ready for my baby," she said.

And on Thursday, Lopez, 35, who didn't get to hold her baby for long, found out it will be at least a month before she will know if her baby will come home.

Until then, she said after the custody hearing before Children's Court Special Master Susan Alkema, she is hopeful she can meet state requirements to bring David and her other children home. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.