Perth - Under a new radical government policy, expectant mothers have to show that they are fit to care for their baby.
If expectant mother fails to satisfy child-protection officers, the officers will immediately arrange for a removal procedure. The procedure will mean that as soon as the baby is born, the baby will be put under the state care.
Expectant mothers who are 20 weeks or more pregnant will have to go through drug tests to ensure that they don't abuse drugs and to prove having a permanent accommodation.
Other considerations that the Department of Child Protection scrutinize on the expectant mothers will be the capability to feed the child properly and whether they are in dangerous domestic relationship.
Abortion Grief Australia is concerned the scheme could lead to a rise in early abortions and expectant mothers committing suicide.
But Department for Child Protection director-general Terry Murphy said early intervention gave vulnerable mothers a better chance of keeping their babies because they had earlier access to help.
The assessments conducted by the department are in collaboration with officials from the Drug and Alcohol Office and Department of Housing.
This will work best for women who have had a number of children and they've lost them all, Mr Murphy said.
But, with this approach, people are more willing to actually meet with us and try to find a solution whereby they can be supported to keep their child.
Mr Murphy conceded that for some expectant mothers the only choice for DCP officers would be to start preparations to take the baby away once it was born.
There are a whole lot of graduated outcomes, all of which are an improvement on somebody being scared, giving birth, losing the child and then running away, he said.
There are still times when we have to take a child away.
But what we can at least be confident of is that the mum has understood fully why and that it's not just the DCP being nasty, but it generally means her family and all the other agencies that might be involved are also saying that's what should happen.