Child abandonment laws


Child abandonment laws are the legal rules which relate to a parent’s act of leaving his or her child without making appropriate arrangements for the child’s well being, and without the intention of returning.

Child abandonment laws give rise to criminal liability, and a parent who is found guilty of the offence is likely to receive a prison term. However, because of the considerable emotional distress such a crime is usually associated with, the parent is often found not to be of sound mind at the time of abandonment, and as a result a prison sentence is often not given.

Child abandonment laws also cover the procedures local authorities follow once an abandoned child is discovered. The police are usually called and they in turn call social services who are charged with finding a suitable home for the child. In many cases the child’s extended family is notified and the child is placed with them on a temporary basis. Often these end up being permanent solutions.

If you are aware of an abandoned child or you think someone you know is likely to abandon their child, it is important to notify the authorities as soon as possible. A parent that abandons his or her child is likely to be under a lot of stress, or experiencing deep emotional issues. If you are worried about the legal implications of your actions, or the actions of the parent, it is best to speak with a family solicitor about the matter.

If you would like to obtain legal advice on child abandonment laws, Caven can put you in touch with a local family / child solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local family / child solicitors please call us on 08001 221 2299 or complete the web-form above.

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