FAQs on child abandonment

 

What is child abandonment?

Child abandonment occurs when a parent of a child discontinues their parenting role, with no intention to resume it. This usually involves ‘dumping’ the child with friends or family. Child abandonment is unlawful under the 1861 Child Abandonment Law.

What happens if a child is abandoned?

When a child is abandoned, the authorities will usually first try to find the child’s parents and see if they can work with them to help the parents to continue parenting their child. However, if this is not possible they will usually try to find relatives or close friends who may be willing to take on the role of parenting the child. If there is no one who can help, the authorities may try to place the child with a foster family, either temporarily or with a view to establishing a permanent arrangement. Long term carers or foster parents may apply to legally adopt the child in the future.

What kind of orders can a court make?

A court can make a range of orders to protect the welfare of a child in need, such as:

  • Care orders
  • Supervision orders
  • Secure accommodation orders
  • Emergency protection orders

Can a parent be held responsible for child abandonment?

Under the 1861 Child Abandonment Law, it is a criminal offence for a parent to abandon a child under 2 years of age. However, in practice, legal action is not usually taken against the parent, as they may have underlying mental issues or problems with addiction.

Does a parent have to continue paying child support if they abandon their child?

The parents of a child have parental responsibility to support their child financially. This responsibility continues regardless of whether or not the parent remains in contact with the child. Even if the child refuses to see their parent, or the other parent does not allow for contact to take place, the responsibility to pay child support continues.

For more information and for a chance to speak to a solicitor about your situation call us at 08001 221 2299 and let our case handlers find the right solicitor for your needs. Our service is free.

Call
08001 221 2299
or fill in the form
Our trained advisor contacts you
Your chosen specialist solicitor calls you
Quick enquiry form
What our clients say about us
"I'm very happy with the service you have provided and with Caven. I have already recommended your website to my friends."

Carolina, Employment law, London, Aug 12
"Thank you so much for your recommendation. The solicitor suggested really interesting alternatives, and gave me moral support. I'm so glad I came across your website."

LR, Kingston, Nov 10
"We engaged the solicitor's services and everything has been fantastic. It was such a relief...I wish I had called you earlier and saved myself hours of calls!"

Jaye, Civil litigation, N. Yorks, Feb 13
"Having accepted referrals for several years through Caven, I have been most impressed by the quality of their leads and their professional approach."

AE, Manchester Solicitors, July 09
"I was offered unbiased and honest opinions from the firm you put me in touch with. I felt unpressured and this took a weight off my mind."

KS, Employment law, Oxford, July 12
"Caven's solicitors were fantastic and won me the compensation I was hoping for following my accident."

Tom F, PI, Edinburgh, March 09
"Sincere thanks for making things a lot easier for me and my family. When I contacted you initially I really didn't know where to start and was terrified by what costs might be involved."

TC, London, March 11
"Your service was very quick, easy to use and I got legal advice in a language I could understand. Superb service!"

RC, Bristol, July 11
"Initially I was sceptical about asking a question online (never having done that before) but would do it again and would recommend others do the same."

Pete Chambers, Feb 12
"Thanks for following up. We are going with and I'm very please with the way you have helped us. I will certainly recommend you to our clients."

John, Commercial property law, The City, May 13