False allegations of child abuse

On behalf of The Walters Law Group, Ltd. posted in Child Custody on Thursday, November 21, 2013.

Two recent incidents of false allegations of child abuse have received a fair amount of publicity in Illinois and around the country. Parents in Texas have lost child custody after doctors or other individuals reported signs of abuse, only to later discover that the children were affected by a rare medical condition that was responsible for these injuries.

After being indicted by a grand jury for second degree felony injury to a child, a father looked for an explanation for why his child had sustained multiple fractures. He was only given visitation rights for two hours a week with a court-appointed supervisor. Some doctors reported that the injuries were “corner fractures,” indicative of child abuse. However, a specialist found that the bones had demineralized, implicating a nutritional or metabolic disorder.

Another family in the same state had underwent a similar ordeal when their twin daughters were removed from their custody when they sustained unexplained fractures. The children’s grandparents received temporary guardianship for five months during the experience. The family saw a geneticist who diagnosed the twins with a connective tissue disorder. This disorder results in the body’s bones and joints being fragile and more susceptible to fractures. A foundation that was established for supporting individuals with this disease posted a survey on its social media account, asking if other parents had been accused of child abuse that was caused by the tissue disorder. Parents from across the country responded affirmatively that they had been accused of abuse, charged with abuse and questioned about abuse. The twins’ parents reached out to the first family, and the baby girl was diagnosed with the same condition.

Both cases had happy endings. The parents have been reunited with their children and are now hoping to spread more awareness among physicians and the general public of this rare inherited disease.

Source: WFAA, “Rare bone disease leads to bogus child abuse allegations“, Janet St. James, November 15, 2013