What to Do if You Suspect Child Abuse or Neglect
Our adoption abuse attorneys explain your options
What should you do if you suspect an adopted child is being abused? You might be reluctant to take legal action. Or perhaps you might think it's not your problem or that you don't want to interfere in another family's personal business.
The reality is you're doing a good thing. By speaking out, you're putting a stop to severe abuse or neglect of an adopted child. And by doing so, you're not just helping them. You're putting a stop to similar abusive behavior throughout society.
But you don't have to go through this ordeal on your own. An experienced adoption abuse lawyer can help. The adoption abuse and negligence attorneys at The Deratany Firm understand what you're going through and we can help you every step of the way.
What to do if you suspect adoption abuse
If you suspect an adopted child is being abused, we recommend taking the following steps to protect the health and safety of the child:
- Call the police - Law enforcement officials can contact the appropriate social services agency or handle the investigation themselves.
- Contact the adoption agency - If you know the name of the agency that handled the adoption, let them know that you think something might be wrong.
- Do not get personally involved - In other words, do not directly approach the adoptive parents and tell them that you think they are mistreating the child. You could put yourself in danger by doing so.
- Call an anonymous hotline - There are many hotlines you can call if you suspect a child is being abused. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has a 24-hour child abuse hotline. Simply call 800-252-2873. You do not have to give your name. But you could be making a huge difference in a child's life.
- Contact a social services agency - Each state has a social services agency created to help protect the health and welfare of children. Contact them and let them know something's wrong.
- Call our law firm - At any point, please contact us right away. We can help you every step of the way.
Children often cannot speak up for themselves, especially when they're the victims of abuse. You can be their voice for justice. You can help put a stop to the cycle of abuse adopted children sometimes endure. And you don't have to go through this process alone.
The adoption abuse and negligence attorneys at The Deratany Firm can help. And we take our job very seriously. We have seen firsthand the long-term damage that child abuse can cause. And not just to the abused children. Child abuse can affect generations of families.
If any of us suspect a child is being neglected or abused, we believe there is a moral and ethical duty to report it. Simply making a confidential phone call can set the wheels in motion for an investigation that removes the child from an abusive or neglectful home.
You might even be legally required to report suspected abuse or neglect. If you are a professional in the field of health care, education, social work or law enforcement, the state of Illinois requires you to report any suspected neglect or abuse of a child. This includes:
- Police officers
- Day care workers
- Social service workers
But what if you're not legally required to report child abuse? And what if you're not absolutely certain that an adopted child is being abused? Many people have the same concerns. That's why some people don't report suspected abuse or neglect. But it's better to be safe than sorry. Your actions could make a difference and protect a child from further harm.
You're doing the right thing. And we can help. Discover how a child abuse or neglect attorney can help you put a stop to abuse involving an adopted child. Contact us online or simply call 800-529-7285. Case consultations are free.