Child Abandonment

Child abandonment takes place when a parent, guardian, or other person in charge of a child either deserts the child without any regard for the child's physical health, safety or welfare with the intent of wholly abandoning the child, or in some cases, fails to provide minimal care for a child living under their roof.

While child abandonment usually involves physical abandonment, such as leaving a child at a stranger's doorstep when no one is home, it may include extreme cases of emotional abandonment such as when a parent offers little or no physical contact or emotional support over long periods of time.

A person charged with child abandonment may face felony or misdemeanor penalties, fines, and other serious consequences.

Child abandonment is used to describe a variety of acts. Examples of child abandonment include:

Being unwilling to provide care, support, or supervision for the child;
Making only minimal efforts to support and communicate with a child;
Leaving a child with another person without provision for the child's support and without meaningful communication with the child for a period of three months;
Failing for a period of at least six months to maintain regular visitation with a child;
Failing to participate in a suitable plan or program designed to reunite a parent or guardian with a child;
Leaving an infant on a doorstep, in a trash dumpster, or any other place other than a safe haven location;
Being absent from the home for a period of time creating a substantial risk of serious harm to a child left in the home; or
Failing to respond to a notice of child protective proceedings.



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