"The best interests of a child" is a phrase that has been defined by the federal government as "safety first." Too many children in America are not safe. Child abuse is real. Real child abuse is under-reported. Child abuse is a deadly evil.
Child abuse is also sometimes mis-reported. In fact, one-third to half of all reports may end up as unfounded.
Being accused of child abuse when you are innocent is a nightmare that many cannot comprehend who have not lived it. False abuse allegation is a life-shattering catastrophe. And it happens to foster and adoptive parents all the time.
Why? Because many of the kids they care for have emotional, mental and behavioral problems. Some of them will use false abuse accusations as a weapon or a tool to get their way. A few are just trying to get attention. Since some of them have been abused in the past by former caregivers, the details of their accusations can sound very convincing.
What Parents Can Do: A Checklist
There are several things adoptive and foster parents can do to protect themselves from false abuse allegations while also protecting their children:
Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of Adoption.com.