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Lawmakers want to curb child dumping

Most North Carolina residents wouldn't judge a pet owner for giving his or her pet over to the care of a stranger. The "rehoming" of pets seems to make sense if the owner can't seem to cope with the responsibility. However, when it comes to a child, rehoming is a serious matter that should never be done so casually. Nevertheless, North Carolina law actually allows parents to pass their children off to strangers like this.

North Carolina senators want to change this. They say that the rehoming of children has led to some kids falling under the control of human traffickers. They are now working on a new bill that would prevent both the temporary and permanent transfer of a child to a stranger. The new bill would make it illegal for parents to seek out strangers to care for their children, even in the event of a crisis.

A 2013 investigation conducted by Reuters looked into the rehoming trend throughout the United States. According to the news agency, parents have advertised on Facebook and Yahoo to pass their children off to strangers without government supervision. In some cases, foster and adoptive parents pass off their children to new guardians simply by meeting up with the people on the side of the road or at a restaurant. Sometimes they have the new guardian informally sign a power of attorney document, which is never filed with a government agency.

North Carolina residents who wish to assume the responsibility of caring for a child -- and parents who wish to put their children up for adoption -- should do so through the appropriate state agency. Indeed, our state has numerous adoption procedures available to parents who, for any reason, are no longer able to care for their children. If you or a loved one has any questions about child custody and adoption in our state, an experienced child custody attorney can provide answers.

Source: North Carolina Health News, "Senators Crackdown on Dumping Unwanted Children," Theresa Viera, accessed Feb. 08, 2017

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