County agencies often takes child(ren) away from parents and file a dependency petition to have the child(ren) declared dependent on the state. The county agency also files an indicated report of abuse with the ChildLine registry. The county agency also refers the case to the police and assault and child endangerment charges are filed, or if the child has died, murder or manslaughter charges. While there are certainly many cases of child abuse, I have found that in some cases, the county agency has taken children away from innocent parents and that the child abuse doctors and emergency room doctors are very quick to “suspect” child abuse and very slow to do what is necessary to perform a differential diagnosis and find the actual cause of the injuries, if they make any effort whatsoever. It is not uncommon for a parent to take their child to the hospital for vomiting or seizures and the next thing they know, their baby has been taken from them and a parent is arrested. Often times the injuries found are a subdural hematoma (also called a subdural hemorrhage) and some sort of fractures. The medical people almost always assume that these injuries are caused by child abuse even when there are no external signs of trauma like bruises or skin abrasions. They ask the parents if there was an accident that caused the injuries and when the parents have no accidental “explanation” the parents are presumed guilty of abuse. This is essentially how many shaken baby syndrome diagnoses are made. Sometimes it is referred to as shaken impact syndrome or some other variation like “non-accidental trauma” or the latest term “abusive head trauma” but it is almost always essentially the same. From that moment on, the parents cannot stop the momentum of the legal system which is taking away their child(ren) and arresting them. In my experience there are some cases where the doctors have made an incorrect diagnosis of abuse. This means two things; the first is that you do not know what is wrong with your child and the other is that innocent parents are losing custody of their children and are being accused of abuse or worse.

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  • Mark Freeman is an attorney that got involved in defending those accused of shaking a child when a close friend was charged with child abuse for allegedly shaking his son.
  • After spending hundreds of hours investigating, reading medical journal articles and speaking with doctors from around the country about shaken baby syndrome, Mark confirmed with science what he knew in his heart, that his friend was innocent and that the doctors were wrong.
  • Since that first case, Mark has vigorously defended innocent parents of false charges of child abuse, regained custody of children for innocent parents and has defended innocent parents of criminal charges. Mark is now pursuing civil rights lawsuits in cases where false accusations of child abuse resulted in the violation of parents' civil rights.
  • Mark is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and consults with local attorneys in other states. Email Mark at mark@markdfreemanlaw.com or call Mark at: 1-800-580-0084