Maryland Husband and Wife have two Children, aged 10 and 6.
Children walk to a park approximately 1 mile from their home. Children walk home from park. Or begin to.
Neighbor observes Children coming and going alone and reports the unsupervised activity to Maryland’s Child Protective Services. Even though Children are perfectly fine.
Next thing Husband and Wife know, Child Protective Services has deemed them to be “responsible for unsubstantiated child neglect”. And they are threatened with losing their Children to foster care.
It turns out that local laws of the City of Silver Spring define child neglect as leaving any child younger that eighteen without supervision of an adult or a child who is at least 13 years old. Yes, really.
The first time, Husband and Wife receive warnings and threats. The next time, police actually pick Children up and deliver them to a Child Protective Services facility.
All told, the Children are detained for 5 or 6 hours. And traumatized by it all.
Husband and Wife very purposefully favor allowing Children freedom as a path toward developing independence and self-sufficiency.
These incidents raise multiple sociopolitical issues regarding parental rights and governmental boundaries.
Read more in
- this ABC news article: ‘Free Range’ Parents Found Responsible for Child Neglect After Allowing Kids to Walk Home Alone
- this Yahoo News article by way of Good Morning America: Maryland ‘Free Range’ Kids Taken Into Custody Again and
- this Yahoo Finance article: There’s a parenting trend that’s taken over the US, and it’s changing children everywhere .