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Bone disease leads to false allegations of child abuse

North Carolina parents may be interested to learn about a Texas father who was mistakenly accused of second-degree felony injury to his child. The man's infant daughter suffers from a connective tissue disorder called Ehler's Danlos, or EDS, which caused her to have exceedingly fragile bones that broke or fractured during otherwise routine movements. However, doctors suspected the father of abusing his daughter and alerted authorities, causing his already limited custody to be practically eliminated. Even the child's mother began to believe the allegations against the father could have some veracity.

Ultimately, the father made contact with another Texas family who stated that they had been having nearly identical issues with their own child and authorities. The family saw a geneticist in Dallas who diagnosed their baby with EDS. According to the geneticist, while EDS is much more common than previously believed, many medical professionals have never heard of it. In addition, EDS can exist in milder forms than those experienced by the families in question so that, in some cases, it may not be detected. Armed with the knowledge about EDS, both families were able to clear their names and resume their lives with their children.

Child custody following a divorce can be a difficult issue, and finding a solution that is in the best interests of the child is not always easy. An event such as this, where a parent is falsely accused of child abuse, can only further complicate the problem and leave parents entirely bereft of a child's companionship.

In the event of abuse allegations, the accused parent may need to have his or her circumstances thoroughly investigated in order to prove innocence. An attorney may be able to help a family during such a time.

Source: WFAA, "Rare bone disease leads to bogus child abuse allegations", Janet St. James, November 15, 2013

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