Colorado Couple’s Adoption Plans Wrecked by Child Neglect Charges for Briefly Letting a Kid Nap in the Car
Let your child nap in the car on a cool day while you run into the hardware store and you might have to say goodbye to your dreams of adoption.
That’s what happened to a Colorado couple we’ll call Ted and Jen. (Their real names have been redacted to protect their identity.) Last spring, Ted’s three-year-old fell asleep on his way to Ace Hardware. He parked where he could still see her as he entered the store, and was gone for just 20 minutes. It was 40 degrees outside, according to Jen.
A passerby called the cops, because many people believe that any time kids are alone in a car they are in immediate danger of kidnapping or overheating. The tragic fact is that every year some children do die in cars. But the vast majority are young children who got into cars without their parents realizing it and couldn’t get out, or kids whose parents drove to work and completely forgot about the sleeping child in the back seat. In fact, 4.6 hours is the average time that kids who died in cars were unattended. Children deliberately left in the car for a brief period of time on a temperate day are in very little danger.
When Ted came out of the store, the cop called to the scene said he was going to take the child into custody unless he could reach Ted’s wife to see if she trusted Ted with the girl. Jen told the cop that Ted is a great dad, so Ted was allowed to leave with the child, according to Jen.
But Jen’s heart was breaking already because she knew that this would probably impact the adoption process they were going through. Jen had had a kidney transplant in her 20s. Her daughter was born premature and spent two months in neonatal intensive care. Another pregnancy was not something they could risk. Dearly wanting another child, they had found an adoption agency, passed the home visit
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