Is Cinderella going to have her day in court?

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Other concerns with this law surround the issue of culpability. If a child is passed from care home to care home it is often the case that he or she can develop reactive attachment disorders which affect his or her ability to bond with the primary caregiver. This may be continually present or it may manifest later in that child’s development. Who is to be held accountable for such obvious emotional distress…the adoptive family, the care system or perhaps the child’s biological parents? Indeed, there are seemingly endless issues connected with this act that will need be ironed out. Many parents caring for an Autistic child, for example, have expressed concern that lack of specialised education provision ( which is expensive), ignorance and ambiguity regarding diagnosis may leave budget strapped councils more inclined to pursue emotional neglect as a precipitating cause for behaviour rather than accept a costly medical label that will have to be paid for. Finally, but by no means exhaustively, what exactly constitutes withholding affection or not showing enough love? I’m unsure, but someone will have to be. These after all are some of the proposed offences.

The law is a different animal than the court of public opinion. Lines have to be drawn and it has to be done carefully. If they are not clear the law becomes toothless and if they are inflexibly black or white it runs the risk of becoming draconian and unjust.


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