Imagine taking your 35-day-old infant, who had been ill since birth and under medical care, into the hospital due to vomiting and being told that the CT scans showed “an acute skull fracture” (p. 33).

In reality, baby Justin did not have a skull fracture, but no one knew that yet. His parents had no idea what could have caused a skull fracture. Because they had no explanation, DCFS was called and Justin’s parents were suspected of child abuse.

Now, in addition to worrying about their infant, Justin’s parents, Melody and Don, had to submit to a “safety plan” that “required round-the-clock supervision of Melody’s and Don’s parenting of their children in their home” (p. 34). Imagine the trauma suffered by Justin’s two older brothers, who were just 4 and 6 (p. 32)!

Thankfully, further review revealed that the scan was mistaken and the infant did not have a skull fracture (p. 34). However it was 97 days from the beginning of it all before “DCFS issued a letter to Melody and Don acknowledging that the abuse allegation was ‘unfounded’” (p. 34).

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Justin’s story illustrates the abuse that is often happening to families in the very name of protection. Please take action by sharing this story with your friends, encouraging them to sign up for our updates on important parental rights issues, and partnering with us through a one-time or monthly donation. Together, we can make a difference.


Justin’s story is a summary of the story shared on pages 31-38 of Medical Ethics Concerns in Physical Child Abuse Investigations: A Critical Perspective. Quotes are from that source.