In Oregon, is it considered abuse/neglect to not take children in your care to the dentist, if you can afford it?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Salem, OR

my mom has had custody of my children for the last 7 years (I lost them on 11/19/05) and they have not seen a dentist since their last regular visit just before my children left my custody

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Jay Bodzin

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . Yes, it's certainly possible. Child abuse under Oregon law is defined by ORS 419B.005. It includes, among other things, "Negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child, including but not limited to the failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter or medical care that is likely to endanger the health or welfare of the child." The ability to afford care is actually irrelevant. But Oregon has a pretty good public health system for children, so even if adults can't afford care for themselves, they should be able to get it for the children.

    The question is, what can you do about this? It's rather rare for a non-parent to get legal custody of a child over the parents' objections. Usually this happens in the context of a juvenile dependency case, when the parents' rights are terminated or limited. If you're involved in such a case, you need to consult with an attorney immediately. You can call the Oregon State Bar for a referral to an attorney in your area, at 503-684-3763.

    Please read the following notice:

    Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and... more

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