Famous Maryland “Free-Range” Parents Sign Safety Plan to Avoid Child Endangerment Charges
The Maryland couple who faced threats from Child Protective Services in March this year recently faced further troubles with law enforcement and CPS, and could face child endangerment charges.
Danielle and Alexander Meitiv, who became the face for the “free-range parenting” movement after their children were escorted home by police last month, now face further entanglements over child endangerment suspicions. The couple said they have allowed their two children – 10 and 6 years old respectively – to walk home from a park about a mile away from their home several times. However, the children were seen unescorted by police officers, who were concerned for their safety. The involvement of law enforcement led to a 2-month long investigation into potential child endangerment at the Meitivs’ home, which was concluded in March with stern warnings that the Meitivs not allow their young children to go unescorted again.
Defiantly, the Meitivs said they would continue the practice of free-range parenting, and now they face more inquiries and possible criminal child endangerment charges because their children were found unescorted again.
In Maryland, it is illegal for any child younger than 13 to be without adult supervision.
On Sunday, April 12th, the Meitivs’ children were playing unsupervised at the park. They were supposed to return home at 6:30 PM, according to Danielle Meitiv, but they did not return, and the family was not called by Child Protective Services until 8 PM. The Meitivs were unable to return their children home safely until 10:30 PM, after signing a “safety plan” with CPS.
Danielle did not comment to news outlets, but did post on Facebook on Sunday that “police coerced our children into the back of a patrol car, telling them they would drive them home. They kept the kids trapped there for three hours, without notifying us, before dropping them at the Crisis Center, and holding them there without dinner for another two and a half hours.”
“The only people who have threatened to abduct my kids are the child protective services,” she told the Guardian in an interview in March.
The Meitivs have not yet seen official child endangerment charges, but they could be filed later if further incidents are recorded. Authorities are also still investigating the case.
The Strom Law Firm Defends Against Child Endangerment Charges
Child endangerment charges usually stem from both placing a child in physical danger and exposing a child to dangerous or illegal adult situations. These charges can be filed against parents, guardians or caregivers if law enforcement or Child Protective Services believe that parents expose their children to dangerous or inappropriate situations.
Dangerous situations that could lead to child endangerment charges include:
- Caregivers driving under the influence
- Exposing children to illegal drug use
- Exposing children to firearms
- Failing to use proper safety restraints
- Domestic Violence
If you have been arrested with child endangerment charges, you face serious criminal charges that would remove your children from your home, and leave you with a criminal record. You need help fighting these charges. Contact the attorneys at the Strom Law Firm today for a free, confidential consultation regarding the facts of your case. 803.252.4800