For both children and parents, adoption is a life-changing event. Some couples choose to adopt because they are unable to have biological children; others pursue the option because they want to expand their family and offer a child a home. For children growing up in the often erratic world of foster care or in an orphanage, becoming part of a permanent family is a radically new experience that leads to a more stable life.

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Abuse takes many forms against children, including emotional, sexual and physical. It can take place in school, at home, or in the community. There are a wide range of perpetrators, including parents, neighbors, teachers, children, and strangers.

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Child Adoption in Maryland

Child adoption in Maryland occurs when a domestic placement is arranged by a child placement agency, whether a private agency or a government one. The children that can be adopted through the Department of Social Services are usually in foster care.

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Fostering Children in Maryland

There are all kinds of families in this world. Some children live with both of their parents, while some live with one and visit the other. Some children might live with their grandparents, and some stay with a foster family. There are foster programs in the United States, to provide kids with a safe and caring home, when they don’t already have one.

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Sex Offender Grooming 

Child sex offenders use deliberate tactics to select their victims, and engage them in abuse. This is known as the grooming process. Offenders often identify vulnerable children, such as those in need, unhappy, or less likely to tell someone about the abuse.

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Child Sex Offenders

Sexual violence is a serious problem, and it has devastating consequences. The challenge we face in making our society safer includes, an understanding of the offense risk and patterns, as well as resources. It is this knowledge that can inform our decisions on reporting, investigation, sentencing, and more.

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All too often, cases of child abuse or neglect go unaddressed. Victims of abuse, especially children, will seldom report their abuser to authorities. This can be due to many different reasons, but the bottom line is that it’s simply not reasonable to expect an abused or neglected child to be their own advocate. It is for this reason that many adults who work in a position that may allow them to help advocate for the child are tasked with being mandated reporters.

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The American Society for the Positive Care of Children estimates that almost 2,000 children suffer from abuse every day, with roughly 1,600 abuse related deaths every year. This includes infants, young children, and teens. Possibly because it is so heartbreaking, child abuse isn’t often talked about. With this many children suffering every day it is clear that the time has come to start the conversation. In order to spread awareness, it’s important to understand the different types of child abuse.

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     For individuals who become victims of abuse, the negative effects don’t end when they grow up and leave their abuser behind them. They may have spent years in an abusive situation that included physical, sexual, or emotional trauma. Childhood is when you essentially learn what the world is like, learn about things like trust and rules and respect. When trauma to that degree is caused by a caregiver, it can affect the victim for the rest of their lives.

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When children become the victims of abuse or suffer from neglect, they will rarely verbalize the problem. This can make it difficult to determine as a bystander whether a child is being abused or neglected. Adults who suspect something is not right may not always say something when given the opportunity--this is due to the combination of social stigma surrounding criticizing others’ parenting styles and simply not knowing if what they are seeing truly points to a child who is being victimized.

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