Are there laws that prevent a minor under your protection from staying with a person who you suspect is a pedophile, if you believe they are not likely to be abusive? Assume that said minor is adamant that nothing illegal has gone on and that no personal boundaries have been violated.

Example: John, a childhood friend of Emily, was released from prison. Emily suspects the arrest was related to child pornography charges due to rumors, but does not know for sure. Emily's children have said that nothing bad had gone on the last time they were with John before his arrest. John is not a registered sex offender. Is Emily required by law to keep her children away from John, regardless?

  • Since there is FOIA, what stops Emily from accessing the Records?
    – Trish
    Feb 8, 2021 at 7:14
  • 2
    By "if you do not suspect that they are likely …", do you really mean "If you believe that they are not likely …"? The former is an omission: failing to suspect something; the latter is a commission: making a decision. They are quite different things. Feb 8, 2021 at 14:06
  • @RayButterworth That is what I meant, thanks! I've fixed it.
    – forest
    Feb 8, 2021 at 20:47

2 Answers 2


You are responsible or assessing risks to your children

A parent (or a person in loco parentis) is obliged to care for and protect their children this includes assessing the risk to those children and whether that risk is acceptable or should be avoided or mitigated. This applies to all risks, when they should cross the road, when they are responsible enough to be left home alone and, yes, who is a suitable person to care for them.

This does not require any sort of formal or documented risk assessment process but if things go wrong, the state may require the parent to justify their actions. If the state believes that their actions were reckless then this may be a crime. If the state believes their actions were not reasonable then this may have ongoing consequences with child protection agencies.


Based on the facts you’ve presented: it is rumored that aforementioned person has a nefarious past, but you want to know that IF in fact, said person indeed has a criminal past, is there any law stating you must not allow your child to be in the company of such said person? The answer is no.

While DCF or CPS could potentially find you to be neglectful in the event that something awful were to happen regarding said person that somehow related back to you/your child, this would likely be in the event that something past or present did, in fact, occur, and was reported. In this case you wouldn’t be tried for breaking any laws, rather a possible scenario is; in the event police were called to the home, or scene, (by you or anyone), for any suspected criminalities, and they were to find there was/is a child living in the same home as suspect, or present at the scene with the suspect, then the agencies mentioned above would be called to investigate. That being said, any contact with them should be avoided at all costs if you want to keep your children.

  • Hi, welcome to Law.SE. In general, it's best to focus answers more on what the law is and less on personal opinions about government agencies. I've removed some of that from your answer to improve it, though you are welcome to rollback my edit if you disagree.
    – Ryan M
    Feb 9, 2021 at 2:10

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