Washington authorities have accused an adoptive mother of forcing her youngster to endure hundreds of reckless, medically unnecessary doctor’s appointments and procedures.
31-year-old Sophie Hartman lives in King County, Washington. The woman adopted a 6-year-old girl and her sister, who had been orphans in Zambia, Africa. The 6-year-old suffers from a neurological disorder called alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC), according to Hartman.
Based on her assertion that the child has AHC, since 2016, Hartman reportedly took her to nearly 500 doctor visits for various reported ailments.
The girl had tubes surgically placed for feeding, in addition to voiding. She was also given surgery for an implant meant to stall the early onset of puberty. Hartman reportedly keeps the child in a wheelchair and puts her in leg braces.
In February 2019, a doctor at Seattle Children’s Hospital penned a letter and gathered signatures and statements from multiple doctors who gave treatment to the child. They claimed that the girl never needed the procedures she underwent and that she does not have AHC. They purported that the mother gave false information about the child’s need for medical interventions.
The youngster was evaluated for 16-days, and she reportedly walked, ate, and used the bathroom without the assistance of the medical devices. When she was tested for AHC, the results reportedly showed she did not have the disorder.
The Renton Police Department and the Safe Child and Adolescent Network based at the hospital worked together to investigate the situation. They believe they had enough evidence to charge her, and a claim against Hartman was filed on May 24.
Hartman is expected to face charges for second-degree assault against a child and attempted domestic violence assault against a child in the second degree.
Her attorney strongly asserts his client’s innocence.
When a specialist in medical child abuse reviewed the information about the case and gave their expert opinion, they concluded that Hartman did not abuse the child.
Both children are currently in the custody of close family members.
If you or someone you love is suspected of child abuse or a domestic violence offense, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.