If I’m now an adult can I sue my parents for emotional abuse/neglect from when I was a child?

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If I’m now an adult can I sue my parents for emotional abuse/neglect from when I was a child?

I’m 22. I was adopted at 5 and either ignored, spanked or yelled at until I was 18 and moved out. At 12 I was told to look for work. From 12-13 I mowed lawns and handed over all funds. From 13-16 I was forced to work as a masons laborer for up to 10 hours a day, 5-6 days a week and 90% of my money was taken. At 16 I was sent to live with another family where I was forced to work 10 hours a day for food and a bed. I should also mention that due to my employment, I received a very poor education. Approximate values of total earnings is $20,000.

Asked on July 6, 2011 under Family Law, North Carolina

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Oh my goodness.  I am so sorry for your situation.  It is appalling.  From what you have written, though, you seem to be a very strong person and a survivor.  Those qualities will carry you through the rest of your life.  Proving all of this will be a very difficult task unless you received something from the employer as to wages earned for the filing of taxes, etc.  Affidavits from past employers may also be possible.  But the cause of action you wish to sue for may not exist in North Carolina and you may not be able to do anything.  I would speak with a legal aid attorney on this and other issues, like the abuse that you obviously suffered at their hands and see if you can sue them and the agency that placed you with this family for failure to provide you with what ever you can come up with.  Good luck to you.


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