Family Speaks Up About Deadly Abuse on Adopted Son

Family Speaks Up About Deadly Abuse on Adopted Son

No charges ever came from abuse that ultimately lead to a child's death. Now a family is calling for change.

COLCHESTER, Vt. – A Vermont family is calling for change after the death of their adopted son. They began caring for Mark after he was abused shortly after birth.

“They told us he would never speak. Somehow I knew there was something there and all of a sudden I heard this little "papa" and I’m going. I just melted,” Alan Buchanan, the adoptive father of Mark, said.

Buchanan was told he would never hear those words from Mark,

“He couldn't swallow, he couldn't see,” Buchanan said.

Injuries to Mark's brain and body left him with cerebral palsy, injuries from abuse that terminated Mark's birth parents rights and led him to the Buchanan's, injuries that lead to Mark's death last November but never lead to any charges for anyone.

“We need to do something to prevent this from happening to another family,” Amy Buchanan Lumsden, Mark’s sister, said.

Attorney General Bill Sorrell says charges were never brought against care givers. He says investigators couldn't establish evidence of a crime because no one would talk about what happened.

“We really lack the statute and the evidence to bring charges against either one of them right now,” Sorrell said.

Last week Sorrell suggested a new law so that criminal charges could be brought against a person who doesn't speak up about child abuse. He mentioned mark's case.

“We want Mark and our family to be the face of why laws need to change and why there needs to be system change,” Amy Buchanan Lumsden said.

“It's a really unfortunate position to be in,” reporter David Hodges said.

“Sure is. But we wouldn't change it for the world for that little guy. We’re not going to stop fighting.”

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