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9 Children Abandoned Under New Nebraska Safe Haven Law

Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, September 25, 2008 10:23 AM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Safe Haven Laws, Child Abuse, Wrongful Death, Abandonment

9 children dropped off under Nebraska new safe haven law



IMAGE SOURCE: WikiMedia Commons/ infant crying Inferis


Nebraska TV is reporting that a father of nine children dropped them at a hospital in Omaha just before 7 Wednesday night.

The states new Safe Haven Law allows children to be left at state-licensed hospitals without facing legal charges. KETV in Omaha is reporting that the children range in age from 1 to 17 years and are reportedly all from the same family. They have been turned over to child protection services.

The children were left at the emergency room at the Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha. The father has not been identified.

Safe haven laws were originally designed for a mother to relinquish custody of her infant at a safe and secure location if she was unable to care for the baby, without fear of prosecution. But the state law includes the word “child” and fails to specify any ages.

That means that in Nebraska, someone up to the age of 19, still considered a minor, could be dropped off.

Other states with Safe Haven laws specify a maximum drop-off age of one year old.

The Associated Press reports that teenagers are now being dropped off. Two teens and one pre-teen have been dropped off at eastern Nebraska hospitals and a police station.

Last month on the Huffington Post, Adam Pertman, executive director of a New York adoption institute warned that casting such a wide net, "circumvents every rational practice in child welfare that I'm aware of. Whether the kid is disabled or unruly or just being a hormonal teenager, the state is saying 'Hey we have a really easy option for you.'  "

"All children deserve our protection," said Sen. Tom White to Huffington Post, who helped broaden the measure. "If we save one child from being abused, it's well, well worth it."

Nebraska is the last state in the nation to adopt a Safe Haven law. Prior to the laws, many children had been abandoned in inappropriate places that put them in danger.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services is holding a news conference this morning to discuss the law and its intent. 

Many predicted it might have far reaching implications when it was put into law in July and already plans are being discussed to amend the law during the next legislative session.

It will be up to the county attorney to recommend whether the child remains in the custody of the state or returns home. A judge ultimately will decide on the placement. There is no prosecution of the father or mother, unless the children have been abused.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 90,000 infants are maltreated every year in this country.  About one of every 43 infants is in danger, mostly during the first week of their lives. 

Maltreatment includes neglect as well as physical abuse, though the majority, 68.5 percent of the cases, involved neglect.   #


Anonymous User
Posted by yesterday
Thursday, September 25, 2008 11:24 AM EST

So sad, i wonder how many more kids are going to be left with the economy on a fast track to destruction!
If i wouldnt have lost my job yesterday, i would seriously think about taking that family in and give them a home.

Anonymous User
Posted by Rod
Thursday, September 25, 2008 11:36 AM EST

I am glad that the father did something safe to the children, we all hear of horific stories of parents killing their kids etc. No one could ever know what pushed this father over the edge, but at least he did the right thing for the childrens safety, we shouldn't try to change a law that enabled 9 children to be safe rather than disposed of. Just google the title search mother kills children or father kills children and read the thousands of stories that turn out bad for these children. I thank God for keeping him sane enough to do the right thing no matter what the childrens ages are.

Anonymous User
Posted by Tim
Thursday, September 25, 2008 12:17 PM EST

It's the great have your cake and eat it too role of staate governments.

They usurp all parental rights, spend millons of dollars funding :in children's best interest" but who makes the money!!!! It's ll driven by feminist ideals to make men by sex the evil enemy... Seperating them at every opportunity... Namely family law courts where constitutional rights are voided and a killer has more rights from their children....

They pass a law and then cry wolf when it is used... Obviously by someone (their acting father) who thought they were doing what was best for their children..

You cut your heart out and leave it.... I dare anyone to try....

Any person with a brain stem knows how hard it is to raise a family today and to jump to those feminist.. "evil man" inuendos is without merit and as sexist in the very worst way the term can be taken.

Child welfare is not there to help families, it's there to fund and promote feminist agendas..

You may not agree, but you know from someone who has had the pleasure of dealing with child welfare..

Anonymous User
Posted by Jenny
Thursday, October 09, 2008 3:47 PM EST

My heart goes out to the children that have been abandoned. That would be so hard at any age to realize that your father or mother left you. What is even harder to think of is the family of 9. We all know that there is no one that will take them all in. They will not only lose thier parent but they will lose their brothers and sisters as well. As they are split between foster homes and adoptive parents (hopefully)

As for the father that left those children my heart is split. I am a mother of 5 children. We have been through "everything" From times of homelessness, Joblessness, And emotional hardships. BUT NEVER would I leave my children. I love them too much and couldn't fathom the idea. Besides I know that NOBODY will ever love them as much as I do. In Foster homes they are predisposed to all sorts of abuse. I want to keep them safe and raise them to be good responsible adults. I know that NO ONE can do that better then MYSELF and MY HUSBAND.

Yet at the same time I am happy that instead risking the childrens Lives he left them in a place where they would be cared for.

So as much as I want to shake him and ask him what was he thinking hurting his children in that way. I am also glad that they are not in danger.

I personally think that they should leave the law the way it is. It seperates the bad parents from the good. And it protects the children from harm.

Anonymous User
Posted by father
Saturday, October 11, 2008 1:16 PM EST

I am a married father of four, three of which are just normal kids who do normal kid things, I also have a 14 year old son who has been difficult all his life. we have been to counseling time and time again. we have seen doctors for medications which only work half way, by that I mean they help him during the day at school and don't help him at night or they help him at night but not during the day. He does things that are going to get me fired from my Job, a job that he and the other 5 members of the family depend on but he just does not seem to care. Everyone knows that in this economy good paying jobs are hard to find and I am being backed into a corner where I feel I need to protect the rest of my family from him and that is never a good place to be. It would rip my heart out to abandon him like that because YES in spite of it all I do love him too. But on the other hand it is ripping my heart out watching what he is doing to the rest of my family and the risk he is bringing upon them. The problem is that all of the child protection laws protect him and not the other children in a family that don't continuously make bad choices. I have tried everything that I and the doctors can think of just short of beating him to correct his behavior but it just does not work. The state that I live in has nothing to help a family like us, no programs no laws, nothing. What is a father like me supposed to do? Do I put a deadbolt lock on his door backwards and locking mechanisms on the windows so that he cannot get out of his room at night? What if he has to go to the bathroom or what if there is a fire, what then. that also puts him in danger, but if I do nothing then my entire family has to accept the consequences of his actions, how is that fair to them? How do child protection laws protect my other three children from him? the short answer is they don't. So I guess the short answer is as far as the state is concerned is that we are all as a family just screwed.

Comments for this article are closed.

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