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Dad Who Left 9 Kids Talks

Posted by Jane Akre
Friday, September 26, 2008 12:38 PM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Safe Haven Laws, Abandoned Children, Foster Care, Protective Custody, Child Abuse, Foster Care Abuse

Safe Haven dad talks in Nebraska about why he abandoned 9 children.

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IMAGE SOURCE: ©iStockphoto/ sad adolescent/ author: aldomurillo

 

His life just “fell apart”.

That’s the word from out-of-work widower Gary Staton who spoke to KETV –TV Omaha, about why he abandoned his nine children at a hospital under Nebraska’s new safe haven law.

“I hope they know I love them,” he said.  “I hope their future is better without me around them.”

Staton relinquished custody to the five boys and four girls, ages 1 to 17, at Creighton University Medical Center Wednesday night when he handed a woman the birth certificates of the children and said he was there to surrender them.

An 18-year-old daughter was not dropped off. She graduated high school one year early to care for her younger siblings and didn’t live at home, according to KETV.

The couple had been cited in 2004 for child neglect, the television station reports. 

The station’s web site has an interview with someone in silhouette. The quotes appear to come directly from Staton who does not appear on camera in the story on the station’s web site.

Nebraska considers minors to include teens up to the age of 19, and all are covered under the new law, intended to protect infants from overwhelmed new parents. 

Staton’s wife died early last year of a brain aneurysm shortly after giving birth to their youngest child.  He then had to quit his job so couldn’t pay rent or utilities.  

Staton said he surrendered his children so they would be safe.

“I was with her for 17 years, and then she was gone. What was I going to do? We raised them together. I didn’t think I could do it alone. I fell apart. I couldn’t’ take care of them.”  

He says he wanted to get them to a safe place before they were homeless.

Parental rights are not automatically terminated under Safe Haven laws, but charges will not be filed under the law, unless there are signs of parental abuse.  

AP is reporting that at least 16 children have been abandoned since the law went into effect in July.  The state is keeping track of the children, many of whom are teenagers.

Wednesday night, the television station reports two other boys, one 11 and one 15 from other families were also dropped off at area Safe Haven centers.

The legislature will be revisiting the age limits on Safe Haven when they reconvene in January. Many other states limit Safe Haven laws to include children up to the age of one. #


2 Comments

Anonymous User
Posted by Teresa
Friday, September 26, 2008 3:37 PM EST

This is exactly why we need a safe haven law that covers all children. I commend this father for having the courage and love to think of his children first when he was so overwhelmed. No murder, no suicide; the kids will be well cared for while dad has time to get back on his feet. Good luck and God Bless.

Teresa

Posted by KATHI JO
Monday, September 29, 2008 12:57 AM EST

BLESSINGS TO THE FATHER!
TO MANY TOMES PEOPLE ARE WRONGLY PUNISHED FOR TRYING TO DO THE RIGHT THING! IF THEY HAD GIVEN THIS FATHER THE HELP HE NEEDED, THIS MAY NOT HAVE HAPPENED TO THIS FAMILY. THESE CHILDREN WILL BE SCARED FOR LIFE! THEY SHOULD HELP THIS DAD, NOT TAKE HIS KIDS AWAY!!
I ADOPTED A 4 YEAR OLD HAWAIIAN FEMALE CHILD THAT HAD BEEN ABUSED RAPED BY HER FATHER ABANDONED BY HER MOTHER. I FELL UNDER HARD TIMES MYSELF EVEN WORKING TWO JOBS. I HAD NO ONE TO TURN TO. WHEN I WENT TO THE SYSTEM FOR HELP, THEY TOLD ME TO GIVE CUSTODY OF HER UP, IN ORDER TO RECEIVE HELP! AFTER I HAD ALREADY BEEN RAISING HER FOR SEVERAL YEARS! SOCIAL SERVICES ARE SOMETIMES THE PARENTS WORST ENEMY! WE NEED TO REFORM THE SYSTEM FROM A TO Z AND BRING IT INTO THE 21ST CENTURY! I WAS RAISED IN OMAHA IN A GOOD MORMON FAMILY. I WAS MADE TO FEEL LESS THAN HUMAN FOR TRYING TO DO THE RIGHT THING BY THIS CHILD, JUST BECAUSE I WASN'T MARRIED. I WAS IN MY 30'S AT THE TIME. I CAN'T IMAGINE WHAT THEY WOULD HAVE DONE TO A WOMAN WITH LESS LIFE LESSON'S UNDER HER BELT. DEMANDING TO PUT HER IN A TWO PARENT HOME, WHEN SHE WAS DEATHLY AFRAID OF MEN. WAS JUST INSAIN TO ME. OR THE FACT THEY WOULD HAVE RIPPED BOTH OUR HEARTS APART IN DOING SO. FOR WHAT BEING HUMAN AND THINKING WE COULD ASK FOR HELP FROM OUR SYSTEM'S COUNTRY THE GOOD OLD USA? HA! WHAT A JOKE! WE COULD HAVE ENDDED UP HOMELESS OR WORSE FOR ALL THEY CARED.
BY GOING BACK TO COLLEGE FULL TIME WAS THE ONLY WAY THE STATE GAVE ME ANY HELP! THEN I WOULD BE AN ASSET TO SOCIETY IN THEIR EYES. LIKE I WASN'T BEFORE? I WAS TOLD I HAD NO BUSINESS TRYING TO RAISE AN HAWAIIAN CHILD BECAUSE I WAS WHITE! WHO HIRED THESE PEOPLE? I WAS RAISED TO JUDGE PEOPLE BY THEIR HEART, NOT THE COLOR OF THEIR SKIN. THERE IS SOMETHING VERY WRONG WHEN YOUR PUNISHED FOR DOING THE RIGHT THING BY ANOTHER HUMAN BEING! I RAISED HER FOR FOURTEEN YEAR'S, FROM 1982 TO 1996 UNTILL SHE LEFT TO ATTEND COLLEGE. MY GOODNESS WHAT A BAD MOTHER I AM!
THANKS FOR NOTHING HAWAI'I WELFARE DEPARTMENT!
KATHI JO
HONOLULU,HAWAI'I

Comments for this article are closed.

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