Nebraska's new "safe haven" law allows parents to abandon children up to age 19

@dragon54u (31040)
United States
August 23, 2008 8:18am CST
Many states have safe haven laws for newborns and children up to age 3. Now the law allows parents to drop of a child under 19 at a hospital if they can't handle them, if they're disruly or addicted to drugs or alcohol and the parents can't control them. Myself, I would never do that..I had problems with my boys in high school but eventually handled them. One of my boys dropped out of high school and became very defiant but I managed. But I know there are people who can't handle their children--children who become drug addicts and steal from them or even physically abuse their parents. What do you think of such a law? There've been no takers so far, thank goodness, but can you see a time where you would have wished for this or may need it in the future? Do you think it's right that there is such a law instead of intensive family counseling and in-patient rehabilitation at an affordable price?
5 people like this
11 responses
@nanayangel (7694)
• Philippines
23 Aug 08
Hi there Dragon! I think that if the country can afford to temporarily feed, and provide the needs of the children while no one's adopting them yet, then it is a good idea. I have heard of children being killed, getting into serious accidents because of the parents' irresponsibility and lack of care for their child/ren. I feel really sad whenever I do hear news about those kind of things happening since there are alot of people who are trying really hard to have a child, with a lot to share, and a lot of love to give but were not blessed with any. I think that way, with this "safe haven" program, the children will have a better chance to a good future. Of course, it will not be guaranteed 100% but it's better than staying with family who just don't care.
@dragon54u (31040)
• United States
23 Aug 08
I fear that parents will drop off their teens who have psychological or addiction problems so that they can get treatment that the parents can't afford. Think of how sad parents and children would be--"well, you have to be abandoned if we want you to get the treatment you need for your mental disorder"...I think that if we would put our resources into more mental health and family counseling it would have much better results and children wouldn't have to reach adulthood knowing their parents abandoned them for any reason, even if for their own good.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Aug 08
I wonder if they did this for the child's sake because a lot of parents just kick their kids out of the house to fend for themselves on the street. This might protect them from that. Of course, if a parent drops their teenager off at a hospital, who's to say that the kid won't just run off on their own. I hope that parents wouldn't give up so easily on their kids to do this.
@nupats (3564)
• India
24 Aug 08
hi dear this is sad...i love my son very dearly if he does fall into such vices i will keep trying to get him on the right track and i will keep trying till my last breath but will surely never abandon him..i think it is parents duty to take care and correct their children..you are indeed a very good parent and of all that i know you i am sure you love your son as much as i love mine...take care dear friend..i am back on my lot..missed you..
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31040)
• United States
24 Aug 08
It's good to see you again! Your son is recovered from his leg injury? I hope there will be no lasting effects from that, the poor baby.
1 person likes this
@nupats (3564)
• India
24 Aug 08
hi dear thank you yes by Gods Grace he is perfectly fine now and even started playing and all...children are very naughty..i had to be by his bedside constantly or else he would try running with his broken leg and injured himself more badly...i had a tough time controlling and making him rest..take care
@naseeha (1385)
• India
23 Aug 08
Well... I think of the psychological effect it will have on the childrens minds. When they are better and cured, they would feel so devastated to know that their parents have given up on them and thrown them away... Children are bound to be unruly and defiant and what not.. I Personally feel that as parents it is our duty to bring up our children well and we should never give up on the job.. It is only our patience and perseverance and love that makes our children grow up as good citizens. Your discussions are very interesting and thought provoking... Cheers and happy mylotting.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31040)
• United States
23 Aug 08
I do think parents give up too easily sometimes. It's hard to be a parent nowadays when the mom so often has to work as well as the dad. The kids aren't nurtured as they once were and don't feel close to the parents, have no desire to please them because they're just caretakers. This is a real problem. If moms could stay home with the kids and still have a decent standard of living--enough food, decent shelter and clothing--I think we'd have a better generation of children. (That is a VERY unpopular view here in the U.S. and someone will probably take me to task for it)
1 person likes this
@naseeha (1385)
• India
23 Aug 08
Yes of course you are right.. I too feel that the mother should be with the kids especially when they are young and need the love that a mother can give. And for that the family should be well supported by the father.. His income should be sufficient for the family to lead a financially stable life.. But many women want to go to work to boost their confidence and feel financially secure.. Its not only in the US. its even catching up here in India..I feel that the mom should not go to work unless it is absolutely necessary when the kids are small and need to be taken care of.. When the kids start going to school, the moms can go to work but they should never compromise on their role of a loving mom.. Its my personal opinion ... I too hope nobody takes me to task for this..
1 person likes this
@Thoroughrob (11771)
• United States
27 Aug 08
That sounds like they are giving parents an easy way out. I think people will, teenagers can just drive you quite crazy.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31040)
• United States
27 Aug 08
Oh, tell me about it!! But the easy out isn't usually the best way.
@laglen (19783)
• United States
24 Aug 08
Well what a relief! I was worried we would have to take responsibility for our children. We might have to suck it up and pay attention to them. I am sure that you can attest to the fact that it isn't easy, but I want to commend you for managing and keeping your kids!
@dragon54u (31040)
• United States
24 Aug 08
Giving up my kids would kill me, whatever the problems. Unfortunately, many parents would like to be relieved of this burden. I know there are parents at the ends of their ropes, but I think our tax monies would be better spent tackling the problem at the source--letting moms stay home so that their children are nurtured and loved and develop respect for their parents, not being shuttled around to strangers for 9 hours a day and seeing parents only briefly morning and night. Ooops, I've lectured again! Antoher mom trait, we never lose it!
@monkeysay (228)
• Singapore
24 Aug 08
Love transcends all boundaries. Parents should never forsake their children no matter what. Just my 2 cents.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31040)
• United States
24 Aug 08
I'd be interested to see how many of these "problem" children had a mom at home when they were growing up. I couldn't forsake my sons but I've heard of some pretty horrible cases of teens and parents who couldn't deal with each other.
@soooobored (1187)
• United States
24 Aug 08
I don't think many people will take advantage of a law like that, but it's good that it is in place. Maybe there won't be any more Susan Smith's or Andrea Yates? While I don't have any sympathy for these women, I believe the common explanation for each of them (and the many other women who kill their children) is that they felt hopeless and trapped. Maybe just having the option to unload will calm them down to the point that they don't drown their kids?
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31040)
• United States
24 Aug 08
You have a point there, and that could be a good thing about this law. Put the kids with people who will love and cherish them. btw, Yates was severely mentally ill and that was ignored by most people around her, especially her husband who kept impregnating her against doctor's advice. There's more than one culprit there! But I understand what you mean. It's just a shame we have need for such a law.
@alpram96 (95)
• United States
24 Aug 08
Abandoning an older child that is well aware of what is going on can have serious long term psychological effects. While I am well aware that there are many children and adolescents who hve behavioral, substance abuse,or mental health issues, I think that the families would be better served by services that would help them deal with their children's problems. But if you ae the type of person who would just kick your child out in a hospital parking lot maybe you are an unfit parent after all Just my opinion.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31040)
• United States
24 Aug 08
That was my first reaction. Why not help the families instead of encouraging them to fall apart? I can't imagine being a kid and having my parents give me up, it would devastate me.
@devilsangel (1821)
• United States
23 Aug 08
Well if you think about it we've already had a program like that all along. It's called the Child protection services. There are many people with and without children who've turned over children to these people. So saying they can just drop their kid off at a hospital is just another way of them to do what they've been doing all along only without being put through all the paperwork.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31040)
• United States
23 Aug 08
I didn't think CPS did that. I thought they just investigated child abuse. That agency in nearly ever state is underfunded and overworked, often sending children back to the families to be abused again or to foster homes where they are mistreated.
• United States
23 Aug 08
I think those laws are needed. I think it's a lot better than parents not taking care of the child at home and not being able to provide for the child. I like that it's no questions asked because I'd rather a child live instead of suffering or dying in a bad home environment. Now I'm not sure about the whole unruly child thing. If my child was 19 and was going through a rough time, I'm sure I'd be able to call the cops or something and maybe get a court order to put the kid in rehab or something. I mean if you've kept the kid for that long, what is the point in handing them over to the state now?
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31040)
• United States
23 Aug 08
I'm not sure what the point is but I imagine that parents who have absolutely reached the breaking point and can no longer cope might use this service.