Because of the wording in a Safe Haven law, Nebraska has seen an influx of desperate parents who feel they have no other option but to drop their children in a safe location and to give up their care to the state of Nebraska. When first you hear of these things you would think that this is for infants. However, Nebraska hospitals have seen children as old as 17 being left by distraught parents. In one instance, a widower dropped off all of his children. The stories coming out of this are just heartbreaking. Of course, there was the one mother who wanted to “teach her daughter a lesson” and dropped her off at a safe haven location only to return to pick her up later.
I read an article on CNN regarding the governor’s plea for people to stop dropping off their children. The quote that struck me was, “Think of what you are saying. You are saying you no longer support them. You no longer love them.” What bothers me about that statement is that I think (in some cases) it must take a TREMENDOUS amount of love to do something like give a child up because you are unable to care for it. I think that using language like that is dangerous. To me, it seems as if the state is saying that the only children worth protecting (and maybe are more adoptable) are infants? It bothers me.
Another section of the article went on to say that although it is an extraordinary cry for help, Nebraska cannot afford to take all of them in. To date, 34 children have been dropped off. Of those 34, all but six have been older than 10. Some have come from neighboring states. Is the state so desperate for funds that it cannot afford to take care of 34 children? Seriously? I understand that we are in an economic crisis. But these are human lives we are speaking about.
The state government is moving quickly to remedy the language by adding more specific guidelines and age restrictions. However, I think they should recognize the fact that these people are hurting and they need some sort of assistance and Nebraska should not turn their back on them just because the kid is older than a toddler.
Am I the only one who thinks this way?