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Nebraska Lets Parents Surrender Kids — Up to 19 Years Old

When you say “abandoned child,” most people conjure up an image of a basket with a baby in it left at the doorstep of an orphanage or a wealthy benefactor. In Nebraska, a new vision of the baby amongst the reeds might emerge — one of an unwanted teenager left at one of the many “safe-haven” drop-off centers for abandoned children.

Whereas every other state in the Union with safe-haven laws focuses on newborns, Nebraska just became the only state to permit the abandonment of anyone under 19 years of age. Critics of the law claim that this is going to encourage anyone with an unruly or disabled child to simply leave them at any safe haven. The executive director of a New York adoption institute says, "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.'"

However, Senator Tom White, who helped craft the legislation, thinks differently: “All children deserve our protection, if we save one child from being abused, it’s well, well worth it.” Is it? Should parents have the ability to abandon any kid, regardless of how old they are?

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snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
Mondaymoos- that was my reaction exactly. It's not like the normal parent is going to be like, "well Elsa is crying a lot today, so I think I'll get rid of her." I think only those parents who are truly at wit's end and are not capable of being good parents would do this- and these aren't the people who should be parents anyway. I'm assuming that when the babysitter abandons the child, the parents would be able to pick him or her up. Obviously the parents would have some explaining to do, but like Jazz said, it certainly beats the alternatives. I would imagine it would be a pretty rare situation. The parents entrust the kids to a cousin who they thought was really capable, they go away on a four day business trip, and the cousin gets stressed out and can't reach the parents. The parents would have to explain why the cousin couldn't reach them, and still prove they are competent, but it's not like the babysitter can give the kids away permanently (I'm assuming).
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
Mondaymoos- that was my reaction exactly. It's not like the normal parent is going to be like, "well Elsa is crying a lot today, so I think I'll get rid of her." I think only those parents who are truly at wit's end and are not capable of being good parents would do this- and these aren't the people who should be parents anyway.I'm assuming that when the babysitter abandons the child, the parents would be able to pick him or her up. Obviously the parents would have some explaining to do, but like Jazz said, it certainly beats the alternatives. I would imagine it would be a pretty rare situation. The parents entrust the kids to a cousin who they thought was really capable, they go away on a four day business trip, and the cousin gets stressed out and can't reach the parents. The parents would have to explain why the cousin couldn't reach them, and still prove they are competent, but it's not like the babysitter can give the kids away permanently (I'm assuming).
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 8 years
I gets it beats having your babysitter shake it to death like you hear on the news many more times than you can imagine.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 8 years
This is the part that disturbed me: "White said it doesn't matter if that child is an infant or three years old or in the care of a parent or baby sitter. " So your if you leave your kid with a babysitter, the babysitter is able to abandon your kid?
Chouette4u Chouette4u 8 years
This is the part that disturbed me: "White said it doesn't matter if that child is an infant or three years old or in the care of a parent or baby sitter. "So your if you leave your kid with a babysitter, the babysitter is able to abandon your kid?
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Oops I meant CPS not cpc.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Oops I meant CPS not cpc.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
"I'm not against this. If you're the type of parent who would actually participate in such a program, you shouldn't have your child anyway." -- Perfectly stated.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
"I'm not against this. If you're the type of parent who would actually participate in such a program, you shouldn't have your child anyway."-- Perfectly stated.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Well first of all the Senator's heart is in the right place but his method is extremely problematic. If the state wants to protect children than the state should fully fund CPC among other things such as education, after school programs & nutrition. The only thing this new law would do is draw resources away from a support system that is already spread too thin. I just don’t understand spending decades under funding programs which were set up to help society deal with such matters but for lack of funding are left impotent, then saying well we need a new law/program.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Well first of all the Senator's heart is in the right place but his method is extremely problematic. If the state wants to protect children than the state should fully fund CPC among other things such as education, after school programs & nutrition. The only thing this new law would do is draw resources away from a support system that is already spread too thin. I just don’t understand spending decades under funding programs which were set up to help society deal with such matters but for lack of funding are left impotent, then saying well we need a new law/program.
kathili kathili 8 years
This sounds terrible. Besides, who's to say that the state run "safe havens" will take much better care of the abandoned children?
stephley stephley 8 years
What's with laws that say 'people are going to do this anyway, we might as well make it legal?'
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 8 years
"Senator Tom White, who helped craft the legislation, thinks differently: “All children deserve our protection, if we save one child from being abused, it’s well, well worth it.” Is it? Should parents have the ability to abandon any kid, regardless of how old they are?" :? I can see how that would work if the child is given the option to be dropped off; however, if a child is being sexually abused, for example, it is highly unlikely the parent abusing is going to drop him/her off to stop the abuse, but if the child has the option, I can see how it could possibly cut down on runaways. I also think if parents use it even just as a threat to control their children, they may loose something they can never get back.
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 8 years
"Senator Tom White, who helped craft the legislation, thinks differently: “All children deserve our protection, if we save one child from being abused, it’s well, well worth it.” Is it? Should parents have the ability to abandon any kid, regardless of how old they are?":? I can see how that would work if the child is given the option to be dropped off; however, if a child is being sexually abused, for example, it is highly unlikely the parent abusing is going to drop him/her off to stop the abuse, but if the child has the option, I can see how it could possibly cut down on runaways.I also think if parents use it even just as a threat to control their children, they may loose something they can never get back.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 8 years
I'm not against this. If you're the type of parent who would actually participate in such a program, you shouldn't have your child anyway.
amybdk amybdk 8 years
Wow. This is truly astonishing.
yesteryear yesteryear 8 years
jeez. i was lucky enough to have a good family growing up so its hard for me to imagine things being so bad that this would be better. the thing that keeps running through my mind are all of the emotional issues that you'd almost certainly have as a result of knowing your parents were willing to literally give up on you. but then again... it might be better than being abused. wow. tough call.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
wow - that's really an interesting way to approach abandonment. i don't think that i necessarily agree with it - but i guess it's not my place to say right? just think about how traumatic it would be for a child to have the parent drop off the child elsewhere cause they know that they can't provide for their child. i think that it has to be hard. granted it's probably better for the parent to realize that they can't be a good parent rather than have social services come in and rip the kid from their home, but we're talking about children now or even teenagers who know and understand what's going on. i guess we'll just have to see how this works during the next few months/years to see if they change how the process is done.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
wow - that's really an interesting way to approach abandonment. i don't think that i necessarily agree with it - but i guess it's not my place to say right? just think about how traumatic it would be for a child to have the parent drop off the child elsewhere cause they know that they can't provide for their child. i think that it has to be hard. granted it's probably better for the parent to realize that they can't be a good parent rather than have social services come in and rip the kid from their home, but we're talking about children now or even teenagers who know and understand what's going on.i guess we'll just have to see how this works during the next few months/years to see if they change how the process is done.
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