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Parents in Nebraska Dumping Teens Before Law Changes

More than half of the 33 children legally abandoned in Nebraska since the state's safe-haven law took effect in July have been teens. Nebraska is the first state to permit the abandonment of anyone under 19 years of age.

The state's governor announced that lawmakers would rewrite the law, which was created to provide an alternative for so-called "dumpster babies," at the end of October after a circus of attention on stats that showed many parents were abandoning teens. Sadly, the number of drop-offs has almost tripled since the announcement of the law change.

Authorities searched for a 17-year-old girl yesterday who escaped an Omaha hospital when her mother tried to leave her there. Her 14-year-old brother was reportedly taken into custody by the state.


Join The Conversation
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i heard about this more on the news the other night and it's a shame that people were taking such advantage of the law when it was in place that they now have to reneg on it. i hope that things get to be a bit better - it's not right to drop off a teen like that just because you don't want to be a parent anymore.
girlA girlA 8 years
As far as adopting, at least here is CO, you have to foster for 6 months first, then you're eligible to file the paperwork with the court, then wait 3-6 more months for it to be final.
girlA girlA 8 years
They're part of the system now, undave. NE's foster care system could be done by county or state--in CO, it's by county. Find out which and get in touch with their Dept of Human services. Then you get to go thru the whole fun process of foster care training and home studies. I wonder if the state tries to contact relatives of these kids to see if they can take them. However, I'm sure if the parents could have used that option, they would have.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
How do we get in touch with the authorities there? Whodo we talk to about adopting those teens?
PiNkY-PiNk PiNkY-PiNk 8 years
so sad all around
Jessiebanana Jessiebanana 8 years
Lickety split I completely agree with you. It was that way for my sister's kids. Dropping them off would have been better for them then staying with her. It is horrible Mykie for parents to abandon their responsibility, but it is even worse to make children pay for it.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
I feel very badly for the abandoned children, too. What these parents have done is appalling. May God have mercy on them, as I certainly don't.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
"this Christmas some of my friends and I are "sponsoring" a single mom and her children from a pregnancy care center in my city." That is a beautiful thing!! Very inspiring, Court. I have a charity for homeless teens that I volunteer/give to, and this year I am trying to figure out if there is anyway to give a little extra.
subtleheights subtleheights 8 years
Blackwidow, even the best kids out there drive parents up the walls at some point. I being raised in a different culture from this one, i see the total disrespect and disregard kids here have for any adult authority. its like the roles are reversed. you try disciplining them and your behind winds up behind bars. these are ungrateful, unruly- because- the- law- says- kids- rule. well this is the outcome of the kids rule. unruly, out of control, talk back, slap- you- around, run- away- if- i- dont- get- what- i- want, make- you- feel- guilty, call- the- cops, and get away with it all syndrome. i understand when you may not be able to afford healthcare or feed them, but there is always a way. that is no reason to abandon a kid. the teens? i think they are out of control and parents don't know how to deal. i have plans for my son when he is older. and they will not be carried out here in this country for sure.
Mykie7 Mykie7 8 years
girlA, I agree, my rant was mostly pointed at the people dropping off the teens too. Though, and I know I'm going to get beaten over the head for saying this, I don't like the idea of people being able to drop off babies either. I do agree though that it's better than them being murdered, either before or after birth. And if you put a baby in a dumpster and it dies, you are a murderer. Period, end of story.
Mykie7 Mykie7 8 years
:rant:WTF IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE! "Gee, I don't want the responsibility of this anymore. What? There's a law that let's me NOT TAKE responsibility? SWEET!" THAT is what is WRONG with SO MUCH in this country! It is TOO EASY when you "screw up" to just say, "Eh, so what. Let someone else deal with my mistake, I'm OUT" I'm sick and tired of it! Take responsibility for YOURSELVES people and quit thinking that someone ELSE is going to bail your a** OUT! :rant:
girlA girlA 8 years
I think a major problem is that there aren't enough resources and mental health funding available to help these families out, so to them, the next best thing is to drop of "the problem" (this is more geared towards the parents who drop of their "unruly" teenagers). Infants, I can understand--it's better than dying in a dumpster.
delia delia 8 years
Oh, my heart just breaks for these kids. I don't plan on having children myself, but I'm considering adopting an older child later in my life. I see stories like this and I just want to say, "That's it! Send all of 'em to me!"
Blackwidowchick Blackwidowchick 8 years
I hate to admit that I burst into laughter when I read this story. I wonder how bad those teenagers were in the first place. I'm not saying it's right, but wow. I mean really, what did those kids do?
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
"I am all about derailing threads today." Kranky that's my specialty! ;)
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
actually, as sad as this is, i think it's better for the children to be out of the home if the parents don't really want them. i would fear for the safety and mental health of a child who's parents wanted to get rid of them but couldn't. we had a case here in the bay area recently where a woman starved and beat one of her adopted kids (boy girl twins) to death. the girl was in middle school and had been abused over many years. the kids were the biological children of a relative and she was raising them along with her own children. not everyone is equipped to be parents, and this poor child paid the price of that fact. so my point is; i'm not sure staying in a home where you are constantly told and shown "you aren't wanted" is better than being given a chance to be cared for and treated kindly in a a foster home or a state run facility.
Court003 Court003 8 years
I think parents are looking for an easy way out. The law was to prevent innocent babies and I'm sorry, but if you're smart enough to figure out the law's loophole and drive your kid to Nebraska, you're smart enough to put your child up for adoption. Don't wuss out parents! And there is help, there are homeless shelters and food banks, this Christmas some of my friends and I are "sponsoring" a single mom and her children from a pregnancy care center in my city. I know times are's not an excuse though. I feel so badly for these kids and how they must feel to have their parents pick abandon them.
kranky kranky 8 years
Jill- Thanks so much! We're fine for now, and he should be OK given his position (knock on wood). It's just so terribly upsetting to know that people we know are going to lose their jobs. It's an emotional day. (And confession: I work in employment consulting, and we've been doing a lot of lay-off analyses lately. I do not argue about economic issues for my health. I see the effects of the economy every day at work. Ladies and gents: prognosis - not good.) I am all about derailing threads today. Sorry! Again, it's an emotional day.
skb9850 skb9850 8 years
TS - I think your suggestion is the perfect way to word that law. Maybe you should send it along to the Nebraska legislature. :)
Jillness Jillness 8 years
I am keeping my fingers crossed for your family, kranky! These are very scary times.
Angela123 Angela123 8 years
How awful and sad. TS, I agree that 'infant' would be good language.
telane telane 8 years
I think it is so sad that a law like this is even necessary. The way I see it is that you have 9 months to decide if you can provide for this baby. Give the kid up for adoption if you can't. Don't abandon it. People are so effed up.
stephley stephley 8 years
Bastyle, I've been trying to get my head around financially impossible and I can't. If you're a parent, you find a way. There IS help from charities, from churches, from the government - if you're not eligible for any help, that's a different problem. If you have to be homeless, you keep the kid with you; if you have to live with friends or family, you keep your kid with you. If you're actually in imminent danger of death, and need to protect the child's life, maybe - but these are people who are aware of this law so we're likely not talking about people who are living on the street eating out of trash cans.
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
Are all these children going into foster homes and orphanages? They can't possibly find homes for all these kids.
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
Thanks for the clarificatons truesong I think the 72 hour things is what is on the books in Cali. However while I think it's heidous to drop off young children, tweens, and teens in some rare cases it may be nessecary for the parent to do so. Who knows a women and a man may be prepared finacially to have a child and over the years circumstances change one parent dies, there is no other family, finacially it is almost ( it never is really impossible) impossible? (Devils Advocate)
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