Update on Nebraska’s “Safe Haven” Law

Ken AshfordSex/Morality/Family ValuesLeave a Comment

UPDATE:  Speaking of Nebraska, the last vote just got counted in the 2nd Congressional District (Omaha), and it went for Obama (the rest of the state went McCain).  This makes the electoral count Obama 365, McCain 173.

Now back to what I was posting…….

A special session of the Nebraska legislature is meeting today at 3:00 p.m., Nebraska time, to amend that law that is giving them such a headache.   AP describes that law this way:

Nebraska's safe-haven law, which doesn't have a specified age limit, lets parents abandon their children at a hospital without fear of prosecution.

Since it went into effect July 18, it has been used to drop off 33 children.

There have been six 17-year-olds, two 16-year-olds, six 15-year-olds, three 14-year-olds, three 13-year-olds, three 12-year-olds, five 11-year-olds, one 9-year-old, one 8-year-old, one 7-year-old, one 6-year-old and one 1-year-old. Five were from out of state.

And since then, a 34th child has been dropped off/abandoned.  Make that 35.

What AP's summary doesn't explain is that many of these parents are quote- abandoning -unquote their child in order for the child to get the needed social services that they can't get.  Many of these so-called "dumpster kids" have mental or emotional problems.  Of the 30 kids studied by the Department of Health and Human Services, 27 of them had received mental health treatment.

Nevertheless, it looks like they will change the law so that it applies to children three days old and younger, which is more in line with other states.

My cousin is concerned:

Senator Brad Ashford says, "This is a wake up call."

That's what Senator Ashford calls the current safe haven law.  "It's clearly shown a light on what is significant issue in our community and across the country."

Ashford says that issue is the lack of services available for children with mental health problems. "Most of the violence were caused because so many young people did not have the services, has been serviced, and than those services were no longer available, that's the problem."

He says he disagrees with the Special Session saying this will change the age limit, but leaves many young kids behind.

He would rather not change the law until next session saying it could take up to six months before any changes can be made to provide more services for young children and teens.

In other words, changing the law and putting in a three-days-old age limit is fine, but then what do you do about all these young children and teenagers who need the social services, and can't get them?

Well, in the meantime, until this gets changed and fixed, the State of Nebraska would like you to know: "Please don't bring your teenager to Nebraska".