Safe-haven

Posted On October 29, 2008

Filed under family, life, parenting, self

Comments Dropped 4 responses

I am sure that this is old news, but Nebraska’s new ‘safe-haven’ law has caused quite a stir.  Now, most states, including my own have some sort of law that allows you to leave newborns at hospital’s, fire station’s or police station’s without fear of being prosecuted for abandoning their infant children.  Nebraska’s law doesn’t give an age limit and people have really taken advantage of it.  It seems like every day there is a new story about teenagers being dropped of in Nebraska hospitals because their parents can’t deal with them.

It just makes me sick to think that parents will drop their kids off to “teach them a lesson” or as a form of punishment.  What kind of message does that send to these children who are abandoned by their parents.  I wonder if these children will grow up to not trust people, to question authority or to simply hate themselves.  I am sure that there are times that we all wish that we could step away from our kids that are misbehaving.  I am sure that from time to time, our children wish we would just leave them alone.  But, people are using this law to cast aside their almost fully grown children and that is just wrong.  It is not limited to just Nebraska residents.  People are driving and flying from all over the country to do this.

I could never imagine leaving the girls anywhere.  I could never imagine just leaving them behind in a unfamiliar place.  I hear people in the grocery store telling their kids, “If you don’t hurry up, I am leaving you behind.”  They take few steps and say, “Bye!”  The kids usually go running up to their parents.  But you can always tell when the parents use it all the time, because the kids don’t even blink.  Personally, I think this game is wrong.  All children are afraid of being abandon.  I wonder if Nebraska kids are feeling this fear worse because of recent events.

I know that the law makers did not intend for the law to be used this way.  I am sure that they are kicking themselves for the fact that it can be exploited in such a way.  I am sure that they will not leave any loop holes when the law has been rewritten.  But, that also suggests to me, that law makers are going to be more careful everywhere and all new laws are going to lose some of flexibility that would have been good to have.  Laws are going to be a lot more specific now, and this is just as dangerous.  Because when laws allow for no flexibility at all, they can cause innocent law-abiding citizen’s a lot of undue problems.  I just hope that it doesn’t turn out this way.

What do you think of the Nebraska law?

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4 Responses to “Safe-haven”

  1. Sprite's Keeper

    I think it needs a serious re-write since there is obviously an elephant sized loophole in it.

  2. bloggingmom67

    I totally agree with you. I live in New York state, where the safe haven law allows a mom to leave a baby in a safe place for up to 48 hours, I think. That makes sense to me, but the Nebraska law goes way to far.

    There may be a reason for parent to relinquist their parental rights, but it seems to me the process should be more complicated than just dumping your kids at a hospital curbside.

  3. Tricia

    The woman and child live here in Georgia and our local newspapers have been full of the story. I felt outraged when I first read the story adn i still do, but I read an interview with teh mother the other day, who was seriously at the end of her rope. The child had been in and out of juvenille detention, etc. She shouldn’t have abandoned him, but I wish we did a better job of providing support for parents who are so in need that they don’t know where to turn.

    I tried that “I’m going to leave you here” tactic with my son ONCE. We were on the playground and he kept running away from me. For 15 minutes every time I said it was time to go, he’d head in the other direction. I was exasperated and said, “I’m leaving and you can stay here.” With that I started to walk toward the car. He panicked. Absolutely panicked and I was horrified with myself. I’ll NEVER do it again. I never want him to feel insecure in the one thing that he should be able to count on…that I’ll always love him and I’ll never leave him.

  4. awickedstepmom

    Tricia:
    I agress with you that there should be more help for parents out there. Another woman from Michigan also dropped her kid off there. It was all over the local papers for like a week and then the story disappeared. To me, that is just as bad. The media can really bring change if they bring an issue to light. And if they aren’t talking about it, new programs won’t be made for struggling parents.

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