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  1. #1
    Willowdared's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Father Abandons Nine Children Under Safe-Haven Law

    So, it comes to this.....children treated like an unwanted litter of kittens.

    Father drops off 9 kids under Neb. safe haven law

    By Timberly Ross
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    6:57 a.m. September 25, 2008
    OMAHA, Neb. – Nine children were left at a hospital by their father late Wednesday under the state's new safe haven law, a move officials say illustrates the problems many feared when the rule went into effect.

    The father, who was not identified, left the children aged 1 to 17 at Creighton University Medical Center's emergency room.

    The law, which went into effect in July, allows caregivers to abandon children at any state-licensed hospital without fear of prosecution. It was initially intended to protect infants – like similar laws in other states – but was amended to include children and teenagers.
    At least four children between the ages of 11 and 15 have been abandoned by parents since the law took effect.

    The nine youngsters surrendered Wednesday are OK, said Kathie Osterman, a spokeswoman for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. She didn't know how many were boys or girls, or why their father left them.

    More information will be available at a late morning news conference, Osterman said.

    Nebraska was the last state in the nation to adopt a safe-haven law. Under previous law, a parent who abandoned a baby could have been charged with child neglect or abandonment, both misdemeanors, or child abuse, a felony.

    State Sen. Arnie Stuthman said he introduced the bill intending to protect infants. In a compromise with senators worried about arbitrary age limits, the measure was expanded to include the word “child.”

    The law doesn't further define child, and some have interpreted that to mean anyone in Nebraska under the age of 19. Others have taken the common law meaning of child – those under age 14.

    Abandoning teenagers was not the original intent of the law, Stuthman said Thursday.

    “People are leaving them off just because they can't control them,” he said. “They're probably in no real danger, so it's an easy way out for the caretaker.”
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  2. #2
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    Unreal. Ohio's safe haven law states infants up to a few days old. I can't imagine any child. We would have many incidents like this if we did.

  3. #3
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    I wonder how many actual infants have been left since this started there. It sounds like too many people are using it as a way to get rid of their older children, but they may just not be publicizing the numbers for babies since it's not as shocking.
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  4. #4
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    That is just plain f**ked up!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDawg View Post
    “People are leaving them off just because they can't control them,” he said. “They're probably in no real danger, so it's an easy way out for the caretaker.”
    Probably in no real danger, but what if they are in danger? Even if 100 parents give their kids to the state even though they wouldn't have murdered their kids if they had kept them, it's still worth it if one parent gives a kid to the state instead of murdering the kid. If my parents had hated me enough to want to abandon me when I was a child (of any age), I would have been grateful to have been given to the custody of the state.

    Any parents who would abandon their children are horrible parents, but wouldn't the children be better off without such horrible parents?

  6. #6
    irishmick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    Probably in no real danger, but what if they are in danger? Even if 100 parents give their kids to the state even though they wouldn't have murdered their kids if they had kept them, it's still worth it if one parent gives a kid to the state instead of murdering the kid. If my parents had hated me enough to want to abandon me when I was a child (of any age), I would have been grateful to have been given to the custody of the state.

    Any parents who would abandon their children are horrible parents, but wouldn't the children be better off without such horrible parents?
    Jenna, I absolutely agree that the children are probably better off! The only problem is that with most social services, they're already overworked and have too many kids in the system as it is. I'm afraid this is just adding to the burden that many DHS offices aren't equipped to handle. That being said, I think that the whole child protective services system should be re-vamped because in most states they're hopelessly "broken".
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  7. #7
    mack's Avatar
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    I remember there was a thread posted when this law came into effect. This new law needs to be amended and quickly before more parents do the same as the idiots who have already abandoned their children. Although as Jenna said they are probably better off there are other venues to follow to solve the problem other than abusing the system.

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  8. #8
    Willowdared's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    Probably in no real danger, but what if they are in danger? Even if 100 parents give their kids to the state even though they wouldn't have murdered their kids if they had kept them, it's still worth it if one parent gives a kid to the state instead of murdering the kid. If my parents had hated me enough to want to abandon me when I was a child (of any age), I would have been grateful to have been given to the custody of the state.

    Any parents who would abandon their children are horrible parents, but wouldn't the children be better off without such horrible parents?
    If they are going to surrender custody of their children, they can damn well pay child support as well.

    They can also kiss their social security goodbye as far as I'm concerned.

    Utterly and completely shameful.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDawg View Post
    If they are going to surrender custody of their children, they can damn well pay child support as well.

    They can also kiss their social security goodbye as far as I'm concerned.

    Utterly and completely shameful.
    I agree with you.




  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack View Post
    I remember there was a thread posted when this law came into effect. This new law needs to be amended and quickly before more parents do the same as the idiots who have already abandoned their children. Although as Jenna said they are probably better off there are other venues to follow to solve the problem other than abusing the system.
    But nothing ever happens in Nebraska. uh huh, yeah right.

    Quote Originally Posted by PDawg View Post
    If they are going to surrender custody of their children, they can damn well pay child support as well.

    They can also kiss their social security goodbye as far as I'm concerned.

    Utterly and completely shameful.
    Amen to that.


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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDawg View Post
    If they are going to surrender custody of their children, they can damn well pay child support as well.

    They can also kiss their social security goodbye as far as I'm concerned.

    Utterly and completely shameful.
    Well said. I agree.
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  12. #12
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    They are suppose to be having a meeting here this week on making the law state the age limit.. As far as I know there has been NO infants dropped off, the youngest one that has been dropped off is 1 year old and the oldest is a 17 year old. I saw the news yesterday and the grandma for these children is fighting to get them back, the dad never told anyone he was doing it.

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  13. #13
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    This topic's a bit old, but as it's ongoing and I've seen it come up a few times I thought I'd pass along some updates about the topic. Being Monday I don't doubt there will be more cases from the weekend.

    First off, we've had an out of state drop-off now. "A grandmother from Iowa drove her 14-year-old granddaughter across state lines and dumped her at a hospital "to teach her a lesson." The girl is now back with her family after they changed their minds."

    What surprises me is there is no clear message coming from we, the people of Nebraska, as to what a revised law should be. In a poll by my local radio station these were the results last Thursday to the question "Do you think the state's safe haven law should be changed to be age specific, if so, what age?"

    48% - Yes, under 1 year
    22% - Yes, under 10 years
    12% - No, keep current law
    8% - Yes, a few months old
    6% - Yes, a few weeks old
    4% - Yes, a few days old


    Surprised me. There's an easy majority there to revise the safe haven law to be up to a full year old, and this is from an audience in the 3rd Legislative District.

    One of those making the case for keeping the current law is Senator Dwight Peterson.

    YouTube - Safe Haven

    I lean toward a days old, up to a month. What do you think is the best age for a safe haven law?

  14. #14
    racing04's Avatar
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    I live in Nebraska and I think this new law is stupid. I believe the age should be under 1..your only messing up the child more when you drop them off at the age of 10 and say I don't want you anymore, we already have enough going on in the world we don't need to add to it by just getting rid of children we no longer want.
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  15. #15
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    the vid says the law "gives parents an outlet before they do something drastic" to the kids...

    guess what - turn them over to the state, I have no problem with that... but YOU PAY THE STATE BACK FOR TAKING CARE OF YOUR KIDS...

    no penalties?

    eff that
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  16. #16
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    2nd out-of-state teen dropped at Omaha hospital
    By JOSH FUNKMonday, Oct 13, 2008 - 01:46:15 pm CDT
    OMAHA, Neb. - A second teenager from outside Nebraska has been left at an Omaha hospital under the state's vaguely worded safe-haven law, state officials said Monday.

    Nebraska Health and Human Services spokeswoman Kathie Osterman said at least one of the Michigan boy's parents brought him to Creighton University Medical Center between 1:30 a.m. and 2 a.m. Monday. Osterman said it appears that boy's parent brought him to Omaha specifically to abandon the boy.

    Since July 18, when the law took effect, 18 children between the ages of 1 and 17 have been abandoned. Nebraska's unique safe-haven law allows children as old as 18 to be abandoned at hospitals without fear of prosecution.

    This is the second time since the state's safe-haven law went into effect a child from outside the state has been left at a hospital in Nebraska. It is not immediately clear how the boy got from Michigan to Nebraska or who dropped him off.

    Last week, a 14-year-old girl from Iowa was left at an Omaha hospital by her grandparents. The girl has since been returned to her family.

    Officials with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services have stressed that the safe-haven law should be used for children in immediate danger only. Some officials are worried that Nebraska's broadly written law could make the state a dumping ground for unwanted children.

    Nebraska officials didn't have a lot of information Monday about the Michigan boy. Osterman said officials are working to learn more about the circumstances, but the Columbus Day holiday was slowing the investigation.

    Osterman said the Michigan boy has been placed in an emergency shelter.

    Creighton hospital spokeswoman Lisa Stites said she did not know any additional details about the boy abandoned at her hospital Monday.

    State officials have said parents and caregivers contemplating using the law need to understand there is no guarantee a child could be returned to them if they change their minds. The placement may involve the courts, and the process of regaining custody may prove difficult.

    Officials have encouraged parents to seek other resources before resorting to abandonment. They've urged desperate parents to ask for help from family, faith-based groups and other community services before abandoning their children at hospitals.

    In Nebraska, several of the parents or guardians who have left children cited uncontrollable behavioral problems as reasons for using the law. An out-of-work widower who left nine of his 10 children said he simply felt overwhelmed by his responsibilities. That man, Gary Staton, has asked a judge to approve state-supervised visitation with the kids he abandoned.

    State lawmakers and Gov. Dave Heineman have said the safe haven law, which was intended to protect infants, needs to be changed. The current law uses the word child and doesn't include any age limit.

    So some have taken the word "child" in the law to mean "minor," which in Nebraska includes anyone under the age of 19. Others have taken the common law definition, which includes those under age 14.

    But Heineman has been reluctant to call a special session of the Legislature to fix the safe haven law, lawmakers may have to wait until their next regular session begins in January. The Legislature's Judiciary and Health and Human Services committees plan to hold a joint public hearing on the safe-haven law on Nov. 13.

    ---now we have people coming to Nebarska just to get rid of them---
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  17. #17
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    Some people need to be snipped and clipped and not allowed to breed.


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  18. #18
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    Amen to that. A little preemptive bleach in the gene pool for some of these people seems in order.
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