Nebraska’s ‘Safe Haven’ Law Being Abused

October 17, 2008 at 12:52 am Leave a comment

Nebraska lawmakers want to rethink the state’s safe haven law, which appears to have evolved into a child-dumping law instead.

Most states have safe haven laws designed to allow parents to drop
off babies they cannot or do not want to care for. But those statutes
are usually designed for infants. Nebraska’s law, however, is not
age-specific — so older children, up to age 17, are being brought to
hospitals by parents. A father of ten recently children dropped off
nine of them at an Omaha hospital.

Nebraska lawmakers will discuss the issue in November and perhaps act in January. But Linda Spears of the Child Welfare League for America (CWLA) believes that is not quick enough, considering the economy.
 
“They will either need to revisit this law very quickly and/or make
sure that there’s good information out there to let people know what’s
available to support them if they are struggling with their kids,”
Spears contends. She believes the idea ought to be to keep the family
intact.

Nebraska
is seeing another danger in the law coming from bordering states. An
Iowa man recently crossed into The Cornhusker State and left his
14-year-old daughter at a hospital.
 
“Iowa has a safe haven law, but it’s age-specific,” Spears points out.
“You know, what’s unusual about that is that…among people who know
children’s services in America, Iowa has a very good reputation for
lots of family support services.”
 
Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman said the recent misuse shows the need
to put an age restriction in his state’s safe haven law. “In the coming
legislative session, I will advocate for changes that put the focus
back on protecting an infant in danger,” he says. “That should be our
priority.”

Source: OneNewsNow

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Entry filed under: National. Tags: , , , , , .

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