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Nebraska’s dump law, in the past 16 days 16 legalized child abandonments

This is the fourth piece in my series of posts about the Nebraska legalized abandonment/child dump law. Go to my Nebraska tab to read the other, earlier pieces.


Nebraska’s legalized child abandonment law went into effect July 18th, 2008. 73 days ago.

The first two kids dumped in Nebraska under the new law, (over the weekend of Sept 13-14) a tween and a teen, were abandoned just over two weeks ago.

Over the past 16 days, 16 kids have been abandoned. (Yes including the sad case of the father who abandoned 9 at once.)

Nebraska legislators should be ashamed.

Speaking as an adoptee coming from a sealed records state, I have no way of knowing whether I was abandoned or spent time in foster care of not, but what I do know is that kids, particularly minors are going to internalize this and live with the Nebraska’s legislators’ social experimentation for the rest of their lives.

At least one story over the past few weeks pointed out that a counselor working with a dumped kid said the hardest part was for the kid to understand that this wasn’t their fault.

Kids are not inanimate objects. Kids are not things to try a policy out on and if it doesn’t work, leave those directly affected to deal with their (state created) ‘personal problems’. Only to head back to some mythic drawing board to ‘tweek’ these laws and try again, as if do-overs don’t matter. Dump bill 2.0 is not going to fix the problems inherent to any dump bill. It will only to subject the next batch of kids to the next bad batch of legislation. The kids can’t walk away from the consequences. Subjecting them to this unnecessary level of trauma is unconscionable.

Kids are not legislative lab rats.

Kids deserve better than abandonment.

If Nebraska abandonments are primarily going to be used as a state mediated way to plug families into support systems, (which should not be faith-based non-profits), then cut out the abandonment step. Make access to genuine support available long before things escalate to the point of child abandonment.

Do not put kids through this emotional ordeal, (nor ever even possibly,) require parents surrender the parental rights to gain access to help.

No state should be in the business of actively encouraging child abandonment, ever.

And yet today that’s precisely where we stand. All 50 states shamefully abandoning all basis of best practices in child welfare, adoption, and genuine concern for the kids as actual individuals and instead telling parents the answers to their problems lies in abandoning their children.

Yes, in time I will get to other posts, filled with links and details and quotes and all that important stuff, but for this one singular moment, this is a post without citation. This is a post purely about expressing rage.

What Nebraska legislators have done in their mad rush to pass SOMETHING is fuck over 16 kids.

It’s past time to stop. What they have done is fundamentally wrong. How many more kids are going to have to endure these political schemes?

These were parents who needed access to services, but not at the cost of even potentially losing their children. Not at the cost of putting any child through this. The ‘cost’ of linking up with what support may or may not be available must not be a kid wondering why ‘mommy doesn’t love them anymore?’ (Enough so as as to abandon them at a designated dump site.) The assumptions in that are all wrong, but the scars are real.

‘Mommy’ or ‘Daddy’ in reality, if these past two weeks are any indication, often loves the kid fiercely, but in the end, feels they have no other alternative than to utilize the dump law.

Child abandonments are evidence that the ‘system’ is failing these families.

When a child is dumped it is no ‘save’, it is evidence that the system didn’t work, so much so that someone felt this was all they had left.

Dumps ‘save’ nothing for these children. They break trust. The trust between parents and children and between citizens and the state.

Nebraska can do better. All 50 states can do better.

Child abandonment is evidence of a severely broken system. Passing the hard effects of that down to children, those least able to cope with such is nothing less than a cowardly shirking of duty. It is the ugly admission that some people feel the problems are simply ‘too big’, and rather than tackle them, they leave kids to deal with the consequences, personally, as best they can.

Dump laws are intrinsically bad for kids. They are intrinsically harm based.

It’s time to stop mumbling about the possibility of coming up with ‘new and improved’ ways for the state to encourage child abandonment and instead realize that there is no such thing as a ‘good’ child abandonment law.

Child abandonment is never a ‘success’, it is nothing to be cheered, let alone promoted.

Every Child dump is evidence of things gone horribly wrong, of broken systems, of desperation, of regret, and of the state failing its families and children.

Now that we’ve seen the raw face of legalized child abandonment, and what it does to kids, be they 18 or infants, it’s time to strip these abominations out of our states.

Repeal them now.

Nothing less than full repeal.

2 Responses to “Nebraska’s dump law, in the past 16 days 16 legalized child abandonments”

  1. Baby Love Child Says:

    Ok, two links.

    Start here, with the Omaha World-Herald’s article entitled Safe Haven Law: Frustrated families frustrate the system, and here for Profiles of the families that have used the safe haven law.

    Many of these were families who had tried in the past to access the system. In the end, dumping became what was left.

    We’re looking at decades worth of destruction of the mental health system in this country, combined with health care costs, and a mess of other ‘social problems’.

    Legalized abandonment is no answer to the problems these kids and their families have faced and will continue to face.

    So, Nebraska legislators, wanna roll up your sleeves and get to work, or are you just going to work on dump 2.0 for infants and CONTINUE to leave these kids and their families nowhere?

  2. Baby Love Child Says:

    Also be sure to go see Bastardette’s two most recent Nebraska pieces-

    Friday, September 26, 2008


    Sunday, September 28, 2008

    Both are not only solid analysis, they’re also filled with very important links and supporting materials.

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