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Nebraska- another day, another attempted abandonment

This is the latest in a series of posts I have done criticizing Nebraska’s legalized child abandonment laws. You can find my earlier posts via my Nebraska tag.


More of the same, but with a new twist.

Quotes taken from Attempted Safe Haven Case:

…a 34 year old mother showed up at Bryan LGH West 11:15 Monday morning to drop off her 15 year old daughter under the state’s safe haven law. The woman told officials the daughter was a run-away and she couldn’t handle her behavior. The woman also told police she was worried for her young son when the girl was home and had begun filing paperwork to make the girl a ward of the state, but it was taking too long.

Once again, we run head long into one of the real reasons behind these child dumps, going the usual route just takes too long for some. Apparently it’s just too darn hard to get rid of a kid.

Poor thing!

But instead of going ahead with the abandonment, an officer talked the woman down to ‘merely’ having the girl committed to the hospital’s psych unit:

A Lincoln officer talked with the woman and doctors at the hospital and worked out an arrangement where the girl was admitted into the hospital’s child psychiatric service instead of abandoned under safe haven.

I guess all these dump stats are bringing too much attention and heat on Nebraska, they’re down to one on one trying to talk dumpers into alternatives that keep the kids out of the state’s stats.

As I said in yesterday’s post Nebraska- two 12 year-old boys legally abandoned this past weekend, & ‘gaming’ the numbers “Baby Love Child” being a bastard based blog, around here I focus on the experience of the kids themselves, and my numbers are going to reflect the number of kids attempted to be dumped not necessarily NE DHHS’s ‘dump accomplished’ count.

The piece goes on to point out, this is not the first time the Lincoln (Nebraska) Police Department has stepped in to divert dump bound familes:

Casady says this is the second time LPD has helped a family considering using the safe haven law.

So I guess the real question is, statewide, how many other attempted dumps have been redirected and may be going unreported?

Has Nebraska finally begun to reach the point of attempted spin control, trying to keep dump bound guardians from actually completing the child dump?

Clearly Nebraska officials understand the official number count is being watched, (yes you can subscribe to their “Safe haven” webpage). The official Nebraska DHHS count does not include a kid left at unauthorized location (a police station), nor the 18 year-old who tried to “safe haven” himself. Nor will the official tally include cases such as this girl, who but for Lincoln police intervention would have been legally abandoned (kid #19 if all attempted cases are included.) so the question arises, is there now an active effort to keep the numbers down/more cases out of the state stats?

The real answer to legalized abandonment is to for Nebraska legislators to realize that “safe haven” laws are no answer to the real problems kids and families face and repeal the law. They have an opportunity to lead the way, learning from Nebraska’s experimentation with legalized child abandonment, and step back away from this irresponsible form of legislation, back into the realm of actual kid-based social support structures.

Am I holding my breath for full repeal? Unfortunately no.

Why? Because odds are good that rather than doing right by Nebraska’s kids and families and repealing the law, state lawmakers are instead going to go for a round two ‘dump law 2.0’, trying to monkey with the age requirements on legalized child abandonments, which will only end up screwing kids younger and less vocal (for the time being.)

Further, baby dump laws have dire consequences for womyn, encouraging them to hide their pregnancies, ecshew prenatal care, and give birth secretly (endangering their own lives) in hopes of being able to ‘make the problem go away’ via legalized baby dumping.

Nebraska has the opportunity to step up and say ‘no more, we don’t and won’t abandon children (and womyn) that way here’. It has an opportunity to take the leadership position of sending the clear message that in Nebraska at least, THIS state does not encourage child abandonment.

But odds are they’ll opt for what they see as the easy way out, and just go for the aged down version. The damage will continue.

And that’s the real shame, that not a single state is willing to buck the baby-dumping trend to say no, we don’t dump our kids around here.

It is legal to dump newborns in all 50 states.

To our shame.

Bastardette has also blogged about the latest attempted dump, MOTHER ‘ATTEMPTS” TO DUMP TEEN DAUGHTER IN OMAHA. I’ll just close with her wise words:

How much worse does this have to get before the legislature, stops husking corn, and repeals this travesty? No, the law doesn’t need tweaked or tightened-up or any other quaint-worded fix politicians want to throw about. The mass dumping of Nebraska’s children is the perfect consequence of what we have been saying would happen for the last nine years.

How many more kids have to be abandoned before states begin to listen?

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