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Nebraska- real abandonments continue despite dump law, dump advocates attempt to capitalize upon such

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.


I want to point readers at an older (approximately October 16th?) Nebraska news segment I feel is important and have been meaning to blog about.

It’s a piece about genuine child abandonment. Not the “safe haven” laws. But as some insist upon utilizing it as an opportunity to talk about thier law, let’s talk about the failures of such in relation to genuine abandonments in Nebraska.

The segment shows how kids are yes, still being left, abandoned and on on their own in Nebraska, “safe-haven” law or no.

This (poorly titled, insinuating a direct connection, when the connection is abandonment, not the use of the law) piece, Home Alone Over Safe Haven, discusses two Nebraska kids (11 and 12 years old) left in an apartment to “fend for themselves” while their mother left for Kentucky supposedly in search of a new apartment.

Go read the full piece and watch the video for full details.

At the beginning of the video piece local reporter Dave Roberts opines,

“It’s an illegal choice in a state that offers safe haven.”

This is again, part of that (reproductive) “choice” false meme I have commented upon before being falsely applied to (post birth) children. Abandoning one’s kids like this is not in any way akin to any form of “reproductive choice,” nor are so called “safe havens.”

Both deal with actual (born) children, with their own constitutional rights.

Legalized abandonment advocates have desperately attempted to conflate the issue, particularly in relation to their school curriculum based presentations in other states. Wherein baby-dump advocates offer up legalized abandonment to young womyn as some form of third choice added to “abortion or adoption.” (And yes, even “abortion or adoption” is an intentional conflation, as womyn have only two options before birth, abort or bear to term. Relinquishing for adoption or parenting the child themselves are post birth parenting decisions, not reproductive decisions.)

Naturally, right on cue, legalized child abandonment advocate and Nebraska bill creator and sponsor Arnie Stuthman jumped the opportunity. Rather than admitting the outright failures of his law in this particular case, he instead attempted to capitalize upon it, essentially claiming that to his mind, it shows how allegedly necessary his law was. This is the strangest twist on sore winner-ism yet. The dump law advocates get what they want, they get their laws passed and then with every instance of children still being abandoned or still turning up dead, they insist their law is more necessary than ever.

For those of us who have tracked the dump laws play out state after state, we’ve watched variations on this scenario play out again and again. The more it fails, the more dump advocates dig their fingernails in.

Five days later, police still can’t find mom and the senator who wrote Nebraska’s safe haven law wonders why this woman, didn’t take advantage of it.

Senator Arnie Stuthman says, “We’re so concerned about the welfare of these children and that’s why we put this safe haven law there; although it was mainly meant for the babies and the people that could be harmed, but these too could drastically be harmed because they have nowhere to go. No where to get food.”

What both State Senator Stuthman and the local reporter fail to understand is that the mother in question was probably not the type to use the law in the first place, as using it would have meant the likely loss of her parental rights permanently.

We may very well be looking at what is really more of a child care issue, not a “safe haven” issue.

The “cost” of accessing child care must not be one’s parental rights.

Let’s look at two possibilities here.

In possibility one, (giving her the benefit of the doubt,) to her mind, she may have viewed the entire situation as temporary, sort of an “I’ll go on ahead, then come back for them.” If she did not intend to lose her kids, what she was looking for was sort of a temporary way to hit pause.

Dump laws only provide one option, loss of custody, likely permanent loss of parenthood and decision making power relating to her kids. Apparently (again, giving her the benefit of the doubt) she wanted to retain control. The dump laws do not give parents that power.

Many parents are merely looking for a time out, a place for the kids while they do what they need to do. But with the dumps laws, it’s all or nothing.

She may have viewed leaving them behind temporarily as preferable to “abandoning” them. She may not cognize herself as an “abandoner.”

(After all, what kind of mother intentionally abandons her own kids?)

On the other hand, let’s look at the second possibility here, let’s say she really was leaving for good, leaving the kids once and for all. Again, despite the local media blitz the Nebraska law has created, she did not use the law. Even if she intended to simply walk out, she did not take the kids to a dump site.

The kind of people the dump laws are often most intended for are often those least likely to utilize it.

Kids coming in through the dump sites are often well cared for, some come with personal items or even a suitcase. Often the parents or guardians show deep sorrow and remorse. That is a very different profile than those who simply walk away. Those who take the time to take the kids to dump sites tend to be those not in some process of “walking out.”

To date, we have no evidence that any of the kids abandoned were in any genuine immediate danger.

Yet the kids most in genuine danger are those who are left nowhere near dump sites, (again despite the media blitz.)

The dumps are catching kids whose parents care deeply and are looking for alternatives. For those not looking for alternatives, for those who just walk away, no dump law in the country is going to help.

As for the kids themselves,

Police put both children in protective custody. If detectives find mom, she could face criminal charges.

Which leads into another of the many unanswered questions about dump laws, are parents who abandon after the dump laws being sentenced more harshly than before the dump laws were passed because the state now views them as having rejected the state created “alternative?” Do judges who over time become frustrated with the laws not working sentence more harshly?

There’s a dissertation in there somewhere for anyone who wants to do the legwork.

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