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Nebraska- Kids number 22 and 23; Another self “haven” and other hidden dumps in the official number tally

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.


So I’m behind but trying to catch up.

Tuesday another teen showed up at a hospital turning herself in under Nebraska’s “safe haven” law. Making this the second “self haven” case. See Teen Cites Safe Haven.

Tuesday night the teenage mom walked into the hospital after she says her mom hit her and kicked her out. The North High sophmore also claims her mom steals her welfare checks, meant for the baby. The teen’s mother insists she’s never abused her daughter or taken her money. “I shouldn’t have to explain my financial situation to anyone, even my child, as long as she got a roof over her head. She’s not neglected, she eats whenever she wants to, she take a bath whenever she wants to. Her job is to go to school and come home and take care of her child, now that she has a child,” says Portia Crawford.

Crawford claims this whole thing started over a fight with her daughter who wanted to go out for the night and leave her baby.

This is the second teen who has turned themselves in, the first was back on September 22rd, an 18 year old boy who walked into Grand Island hospital. He was turned away as too old for foster care and given a referral to services, whatever that entailed.

The news story continues:

A petition was filed to charge Crawford with neglect, her daughter is not protected under safe haven.

Welcome to the grand irony of Nebraska’s “safe haven” law, anyone with physical custody of a kid when dumping is protected under the law, but kids themselves trying to access help are not.

Neither of the two teens are being counted in Nebraska DHHS’s official dump statistics (link opens a PDF.) This is important, as clearly these self “havens” are falling through the cracks. As they simply fall out of the history, no one can get a handle on what’s been happening. They’re absolutely happening, but hidden.

The local news, for example knew nothing of the earlier instance. (Should we sooner or later expect yet a third “bizarre new twist” story when another kid does the same?)

No age is reported on the girl beyond “sophomore” and “teen,” but we can safely assume she would likely fall within the age range covered by the law.

The bottom line is these two have become invisible self “havens”. Ghosts in the machine.

Nebraska thinks these kids don’t count.

Perhaps most importantly, despite asking for help under the law, there is no “haven” on the other end for them.

Then Wednesday, another kid was abandoned at Immanuel Hospital in Omaha, a 17-year old boy.

See, Another Safe Haven Drop in Omaha


KETV’s New ‘Safe Haven’ Teen Has Criminal Record

Investigators said it appears to be a case involving a mother who decided she could no longer handle her teenage son.


According to juvenile court records, the mother told a social worker that her son “needed to be a state ward now.” She said she was exercising her right under the Safe Haven law.

Perhaps one of the more interesting details in the piece is the boy’s lack of educational history:

Omaha Public Schools said her son has never been enrolled in a district school, even though he lives in the district.

Whether this means the boy was home schooled or in a private school or simply never educated at all remains to be seen.

Once again, we have those actually dealing with the practical application of the dump laws unhappy with the lack of preventative structures long before a kid reaches a dump site:

“There needs to be a better way to address these issues,” said assistant Douglas County attorney Nicole Goaley. “I think there needs to be a preventive way to assist families in getting their children the resources they need without making them wards of the state.”

Naturally, per the title of the piece, the focus is also on the boy’s previous “run-ins with the law:”

Court records show the teenager in this latest case has had several run-ins with the law. Earlier this year, he pleaded guilty to marijuana possession and being a minor in possession of alcohol. Last year, he was charged with misdemeanor theft and failure to appear in court.

The boy is in temporary, emergency custody with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Service. His case will be heard in Douglas County Juvenile Court next week.

So let’s talk numbers again.

While the Nebraska DHHS count stands at 19 kids, as I’ve said before, this is a Bastard Blog so here, I focus on the experiences of the kids themselves in relation to the dump law. My count is well above 19.

Nebraska may not count for example, the kid left at the Police station as it’s not an authorized dump site under the law, but that kid himself is no less abandoned. To the best of my knowledge he’s still in foster care. He is every bit as dumped as the rest of the kids on the official tally, but not counted.

So let’s go through my non-state approved count of dumped kids:

  • 9/1- 14-year old boy dumped at an Omaha police station (not an approved dump site)- NOT COUNTED
  • 9/13- 11-year old boy
  • 9/13- 15-year old boy
  • 9/20- either a 13 or 14-year old girl (conflicting accounts)
  • 9/22- Self haven- 18-year old boy- NOT COUNTED
  • 9/24- 9 siblings: 1-year old girl, 6-year old boy, 7-year old boy, 9-year old girl, 11-year old boy, 13-year old girl, 14-year old girl, 15-year old boy, 17-year old boy
  • 9/24- 11-year old boy
  • 9/24- 15-year old boy
  • 10/5- 15-year old boy
  • 10-5- 12-year old boy
  • 10/5- 15-year old girl brought to the hospital by her mother to be dumped, police talk her into committing her to the psych ward instead (see my blog piece) – NOT COUNTED
  • 10/6- 14-year old girl (Iowa) NE DHHS has her listed as 10/7
  • 10/13- 13-year old boy (Michigan)
  • 10/21- Self haven- “sophomore/teen” girl – NOT COUNTED
  • 10/2- 17-year old boy

(Again, see my Nebraska tag for my previous writings about many of these.)

Which is to say actually 23 kids have either been dumped , are attempted dumps, or self “haven”ed, (only to find no haven there for them.)

On this blog at least I do my damnedest to ensure “nobody gets left behind or forgotten.”

As I said back on October 6th,

If there’s any one thing my blog tries to do consistently, it’s remember those so often forgotten or hidden in (or out of) the ‘official’ tabulations.

In Nebraska with its child-dump law the casualties to date have been kids. In states with baby-dump laws, the casualties are babies. Whether newborn or child, abandonment deprives these people of building blocks necessary to them, particularly later in life. The state should never set out to set up systems that intentionally deprives a subset of citizens of basic things other citizens not only have, but consider the bedrock their lives are based on.

No matter what pretty language child-dump advocates attempt to wrap their toxic legislation in, the bottom line is child abandonment is never good for kids.

As I’ve said so many times before, there’s only one thing to do a legalized abandonment law, repeal it.

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