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Nebraska- the seemingly endless parade of child dumping continues unabated

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.


As I mentioned recently, I’ve been busy the last week or so. While I’ve certainly still been following the latest twists and turns in the Nebraska situation, I haven’t had much time to actually write. Tonight is no exception.

I did however want to point readers across to two critically important pieces Marley has done on her blog, Bastardette:




Since I last blogged on Oct 29th, even the official Nebraska DHHS count (link opens a PDF) has gone up to 27 kids dumped to date.

But as I’ve been pointing out for some time now, there are a number of situations under which kids have interacted with the law not tabulated in the official count. (Again see my earlier explanations, here and here, of some of those unoffical interactions.)

Marley pointed her readers at an important article, bringing up the plight of the self “havening” boy from Grand Island who has, sure enough, fallen through the cracks. As he was deemed “too old” and as he turned himself over, he is not counted among the official cases (He’s not in the Nebraska DHHS count.)

She saw the gap most recently when she housed the Grand Island teen, who in September, attempted to turn himself in at St. Francis Medical Center under the safe-haven law.

He was over the age of 17 and wasn’t turned in by a parent, so didn’t qualify to enter the Health and Human Services system, Schwan said.

He stayed in her home with Schwan and her family for three weeks, while Schwan tried unsuccessfully to find him placement in various community service programs.


Schwan said Grand Island’s safe haven teen was told to leave home by his mother’s boyfriend, had lived for more than a year with his grandmother in an area storage unit and has been in four high schools over the past four years.

“He just wants to finish school,” she said.

Kids like him need a safe place to go — even just temporarily, Schwan said.

The bottom line is, despite attempting to “safe haven” himself, he isn’t even listed among the cases.

Kid after kid is going through the system, some are counted, others like the boy from Grand Island are not.

Yet when legislators go to “fix” their broken law do you think they will even hear about the plight of these kids? They’re nowhere in the stats. They’re off the books. They may as well not even have every existed when it comes to the official stats in relation to the Nebraska legalized child abandonment law.

It’s come down to those of us on the outside to even remind people that kids like this are part of the history of the miserably failed child welfare social experiment in Nebraska.

Despite what the kids are undergoing day in and day out, Nebraska lawmakers and Governor Heineman apparently appear to feel no great urgency to try to deal with the mess of their own creation.

Instead they’ve offered up a ‘compromise’ a mere tweek to the law, offering it up as some kind of “solution”, (or at least a means of getting the attention to shift and die down.) Their inaction and lack of a genuine solution only continues to ensure the kids themselves are the ones who will suffer the consequences of such.

(By way a side notation for new readers, I’ve already explained how the plan to age down Nebraska’s dump law to infants 3 days old or less is no solution to the problem. I’ve taken to referring to such as dump law 2.0. From a genuine child welfare stance their short sighted “solution” is dead on arrival. Kids will continue to endure the harm all dump laws cause, but as the kids will be infants not teens they will be less likely to be able to vocalize the problems they will face until years later.)


As always, I continue to call for nothing short of full repeal of all legalized child abandonment laws.

With a little luck, I’ll be back to blogging in more detail very soon.

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