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Nebraska’s Safe Haven Roll of Shame

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.


The following is a listing of kids reported on by the media all but one of which that got at least far as a hospital, taken there either by parents or guardians to be legally abandoned. While some made it into the official state tabulation others were dismissed as attempted but not meeting criteria, such as the boy left at a police station rather than a hospital.

Others are what I’ve termed self “havens,” kids who handed themselves over via the “safe haven” expecting to find help, only to be left uncounted, as the dump law protects those who do the dumping, not to the kids themselves.

All these are culled from media reports that Marley and I have pulled since the Child dumping in Nebraska began back on September 1.

We already have almost all of them listed here on our unofficial tabulation of the damage the Nebraska dump law has done to date, but tonight, as Nebraska attempts in vain to close this chapter of its legalized child abandonment social experiment only to begin another, that of the legalized abandonment of younger kids only, I felt it was important to really look at these kids again.

Not by way of ‘one last time’ as both these kids and Nebraska itself are going to be living with the consequences of these three months of child welfare disaster for a long, long time yet to come, but as a way of understanding that kids dumped under what I’ve termed dump bill 1.o are not to be forgotten.

Behind every one of these statistics is a kid.

And a shattered family and home.

And friends and schools.

And neighborhoods and extended communities.

And for them, things will never be the same again.

So before everyone rushes off into dump law 2.0 let’s take a long hard look at what damage has already been done. These kids are going to need support and attention for a long time to come.

Please understand that if I understand the testimony of various Nebraska hospital representatives from last Monday correctly, these are only SOME of the kids that were taken to state hospitals.

Even by what little we’ve been able to pull from newspapers and television webpages, the Nebraska DHHS numbers are an undercount. Potentially a vast undercount.

But this is the tip of the iceberg we’ve been able to document.

Every one of these kids has a name but to protect the kids, we leave that off the data. I’m numbering them here for the first time not because these kids are numbers to us, but so that readers can see and compare to the DHHS tabulation (35.)

Marley and I are both adult adoptees. From what I’m told, I spent a least a little time in foster care. We empathize with these kids for many reasons, both obvious and deeply personal.

These kids are ultimately what this blog is about, working to prevent more kids being added to this, or any other state’s “safe haven” roll of shame.

By shame I don’t refer to the parents nor the kids. I’m speaking of the state itself. It is nothing short of shameful that legalized child abandonment has become social policy in this country (everywhere except Washington D.C. that is.)

1. September 1, 2008
male, 14
Dumper: mother
Place: Omaha police station
NOTE: attempted

2. September 13, 2008
male, 15
Dumper: custodial maternal aunt
Place: Lincoln Bryan GHMC West
Special family status: in kinship care

3. September 13, 2008
male, 11
Dumper: maternal grandmother
Place: Omaha Immanuel MC
Special family status: reportedly adopted by maternal grandmother

4. September 20, 2008
female, 13
Dumper: mother
Place: Omaha Immanuel MC

5. September 23, 2008
male, 18
Dumper: self
Place: Grand Island St Francis MC
NOTE: attempted

September 24, 2008:
6. female, 1
7. male, 6
8. male, 7
9. female, 9
10. male, 11
11. female, 13
12. female, 14
13. male, 15
14. male, 17
Dumper: father
Place: Creighton UMC

15. September 24, 2008
male, 11
Dumper: mother
Place: Omaha Immanuel MC

16. September 24, 2008
male, 15
Dumper: guardian maternal uncle
Place: Omaha, Immanuel MC
Special family status: in kinship care

17. October 5, 2008
unk, 12
Dumper: male
Place: Lincoln LGH West

18. October 5, 2008
male, 12,
Dumper: aunt at request of guardian maternal grandmother
Place: Omaha, Immanuel MC
Special Family Status: in kinship care

19. October 6, 2008:
female, 15
Dumper: unknown,
Place: Lincoln Bryan LGH West
NOTE: attempted

20. October 7, 2008
female, 14
Dumper: grandparents
Place: Omaha, Creighton MC
Special family status: in kinship care
NOTE: Iowa dump

21.- 23. July 16-October 6, 2008
Place: Omaha, St. Elizabeth MC
NOTE: 3 attempted

24. October 13, 2008
male, 13,
Dumper: mother with grandmother, and aunt,
Place: Omaha Immanuel MC
Special family status: adopted
NOTE: Michigan dump

25.- 26. October 21 2008
female 16 (with baby)
Dumper: self, escorted by aunt
Place Omaha Immanuel MC
NOTE: mother attempted to SH herself and her baby

27. October 21, 2008
male 10 months
Dumper: mother
NOTE: attempted safe haven with DIY mother

28. October 22, 2008
male, 17
Dumper: mother
Place: Omaha Immanuel MC

29. October 25, 2008
male, 12
Dumper: mother
Place: Lincoln Bryan LGH East
NOTE: Georgia dump

30. October 27, 2008
female, 15,
Dumper: mother
Place: Omaha Creighton MC

31. October 28, 2008
female, 15
Dumper: father
Place: Omaha Immanuel MC

32. October 28, 2008
male, 17
Dumper: mother and stepfather,
Place: Lincoln Bryan LGH West

33. October 29, 2008
male, 17
Dumper: Legal guardian grandmother
Place: Nebraska MC
NOTE: already state ward

34. November 2, 2008
female, 16
Dumper: Mother
Place: Papillion, Midland Hospital
NOTE: Arizona dump; girl previously lived in Papillion area and she and her mother returned from living in Arizona a few days ago

35. November 2 , 2008
male, 16
Dumper: father
Place: Omaha Children’s Hospital

36. November 3, 2008
female, 15
Dumper: legal guardian
Place: Omaha, Immanuel MC

37. November 3, 2008
Unknown, 18
Dumper: unk
Place: Omaha Immanuel MC
NOTE: Attempted

38. November 6, 2008
Male, 8
Dumper: mother
Place: Omaha, Bergan Mercy Hospital
NOTE: Indiana dump

39. November 7, 2008
Female, 11
Omaha, Bergan Mercy Hospital

40. NOVEMBER 9, 2008
Male, 17
Dumper: mother
Place: Omaha, Creighton MC

41. NOVEMBER 10, 2008
Female, 18
Dumper: mother
Place: LincolnLGH West
NOTE: attempted

42. November 13, 2008
Male, 11
Dumper: father
Place: Lincoln, Boys Town Research Hospital
NOTE: Florida dump

43, November 13, 2008
Male, 14
Dumper: mother
Place: Omaha, Methodist Hospital
NOTE: sister, 17 escaped before dump was complete (below)

44. November 13, 2008
Female, 17
Dumper: Mother
Place: Omaha, Methodist Hospital
NOTE: attempted (brother, 14–above–was successfully dumped)

45. November 14, 2008
Male, 5
Dumper: Mother
Place: Omaha, Immanuel MC

46. November 18, 2008
Female, 15
Dumper: her guardian, a relative
Place: St. Francis Medical Center in Grand Island

We will continue to fight for these kids as best we can, lest they be forgotten and burried under the bureaucracy. Many, particularly the older kids and self “havens” are already in many ways forgotten as they never even made it into the official history.

Unfortunately, rather than being able to end our list here, we may need to return to this to add newly uncovered details as they emerge.

And sadder still, we now need to start a second list of Nebraska’s next dumped generation, those dumped under dump law 2.0.

Unlike this list of older kids, the next will (at least if all goes according to the state’s plan) be made up of those 30 days and younger.

None of this ends here, this sadly, is only the beginning.

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