Safe Haven Law in Nebraska… Good or Bad?

It is as controversial as it comes… Should Nebraska’s law allow minors under the age of 17 to be dropped off under the Safe Haven law at a hospital? People’s opinions vary for different reasons. People believe that you should not be able to give a child up so easily, they believe that it is just a way out for the parent, and that the child needs them.

Well I have read up on this topic… of the 34 children that were turned in since July 1st, 2008, 17 of these have been teenagers, all but 3 of the first 30 had previously had mental health care and all but three came from a single parent home. Twenty-two had parents or guardians who had been jailed, and 17 were or had been in state care. 5 of these children were returned with their parents once they gave them some help options to deal with their child.

Some people are not suited to take care of special needs children or with some type of mental health problem. Yes, there is help out there for those parents whom want to get their child help. But if the parent has their own mental health problem, etc there is a good chance that the child will not receive the attention, help that they need.

So what happens to the children that there parents cannot drop them off with this safe haven law? They become runaways (homeless), drug addicts, thiefs (they need to eat to survive), criminals, they commit suicide, etc. I think you get the idea. Why would we allow parents to allow that to happen to their child. Don’t you think they would be better off in a program that would help them deal with the problems that they face. Not with a parent that grows to hate them and much more in many cases. I feel that there needs to be a program for parents that cannot deal their child, to assist them in dealing with the problems they have in raising their child. Maybe some counseling, group meetings with other parents with the same problems, classes, etc. But also allows parents who cannot raise their child to turn them over to some sort of safe haven law (These children are SAFE then, not dead in some one’s trunk!). I believe that there should be financial responsibility that they still face though. So that they don’t think they can just ditch their child and that is it. There has to be some responsibility along the lines of the child support program. Please don’t let these parents hurt their children. They need our help to keep these kids cafe!

One thought on “Safe Haven Law in Nebraska… Good or Bad?

  1. This is one of those stories that really cry out to this nation. In times of economic crisis and lack of funding, so many are going without the assistance they need. We are so quick to put our money in other countries and yet so many of our own suffer. Programs that would provide support to families such as these are grossly under funded with the amount of people coming in.

    I have worked in Mental Health and Human Services for years. Topics like this will always have their taboo in the heartbreaking facts. The fact remains that we have come unglued in many ways when it comes to social responsibility.

    If we could even look at the ages of the parents and see if they themselves were children having children then we might begin to see some undercurrents. If the parents were not at the emotional maturity to raise a child and yet were having children then they need that therapeutic support.

    They also need to begin accepting responsibility. I am grateful that there is a Safe Haven Law there, if monitored well. Maybe over time there can be some fine tuning with programs that weave strength into the family unit to get the child back into the home if it is conducive to a safe and healthy life.

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