Saturday, October 11, 2008

Nebraska's Safe Haven Law

"Since the Nebraska law went into effect in July, 17 children, ages 1 to 17, have been dropped off at hospitals and police stations by parents or guardians who gave up trying to take care of them.
Many states have safe haven laws allowing parents to leave infants with government agencies without fear of prosecution. But Nebraska is the only state that includes every child under 18"

My boys have heard about this. It has caused worry for at least one that we would do this to him. I am working hard to assure him I would not ever do this. On a side note, I would consider residential treatment if necessary but that would be therapeutic and with hopes for recovery, not to abandon him. You may want to discuss it with your children to make sure they do not have any unrealistic fears.

I do believe we have a giant hole in our mental health care for juveniles/adolescents in Nebraska. There are many who do not cross the line far enough to be put in residential. Yet they make their families lives a nightmare daily. It is very difficult to get help or to know where to turn for mental health help for those who are seriously ill, but have not hurt anyone.

We must be sensitive to what our kids hear on the radio, the TV or see in the paper. It could be they have heard other kids talking about it... whatever the case, it can cause real fear in the hearts of those who have been abandoned before.


Christine said...

That would completely wig out my kids.

Brenda said...

I think it has completely wigged out one of mine. It has been on the news everywhere here though and everyone is talking about it. There is no way to shelter them from hearing when it is happening only a couple of hours away.

Dinah said...

I have heard about this law through the newspaper, I believe, and the abuse of this law. Very scary for our kiddos to think this might happen to them!

But, going out on a limb here, having this law in place may have relieved one MN adoptive mother from recently murdering her 2 adopted children and then committing suicide herself. I'm sure she was in the throngs of RAD but didn't know that was the problem. Society blames her for being a bad parent.

Too many questions for black and white answers, it seems.

Brenda said...


Good point. I have not judged any of the moms who did this. I understand being driven to the point of not being able to do it anymore. I am only continuing on because of my faith, strong support system and the self care I've been taught. Not everyone has all that.