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11- and 15-Year-Olds Left at Separate Hospitals Under New Safe Haven Law
Lincoln, NE - A 15-year-old boy has been placed in foster care after his aunt dropped him off at a Lincoln hospital Saturday. Earlier in the afternoon, a parent left an 11-year-old boy at Immanuel Hospital in Omaha. He's been placed in emergency custody.
In both cases, they were left because of "behavioral" problems. Relatives won't be charged with abandonment because of the state's new Safe Haven Law.
Lincoln police tell Action 3 News the 15-year-old's mother is deceased and the father's whereabouts unknown. The 44-year-old aunt was his guardian. Police say she couldn't deal with his behavioral issues. Little is being released about the 11-year-old's situation.
Senator Arnie Stuthman introduced the bill to protect babies from harm but says in order for law makers to agree and pass the law there had to be a compromise on the bill that would include children up to the age of 18.
Senator Rich Pahls was an advocate for the Safe Haven Law. He says the fact that young adults were dropped off means there could another problem that needs to be addressed. "It tells me that there are some parents or guardians out there that need some help. If you look at the larger picture we need to take a look at mental health," says Senator Pahls.
Both Senators say if young adults continue to be dropped off at hospitals they will find a way to change the bill so that only young babies will be protected by the Safe Haven Law.
Nebraska became the last state in the country to adopt a Safe Haven Law.
Reported by Kathy Sarantos Niver, firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated by Devon Patton, email@example.com