This really shows that these types of laws really do not work. It denies due process for the parents. It denies the identity of the child. It also makes abandoning a child legal. It keeps with the premise that babies and children can be thrown away. In fact, I believe adoption and abortion has done a very good of that in itself. We need to teach responsible sex, comprehensive sex education, and parenting to our teens now.
Here is the article and the link.
Special Session Called on Nebraska Safe-Haven Law
After five more teenagers and preteenagers were abandoned to state custody over the last eight days, including one whose mother drove from Georgia, Gov. Dave Heineman of Nebraska announced Wednesday that he would call a special session of the Legislature on Nov. 14 to rewrite the state’s safe-haven law.
Mr. Heineman said the law, which was intended to protect newborns from being killed or left to the elements by panicked young mothers, was being misused by parents and guardians of older children.
On Oct. 20, the governor had said that for financial and logistical reasons, he would prefer to wait until the Legislature reconvened in January to revise it. But the abandonments have not let up.
On Tuesday, a 17-year-old boy was left by his mother and stepfather in Lincoln, and a 15-year-old girl was abandoned by her father in Omaha. That brought the number of children left in state hands since Sept. 1 — usually by parents or guardians who said the child was uncontrollable and violent — to 24, including one who was left at a police station rather than a hospital as the law dictates.
“We all hoped this wouldn’t happen,” Mr. Heineman said of the continued drop-offs. “Now circumstances dictate that we act.”
The cost of a special session has been estimated at more than $80,000, and the state’s “citizen-legislators” will have to take time off from their private jobs.
Safe-haven laws, allowing a parent to surrender an infant without fear of prosecution, were adopted by every state over the last decade after numerous reports of babies left to die in trash bins or plastic bags. But only Nebraska’s version, which took effect in July, extended the protection to “children,” meaning up to age 18, rather than specifying a maximum age of a few days or months.
In recent discussions, 40 of the state’s 49 legislators have agreed “to give the law its original intent,” the governor said Wednesday at a news conference, altering it to protect only newborns up to 72 hours old.
The sudden surge in abandoned teenagers has raised questions about the adequacy of counseling, respite care and psychiatric services for troubled children and overstressed parents.
Nebraska officials say many public and private agencies can provide aid and have publicized hot lines run by the United Way and Boys Town that refer callers to services.Mr. Heineman said Wednesday that the state would have to examine the accessibility of social services for older children and their families. But he said the session on Nov. 14 would be solely devoted to fixing the safe-haven law.