Nebraska lawmakers thought they were protecting children when they passed a first in the nation safe haven law that allowed parents to drop their children off at a licensed hospital without explaining why.

What the legislators didn’t count on was a flood of parents dropping children of all ages off and leaving.  Their intent was to protect newborns and small infants but by not placing an age limit in the law hospitals have seen entire families being dropped off including teenagers forcing them to scramble to place them with suitable families.

Not only are these children abandoned by their parents but they are then left to wonder why this action is legal.

The courts will decide on whether or not the parents are liable for child support payments but unless it was specifically written into the law it may be hard to enforce.  Also there is the question of whether or not the parents are even in Nebraska.  I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that parents just dropped off their children then fled the state or moved without leaving a forwarding address in case the authorities decide to come looking for them.

We live in an era where parents often shirk their responsibilities to raise and  nurture their children but the state of Nebraska has only exacerbated this problem by legalizing the abandonment of children.  In their haste to protect children lawmakers have instead opened a can of worms and made it easier for parents to transfer their responsibility to the state.  In the long run everyone suffers.

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