The Safe Haven Law Shows Society Needs to Help Parents

This past Saturday another child was dropped off at a Nebraska hospital by his mother.   She drove all the way from Atlanta to abandon her son because she felt that she just could no longer take care of  him.  But this wasn't a young mother with a newborn.  This was a 12 year-old boy who had become too difficult for his family to handle.

How sad that parents are so desperate for help that they are resorting to abandoning their adolescent children.  What must be going through this boy's mind?  And will this effect his mother for the rest of her life?  I can't imagine the level of desperation she must have felt to come to this horrific decision. 

Lawmakers in Nebraska never dreamed that it would be teenagers who were being abandoned when they enacted the Safe Haven law.   Already 22 children have been left at hospitals in Nebraska since the law went into effect in July.  The majority are kids 12 and over.   Clearly this is pointing to a problem in our society – the lack of support for families with children facing emotional and mental issues.

Nebraska will be revising the law to only allow babies under 3 days old to be abandoned but is this the answer?   How many adolescents are being abandoned in their home towns because it's impossible for their parents to care for them? Some parents might consider these people monsters, but for anyone dealing with a child who has bipolar disorder or other serious mental issues they feel that they have no way out and no way of helping their children.  As a society we must reach out to other parents and offer support when situations appear overwhelming.   Whether it's acting as a sounding board, a shoulder to cry on or offering suggestions on support services we must all help. 

Tell me your thoughts…


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