Teenager Driving You Nuts? Drop Her Off At a Hospital

By: Mr. Wilson on January 17, 2008
I'm a little confused about LB157, the proposed "safe haven" bill now working its way through the Unicameral. An agreement currently being worked out would amend the legislation to allow a parent to drop off a child of any age at a hospital without fear of abandonment charges. If that's the way the final wording ends up, that would mean a parent could dump his annoying 14 year-old and come away with no responsibilities to the child. I can imagine a host of odd situations and ugly complications -- some realistic, some unlikely -- that could arise from such a broadly-worded law. Senators are still working on changes. It'll be interesting to see how the bill looks when it enters the second round of debate.


See what your friends and neighbors have to say about this.

Dave K
January 17, 2008 at 2:59PM

If I heard on the radio correctly, parents will also have a 48-hour window to change their mind about abandoning their child.  So you are allowed to not want your kid so bad that you abandon him/her, but have 48 hours to want your child again.  I continue to be amazed by the things the Unicameral cooks up.

January 17, 2008 at 4:04PM

This sounds like the perfect plan for that 35 year old son that just won’t move out of mom’s basement 😉

Basment Son
January 17, 2008 at 5:16PM

Hey it is cheap plus mom cooks and cleans for me!  😊

January 17, 2008 at 5:57PM

Certainly, the “of any age” sentence draws some attention, and very well may need amended, but the idea behind the bill is sound and widely adoped nation wide. I completly support the concept. I’m glad you self-assert that this scenario is unlikely, because it is.

As it stands, the intent of the bill is to offer a 3rd frightening choice to young mothers who are currently facing 2 frightening choices - have a child or have an abortion.

I think this option respects the mother’s situation to allow a full 8-9 months to decide whether she is ready to provide an appropriate life to a child when it is born.

Any child left at a hospital or fire station at birth would go into the same state system it would have if she were to choose to go the route of adoption from day 1.

I cannot imagine there will be a flood of mothers who take advantage of this, but to the 3-5 statewide per year who do, it will be worth it in my mind.

Wow - that was my most serious post EVAR.

Mr. Wilson
January 17, 2008 at 8:29PM

Any child left at a hospital or fire station at birth would go into the same state system it would have if she were to choose to go the route of adoption from day 1.

That isn’t entirely accurate. A planned adoption can be much simpler and much less disruptive to the child than a “spontaneous” situation like this. In addition, a planned adoption is likely to be much easier on the mother; she can receive appropriate counseling, for example.

That isn’t to say that this sort of situation is “bad” for an infant. Infants in reasonable health are rarely “in limbo” for very long before they are placed with an adoptive family.

Personally, I think that if the mother wants to choose adoption, minimal contributions to the process should be required of her. Her participation could be confidential, or even anonymous. Most importantly, she would legally forfeit her rights as a parent and ensure her child’s family knows the basics of her medical history (and thus the child’s medical future). Furthermore, she could opt to choose the adoptive family, and even, if she chooses, secure some degree of openness in the adoption.

By getting these little things from the mother, several fairly substantial burdens are lifted from the state, the adoptive family, and the child. Even the mother comes out better. The benefits far outweigh the small cost—at a minimum a signature and a 10-minute health questionnaire—to the mother.

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