View Full Version : Legal Worst state law of the year award: Winner - Nebraska!

10-14-2008, 05:11 PM
Michigan, Iowa teens left by families in Nebraska


Imagine being a teenager, taken by your family to another state and dropped off at a hospital -- so someone else would take responsibility for you.

It's happened twice over the last week in Nebraska.

In one case, a 13 year old Michigan boy got in a car with his mom, who drove over 700 miles to Omaha to leave him at a medical center in the middle of the night.

In another case, a 14 year old Iowa girl was deposited by her grandparents at Omaha's Creighton University Medical Center.

Both families were relinquishing responsibility for the teens under Nebraska's controversial safe haven law, the only in the U.S. that allows families to leave children of any age at a hospital.

No one expected the outcome: most of the 19 kids dropped off at hospitals to date have been teens or pre-teens.

Certainly, no one expected that distraught parents or grandparents from other states would come to Nebraska to hand over their kids -- the newest development.

Much has been written about the problems that can lead families to relinquish children, whether in Nebraska or elsewhere. In particular, the lack of supports for families dealing with extremely troubled kids -- especially, insufficient mental health services -- can be devastating.

Many readers of this blog have applauded Nebraska for offering an alternative for children who might otherwise be subjected to abuse from overwhelmed parents. If the only alternative is giving children up, it's better than seeing kids neglected or subject to violence, you've said.

But think of the children, especially teenagers who face the reality of abandonment.

"You could imagine being a child and your parent asks you to go to a hospital and they just drive away, what feelings that would create for the children," said Gene Klein, executive director of Project Harmony in Omaha, quoted by KPTM 42 News.

State officials are concerned that the spirit of Nebraska's safe haven law is being violated. "I certainly recognise and can commiserate and emphathise with families across our state and across the country who are obviously struggling with parenting issues, but this is not the appropriate way of dealing with them," said Todd Landry, head of Nebraska's Department of Health and Human Services, quoted in a report by BBC News.

Safe haven laws in other states apply to infants up to age 1, not older children, and are meant to prevent baby dumping.

As for the Michigan boy whose mother drove to Omaha with the purpose of leaving him there, the Detroit News reports today that the mom is having "second thoughts about surrendering her children."

It's not clear whether the boy's father was aware of his wife's plans or whether the woman had sought help in Michigan, the newspaper said.

There appears to be growing support for changing Nebraska's law, which has drawn national and international attention after a widowed dad left 9 of his 10 children at an Omaha hospital in late September. Two legislative committees will meet next month to consider that possibility, the Detroit News reports.

10-14-2008, 05:13 PM
Reasons Given Why Michigan Mom Abandoned Son

Posted: 5:01 PM Oct 14, 2008
Last Updated: 5:46 PM Oct 14, 2008
Reporter: Jaime McCutcheon


Court papers were filed today by the Douglas County Attorney's Office that name the mother from Detroit, Michigan, who abandoned her son under Nebraska's Safe Haven Law.

The document, (Page 1 | Page 2), filed in Douglas County Juvenile Court, shows Terri Martin abandoned her 13 year old son on Monday. It states she drove him from Michigan to Omaha. The boy tells authorities his mother is under high stress and could not deal with him anymore.

The boy was left at Creighton Medical Center with luggage and other clothing. The court document also states Terri Martin failed to provide proper parental care and support for her son. For the stated reasons, the county attorney's office says the boy is at risk for harm.

The boy is currently in the custody of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

He is the 18th child abandoned in Nebraska in the last month.

10-14-2008, 05:41 PM
I don't understand. People like this?

What about the family values folks?

10-14-2008, 05:43 PM
This is absolutely digusting.

10-14-2008, 05:48 PM
I mean, imagine having your parent do this to you.

10-14-2008, 05:49 PM
Our Country is devolving back to the way that it was years and years ago. This issue was what it was like about a hundred years ago. People could not afford their children. They had to fend for themselves whe they hit the age to do so and in some cases before. I want to say that it was in the middle of the last century that most of the people in colleges and universities were either in the upper middle or upper class. Also about a hundred years ago only the wealthy would marry. It was more of a merger of companies than about love and such. Less and less of the two lower classes marry and go to a college or university anymore.

10-14-2008, 09:33 PM
The kids probably should be aborted.

10-14-2008, 09:34 PM
The kids probably should be aborted.

I would ask nicely that this thread doesn't have to be about this. Pretty please?

10-15-2008, 08:55 AM
I don't have a huge problem with this. I guess it's better than kicking them out of the house on their own.
I did think it was funny that she was "having secnd thoughts." I think once you've droppd the child off...you are done.

10-15-2008, 09:15 AM
What kind of person would it take to do something like this? I mean get a 2nd job, or let close family take care of the kid if you are incapable but this is so wrong.