A Michigan mother drove roughly 12 hours to Omaha, so she could abandon her 13-year-old son at a hospital under the state's unique safe-haven law, Nebraska officials said Monday.
The boy from the Detroit area is the second teenager from outside Nebraska and 18th child overall abandoned in the state since the law took effect in July.
"I certainly recognize and can commiserate and empathize 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, whether you're in Nebraska or whether you're in another state," said Todd Landry, who heads the state's Department of Health and Human Services' division of children and family services.
There was no sign the boy was in immediate danger before he was abandoned early Monday, but an investigation into the boy's situation was still continuing, Landry said.
The boy has been placed in an emergency shelter. Landry said the family doesn't appear to have ties to Nebraska and he wasn't sure if the family had sought help in Michigan first.
State officials have met with the boy's mother, Landry said but wouldn't immediately address her reasons for leaving her son. He said he believed the boy's parents were married but wasn't sure if the father agreed to the decision.
Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman, who is Republican, issued a press release on October 7 acknowledging the dire consequences of the law and announcing the state's intent to amend the legislation:
Abandonment of an older child is potentially very devastating. Human services professionals have highlighted the difference in giving up a baby who will grow up knowing their birth family wanted a better life for them versus the impact of a parent giving up on an older child.Here's Captain Ed's remarks on the law, from October 9:
Nebraskans believe strongly in parental responsibility. The essential element defining any family is the knowledge that parents provide unconditional love for their children.
When Nebraska passed a law that allowed panicked mothers to abandon their babies at hospitals with immunity from prosecution, many hailed it as a breakthrough in helping to keep unwanted infants alive. Now it looks more like a poster child for bad legislation.But note this from the comments at a "women's issues" blog:
This is perhaps just another canary in the mineshaft of just how tight and tense our world - especially financially - is becoming.No doubt the writer's a Democrat, and is looking forward to a Barack Obama administration.
If anything ... these [open-ended] laws should be universal across the country.
This is not a stretch: Recall that Obama, aka Senator Infanticide, has consistently voted against born-alive infant protection legislation, which indicates the Democratic nominee's demonstrated willingness to abandon those most in need of society's protection - not unlike the Detroit mother who abandoned her son, along with her moral responsibility, at the steps of the hospital's door.
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