Nebraska finally created a "safe-haven law" whereby allowing mothers of newborns who did not feel they were ready to raise their child or who didn't want the child to be able to take the child to a hospital and leave it there, no questions asked. Now this is of course a sad situation when a mother gives up her child, but at least the child would be able to be put up for adoption and might be able to go to a family that really wanted a child. But Nebraska decided to extend this safe haven law a bit further than any other state. They will allow parents to take any child who is considered a minor and in Nebraska that is any child under 19 to be covered by the safe haven laws. So tired of your hormonal teenager take them to the nearest hospital and leave them there, someone will adopt them. That last statement was of course very sarcastic as I am not sure you can take a child who is 16,17, 18 to a hospital and try to abandon them there under a safe haven law, I am thinking the child may tell the authorities where they live or that may get a bit more complex since the child can speak. One of the authors of this legislation is only considering children up to 14 as minors, now that is not in the law, but even try dropping off a 13 or 14 year old and see how much success you have. Now I guess the law may have a bit of an advantage because I guess I can understand if a parent is overworked and over-stressed and their 2 or 3 year old driving them crazy. The law may allow for someone to abandon the child at a hospital rather than possibly choke or hit the child. I am not saying that I think that it is a good option, but I would rather see an individual take their child to somewhere safe than possibly abuse them. The Nebraska law does not excuse any possible other crimes like abuse of the child, but if it protects a child from being abused than I cannot in good conscience as an early childhood educator dismiss the safe haven law being extended upward past newborns. The other issue about this law is that it does not clearly define who can abandon the child. Most states seem to stipulate that it must be a parent, the Nebraska law does not seem to make that stipulation. It seems as though any person who has the child can leave them at the hospital, this would seem to be a huge loophole and one that will need to be closed before someone who is babysitting just takes a child and abandons them. Now you have a child who possibly has a caring parent, but a parent who has to leave the child with a babysitter and now the child has been abandon at a hospital no questions asked. That is a huge problem to me.
This seems to be a necessary law that was taken a bit too far and will become a huge issue, possibly causing the whole law to be dismantled when it only needs to be tweaked.