About 30 children, including about 20 teenagers, have been left in hospitals in the state of Nebraska since last July.
These parents, who come from as far as Georgia, Iowa and Michigan, are using a flaw in the legislation to offload their offspring.
This law, named safe-haven law , has been adopted by most states. It was introduced to provide a solution for parents in distress and limit abortions. Parents can leave their newborn baby in a state hospital without being disturbed or questioned.
However, in Nebraska, parliamentarians did not agree on an age limit.
Thus, since the adoption of the law, the Omaha Heraldreports that a father, become widowed, left to Nebraska his 9 children aged 1 to 17 years.
A mother left her 15-year-old daughter after an argument, saying, “I’m done with you.”
Another mother, who regretted abandoning her 13-year-old boy, could not bring him home, since once under state protection, parents lose all their rights.
As reported by CNN, the Department of Health and Social Services released a profile of 30 of 34 adoption cases in Nebraska:
- 27 children were treated for a mental health problem;
- 28 children come from single-parent families;
- 22 children have a parent who knew the prison;
- Two thirds of the children come from white families, the last third come from black families.
Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman ordered a debate to revise the law to introduce an age limit for the child of 3 days. This amendment will be put to the vote next Friday.
Annie Johnson is Reno Hotline’s senior journalist covering federal politics. She has previously wrote for NPR and is a regular contributor to Medium. Mary graduated from the University of Nevda’s journalism school with distinction in 2014.