A bitch has been following the consequences of Nebraska’s Safe Haven law with great interest. Safe Haven laws are supposed to protect newborns and infants from unsafe abandonment by shielding parents from legal prosecution should they leave their child at a designated Safe Haven location. Nebraska’s law apparently does not specify an age limit and that has resulted in older children and teens being dropped off at Safe Havens.
The response to this has been fascinating. Some Nebraska lawmakers have accused parents of casually abandoning their children as if selfishness is the only reason a parent would ever utilize a Safe Haven for an older child. The media has frenzied over stories of large families being torn apart and parents driving across the country to deposit their teen at Nebraska emergency rooms.
What is lost is the window into reality that this so-called mistake offers.
Or maybe it isn’t lost.
Maybe some people want that shit to remain in darkness…out of sight and blessedly out of mind.
What they see is a law that needs to be rewritten to clarify the precise age when legal abandonment becomes illegal so parents will no longer be able to abandon older children.
What I see is an example of how society fails to meet the needs of parents, children and families and an opportunity to address that shit.
And that’s an uncomfortable thing for many Americans to confront. After all, state after state has been working feverishly to pass laws and propositions that are allegedly designed to protect families and marriage…children and society. The last thing supporters of all that paper want to hear is that they’ve moved all their troops to the western front of a war being waged in the east.
Hit the lights.
Why oh why examine the real pressures families face…poverty and the fear of hunger, homelessness and the fear of violence, mental health issues and the lack of options and so forth and so on.
‘Tis much easier to just turn out the lights…rewrite the law and toss all those cases into a box labeled Not My Fucking Problem.
And it’ll be more better.