Not from The Onion: The Teenage Put

by on September 28, 2008 at 4:46 am in Law | Permalink

Parents are abandoning teenagers at Nebraska hospitals, in a case of a well intentioned law inspiring unintended results.

Over the last two weeks, moms or dads have dropped off seven teens
at hospitals in the Cornhusker state, indicating they didn’t want to
care for them any more.

Under a newly implemented law, Nebraska is the only
state in the nation to allow parents to leave children of any age at
hospitals and request they be taken care of, USA Today notes. So-called
“safe haven laws” in other states were designed to protect babies and
infants from parental abandonment.

..The moral of this story appears to be that safe haven
laws need to be very carefully and narrowly written to ensure they’re
not abused by parents.

From now on I will will tell my kids, "Behave! or we’re moving to Nebraska!"

1 cameron September 28, 2008 at 5:48 am

I don’t know if this is such a bad thing.

I have had to many friends in really crappy situations when they were teens.

I would wait and see how it plays out before passing judgment on this one.

2 Winston September 28, 2008 at 7:32 am

License to drive, 21 to drink, but babies? Anybody can just pop them out!

3 Anonymous September 28, 2008 at 8:20 am

KFI’s newswoman remarked that you used to drop unruly teens off at the Marines.

My unruly teen signed himself up. Overall, the effect was salutary.

4 Anonymous September 28, 2008 at 11:56 am

“The most eye-popping case in Nebraska occurred Wednesday, when a 34-year-old father deposited nine children ages 1 to 17 at Creighton University Medical Center — and then walked away.
“The Omaha World-Herald reported that the man had a ‘history of unemployment, eviction notices and unpaid bills – and a psychologist’s determination that he lacked common sense.'”

No shit he lacked common sense. 9 kids in 17 years?!

But can one really lack common sense? Is that a measurable trait?

5 Douglas Knight September 28, 2008 at 12:18 pm

Can teens run away to the hospital by themselves and claim to be forsaken? (an 18-year-old tried to do this, but he’s not a minor, so it doesn’t mean anything.)

6 Anonymous September 28, 2008 at 1:55 pm

Isn’t this phenomenon overall an indictment of the Nebraska child services system? If I were a Nebraskan, I would call for its immediate overhaul.

Once the state has decided to insert itself into the family under the idea that society has an abiding interest in the welfare of the next generation, then the rest follows.

In the egregious example here, where were the child services for what was obviously a family in distress? It seems the state has made the hospital the gateway to the foster care system.

At first this seems bizarre, but it may be faster and cheaper than through the expensive family court legal system, so there might actually be a rationale behind it.

It might also be argued that this more a sign of the eroding economic situation, and that the desperate are looking for any means of aid, no matter how exotic.

7 pants September 28, 2008 at 4:37 pm

if a parent is actually willing to ditch their teenager, odds are probably pretty good that the child would be better off in the hands of the state, no?

8 Dave Richardson September 28, 2008 at 6:22 pm

RE: the post above about fathering 9 children; where’s Buck v. Bell when we need it?

9 themightypuck September 28, 2008 at 7:34 pm

Is this a story about unintended consequences or about tail events wagging the dog?

10 Noumenon September 29, 2008 at 6:30 am

I believe it’s Sarah Hrdy’s Mother Nature that has a chapter about various orphan hospital laws in France and Russia and how they encouraged more people to have children they didn’t want to care for.

11 Anonymous September 29, 2008 at 8:44 am

Or, perhaps, we should have regular psychological audits of all families?

Isn’t that part of the bailout plan?

12 Anonymous October 1, 2008 at 8:34 am

Can that be done with children after they graduate from college and move back home? I.e. dropping off twentysomethings.

No. It goes something like this (maybe a New Yorker cartoon?):
“I bore you, I bred you, I educated you. Now get the hell out!”

A long time ago some one told me: The happiest day of your life is the day your children are born. The second happiest day is the day they move out.

13 erotik shop March 13, 2010 at 4:47 am

Can that be done with children after they graduate from college and move back home? I.e. dropping off twentysomethings

14 sex shop July 31, 2010 at 8:21 am

RE: the post above about fathering 9 children; where’s Buck v. Bell en we need it?

15 sexshop August 2, 2010 at 7:32 am

RE: the st above about fathering 9 children; wre’s Buck v. Bell when we need it?

16 erotic shop November 8, 2010 at 6:02 am

Can that be done with children after they graduate from college and move back home? I.e. dropping off twentysomethings.

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