November 27th, 2008
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Categories: 2008, Breaking News

The Nebraskan Safe Haven Law that has created much talk and controversy has finally been changed.

Safe Haven Laws allow a mother to leave her baby at a pre-determined “safe haven.” It differs a bit from state to state but safe haven locations typically include hospitals, fire departments, or police stations. By dropping off her baby at one of these safe haven locations, a mother avoids prosecution for abandonment. In many states, the baby must be a newborn. Again it differs from state to state but in many states the baby must be under three days old.

The big problem with the Nebraska Safe Haven Law was that they failed to set an age limit when the law was written. It was intended to be for infants but since there was no age limit set with the law, parents could use safe havens to legally abandon any aged child, including teenagers. This created a slew of parents dropping off adolescents as old as seventeen. Parents even drove from states other than Nebraska including Florida and Georgia in order to use this safe haven law. One man even left nine of his children at a Nebraskan hospital. Since the law went into effect in July, thirty five children have been left at safe havens in Nebraska.

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Knowing that things had gotten way out of hand this past week Governor Dave Heineman called a special session in order to amend this law. The Nebraskan Safe Haven law now reads:

“No person should be prosecuted for any crime based solely upon the act of leaving a child 30-days-old or younger in the custody of an employee on duty at a hospital licensed by the state of Nebraska.”

Nebraska was one of the last states in the United States to pass Safe Haven Laws. Each state now has a Safe Haven law.


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2 Responses to “Nebraska’s Safe Haven Law Finally Changed”

  1. redbird47 says:

    This has nothing to do with Nebraska Law – the only way I could find a way in to say what I need to say.

    I was adopted at 3 days old in 1947 when there was a lot that went in to adopting a child. My parents are unbelievable and at 62 yrs old, everyone I meet says I look like my Mother. There are also 2 other children in the family and we had a PERFECT childhood.

    The reason for this blog is to say that life happens to everyone – I got pregnant while in college and gave a child up for adoption. I knew then and I still believe that it was the right decision.

    I am now 62 years old and am all alone, but I know that the best decisions were made all the way around. If my birth-daughter has had a tenth of the love I have had from my parents and I know she has, life is worth living.

    Have I spent my whole life wondering??? Yes! But my parents gave me the option to find out – I didn’t take it.

    If my child showed up on my doorste-p, she would be welcomed with open arms. She needs to know that in 1967, “good girls” went to “homes”, Florence Crittenden… but it doesn’t meen that the birth- Mothers didn’t care.

    Whoever you are, My birthmother or my adopted daughter, know that you are loved and so was I.

    Nancy

  2. maria says:

    I like the fact that you are talking about this with such a positive attitude. So many people would never speak about this sort of experience. I often wonder of how I would react if my mom showed up at my door…I am sure I would love her.

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