Remember when "pulling the car over" was the greatest threat a non-abusive parent had against a child? So old school. Nebraska’s new Safe Haven law, allowing kids under 18 to be abandoned at hospitals, takes scaring the crap out of your kids to a whole new level. My sister and I weren’t particularly disobedient children but my dad would’ve had a field day with this. He would’ve been joking of course, but with just enough of a poker face to make you think he’d drive as far as the State line. I almost want to call him up and tell him I’ve done something wrong to give him a shot at it. Parents have abandoned at least 35 children, including many teenagers, since the law’s inception on September 1st. One woman drove all the way from Georgia to drop off her teen. That is a loooonnnggg time to be on the road and not have second thoughts. Here I thought road trips were bonding experiences. Either that kid was a total jerk during the 3-day drive or was utterly shocked to learn mom was not bluffing. Before long, Hollywood will bastardize one of these stories as a Will Smith “Oscar bait” vehicle.
Of course, there will be a music montage, some wacky antics at a gas station, and a heart-wrenching ending where he doesn’t abandon the kid. My frustration with this law (beyond the obvious) is that it’s got Pro-Lifers jazzed up. Why abort unwanted children when you can just drop ‘em off? And hey, if you give birth to that child and find it too cute to abandon – you can ditch little Dakota during the challenging potty training months, when the orthodontist quotes the cost of Briana’s braces or when young Caleb finally comes out of the closet. It is literally a get out of jail free card for crummy parents. In most States, the maximum age limit for abandonment ranges between 3 days and 1 year. Meanwhile, amongst Nebraska’s under 19 population, record setting amounts of chores are being done, grade point averages are improving, and backtalk is at an all-time low.* Yesterday, lawmakers set to amended the law limiting the age to infants no more than 30 days old.
But that doesn’t go into effect until 12:01 Saturday morning, so all you awful parents still have a few hours left to make another (the most) awful parenting decision. *I suspect.
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