Objects in Mirror

Join the discussion about safe haven laws

Posted at 7:25 AM on August 20, 2008 by Julia Schrenkler

Turns out, in Nebraska, parents can leave their teens according to the new safe haven law:

"Last month, the state of Nebraska enacted a safe haven law. Typically these laws apply to newborn infants; parents can leave their babies at a designated safe place without fear of prosecution for child abandonment. But the Nebraska law actually applies to any child up to 19. Alex Cohen speaks with Sen. Pete Pirsch (R-Omaha) about the new law."

According to the report, Nebraska is the last state to enact a safe haven law. It just seems theirs allows people to drop off their children up to the age of 19. Considering most states have an age limit of a year or under, this is unusual. For open discussion or debate: Is the age limit too high? Why? Should other states observe Nebraska's experiences over the next few years?

Here's what some people are saying in our online discussion:

"That's basically saying, that at any time, you can say I'm tired of being a parent & just get rid of your child" - Priscilla

"Wow - it sounds like a good idea. Some people shouldn't have kids, others can't control them but are still responsible for them. Some kids would be better off out of the house - I can see all kinds of reasons for this law. I don't see how having the State as their guardian will help the kids, but not having the State as their guardian could possibly hurt them. The economy might be a factor, too. Some families may not be able to afford the children that they once thought they could. Why should the kids suffer?" - Richard Frisbie

"I feel all children should have a safe haven available to them, but can also see some possible complications." - Katrina Hall

Would Minnesota benefit by amending our safe haven law? What is your opinion?

* Hear Day to Day on Minnesota Public Radio News at 2 p.m., weekdays (full schedule)

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