Safe-haven law allows abandonment of teens

Posted on August 23, 2008 

Neb. ‘safe-haven’ law allows abandonment of teens

Nebraska’s new “safe-haven” law allowing parents to abandon unwanted children at hospitals with no questions asked is unique in a significant way: It goes beyond babies and potentially permits the abandonment of anyone under 19.

While lawmakers may not have intended it, the month-old law raises the possibility that frustrated parents could drop off misbehaving teens or even severely disabled older children with impunity.

“Whether the kid is disabled or unruly or just being a hormonal teenager, the state is saying: ‘Hey, we have a really easy option for you,'” said Adam Pertman, executive director of a New York adoption institute and a frequent critic of safe-haven laws.

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