Nebraska Baby Safe Haven Law to be Amended
It’s been only about four months since Nebraska finally signed their Baby Safe Haven Law. But four months is a long time for many of the children and teens who have been relinquished since the bill’s passage. Reporters from AP say that since the bill’s passage, close to two dozen children including some as old as 17 have been relinquished to hospitals.
It’s not just within Nebraska either. Families from states such as Iowa, Michigan, and Georgia have all made the trip to Nebraska to relinquish children. As I had mentioned in my earlier posting about this Safe Haven legislation, many had been worried about the extremely loose terms affiliated with the bill which allowed relinquishment of children up to 17 years of age. AP reports that most states with Baby Safe Haven laws allow for children between three days old to about a month. It was only a matter of time before Governor Heineman decided to intervene to tighten the terms of the law.
Senator Arnie Stuthman feels that by tightening the age restrictions we are only masking the bigger social problems in Nebraska. A lack of social services for children and families, and accessibility are all issues that Suthman feels need to be scrutinized as a result of what has happened since the bill’s passage.
I agree that the terms on this bill were way too loose. There are definitely some large gaping holes when it comes to social services and coverage for many parents and families who are struggling. How many families know that there are services out there to help their families? How many services are really available to them in the first place? They are all questions that should be asked, and most likely will. I challenge legislators in Nebraska to sit down and look at the options families and children have when they are unable to access social services.
Take a look at the original article. -GS