A woman drove her troubled 12-year-old son from Georgia to Nebraska and abandoned him under the state's unique safe-haven law, which parents have used to leave 20 children at hospitals since the law took effect in July. The boy is the third child from out of state brought to Nebraska to be abandoned under the law; abandoned children from Iowa and Michigan have been returned to their home states. The boy was placed in residential shelter care.
Nebraska's law is the only one in the country that allows caregivers to abandon children as old as 18 without fear of prosecution. The law, intended to protect newborns, includes the word "child," which some have interpreted to mean teenagers. Most of the Nebraska Legislature's 49 senators have agreed to amend the law in January so it would apply only to infants up to 3 days old.
The Georgia woman, who was raised in Nebraska, told the Journal Star her son was first suspended from school in the first grade for various infractions, and by the fifth grade he was flunking school, stealing, lying to and defying adults, including his probation officer. Overnight stays in juvenile detention made no apparent impression, she said.