Older Children Abandoned Under Law for Babies

Older Children Abandoned Under Law for Babies - Older...

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Search All NYTimes.com U.S. WORLD U.S. N.Y. / REGION BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY SCIENCE HEALTH SPORTS OPINION ARTS STYLE TRAVEL JOBS REAL ESTATE AUTOS POLITICS WASHINGTON EDUCATION Enlarge This Image Alyssa Schuckar for The New York Times Jim Jenkins of Lincoln, Neb., who described his son as “out of control,” said he did not know where to turn for help. Enlarge This Image Nati Harnik/Associated Press Todd A. Landry, director of children and family services, said parents and guardians could not avoid their responsibilities. Readers' Comments Readers shared their thoughts on this article. Read All Comments (120) » Older Children Abandoned Under Law for Babies By ERIK ECKHOLM Published: October 2, 2008 OMAHA — The abandonments began on Sept. 1, when a mother left her 14-year-old son in a police station here. By Sept. 23, two more boys and one girl, ages 11 to 14, had been abandoned in hospitals in Omaha and Lincoln. Then a 15-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl were left. The biggest shock to public officials came last week, when a single father walked into an Omaha hospital and surrendered nine of his 10 children, ages 1 to 17, saying that his wife had died and he could no longer cope with the burden of raising them. In total last month, 15 older children in Nebraska were dropped off by a beleaguered parent or custodial aunt or grandmother who said the children were unmanageable. Officials have called the abandonments a misuse of a new law that was mainly intended to prevent so-called Dumpster babies — the abandonment of newborns by young, terrified mothers — but instead has been used to hand off out-of-control teenagers or, in the case of the father of 10, to escape financial and personal despair. The spate of abandonments has prompted an outcry about parental irresponsibility and pledges to change the state law, which allows care givers to drop off children without fear of prosecution. But it has also cast a spotlight on the hidden extent of family turmoil in the country and what many experts say is a shortage of respite care, counseling and especially psychiatric services to help parents in dire need. Some who work with troubled children add that economic conditions, like stagnant
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This note was uploaded on 12/22/2010 for the course PHIL 1104 taught by Professor Larvy during the Spring '09 term at UConn.

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Older Children Abandoned Under Law for Babies - Older...

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