Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Some days I really get sick and tired of adoption. It really just pisses me off at the ridiculous attitudes of society. There was the call out for help by Bastard Nation yesterday and the day before. I sent my email in to the legislators in Nebraska or whatever state is called for action upon. I have done this faithfully for years and years.

Here is my email that I sent the legislators in Nebraska:

I am writing to you to stop these laws. These laws encourage irresponsibility. We must as a society start treating the natural parents and children better and with more respect. These types of laws continue the shaming of women who are pregnant. These laws also deny due process to both natural parents. These laws violate the Hague Convention on the Rights of the Child. The child has the right to be raised by his/her natural parents. The child also has the right to his heritage or origins. These laws do not protect children. They make the child suffer for the decisions of their parents or other relatives. These laws were invented to circumvent adoptee access laws across the country. We owe it to the children to do things right by them.

Please end this safe haven business. Lets start with providing comprehensive sex education, providing contraception, teaching parenting classes in junior high and high school, and teach responsibility. We owe to the children of our country to get this right. The only way to do so is to eliminate safe haven laws.

Amy K. Burt

Here is the call to action by Bastard Nation:




Members of the Nebraska Legislature convened Monday, Nov. 14 for a Unicam special session to address Nebraska's disastrous safe haven law, LB157. This law allows any person to abandon any child up to the age of 19 to a state- designated safe haven. Since its passage last summer, this law has turned the safe-haven concept on its head. 34 children have been abandoned to state designated safe havens since Sept. 1st.

It is urgent that you contact the Unicam legislators at once because bills introduced on the opening day of the Unicam session, Nov. 14th, will be eligible for final passage as early as this Friday, Nov. 21st.

Bastard Nation calls for the immediate and PERMANENT repeal of LB 157. Furthermore, it calls for the defeat of LB 1, LB 3 and any other subsequent attempts by the Unicam to impose any baby dump/Baby Moses, safe haven bill on the people of Nebraska.

LB 1 and LB 3, two alternatives to LB157, were introduced on Nov. 14th. LB1 would change the safe haven law to apply to infants 72 hours or younger. LB 3 would create a 2-tiered system of "legal abandonment": one for infants up to one year of age; the other for children between the ages of 1 and 16. The second tier would also create regional and state "intervention teams" to assist families in abandonment crisis enabling them to access services and avoid abandoning their children if possible. There is no intervention team for infants and their moms.

Nebraska's experience proves that abandonment is unacceptable at any age. The legislature must concentrate on saving Nebraska families rather than saving only the infants, who by the way, are in high demand in the adoption world.


On July 8, 2008, Nebraska's LB 157 baby dump bill went into effect. Unlike other so-called "safe haven" laws which limit "legal abandonment" of children anywhere from birth up to the age of 1-year, this 47-word, 2-sentence law authorizes the "legal abandonment" of any child up to the age of 19 by any person. From September 1 to today, 34 children have been abandoned by their parents or guardians. These include a family of 9 children (age 1-17) left by their father and four dumpees brought in from out of state. At least another dozen unsuccessful attempts have been reported. These include two-self dump attempts: an 18-year old male in Grand Island living in a storage unit with his grandmother after he was kicked out of his home by his mother's boyfriend and a 16-year old high school honors student with her 10-month old baby. The young mom said her own mother physically abused her and stole her government assistance money.

The nightmare consequences of legal child abandonment have become a reality in Nebraska and have quickly spread its evil tentacles to other states. One woman rushed across the river from Iowa to dump her 14 year old daughter. A Georgia mother made speedy plans to drive to Nebraska to abandon her teen "before the Unicam had a chance to meet and change the bill."


Information links:


Adams Greg

District 24

Aguilar Ray

District 35

Ashford Brad

District 20

Avery Bill

District 28

Burling Carroll

District 33

Carlson Tom

District 38

Christensen Mark

District 44

Cornett Abbie

District 45

Dierks Cap

District 40

Dubas Annette

District 34

Engel L. Patrick

District 17

Erdman Philip

District 47

Fischer Deb

District 43


District 19

Friend Mike

District 10

Fulton Tony

District 29

Gay Tim

District 14

Hansen Thomas

District 42

Harms John

District 48

Heidemann Lavon

District 1

Howard Gwen

District 9

Hudkins Carol

District 21

Janssen Ray

District 15

Johnson Joel

District 37

Karpisek Russ

District 32

Kopplin Gail

District 3

Kruse Lowen

District 13

Langemeier Chris

District 23

Lathrop Steve

District 12

Lautenbaugh Scott

District 18

Louden LeRoy

District 49

McDonald Vickie

District 41

McGill Amanda

District 26

Nantkes Danielle

District 46

Nelson John

District 6

Pahls Rich

District 31

Pankonin Dave

District 2

Pedersen Dwite

District 39

Pirsch Pete

District 4

Preister Don

District 5

Raikes Ron

District 25

Rogert Kent

District 16

Schimek DiAnna

District 27

Stuthman Arnie

District 22

Synowiecki John

District 7

Wallman Norman

District 30

White Tom

District 8

My responses from various legislators were the following:

Thank you for letting me know your thoughts about the Safe Haven law.

Clearly, there are consequences with the language that was included in the law. As a social worker for 34 years, I warned of these consequences when the age restriction was removed from the bill during debate. I have told my colleagues that we must do a better job of providing services to the struggling families who feel it necessary to resort to using the Safe Haven law. My top priority will always be the safety and well-being of every child in Nebraska.

During debate on this legislation, I supported an amendment that would have set the time limit at one year but that amendment fell two votes short of passage. The Legislature did decide to adopt language setting the safe haven limit at 30 days after birth which I ended up supporting. I am absolutely committed to addressing the availability of services to families of older children in crisis during the upcoming session in January. This experience has shown that we are not doing a very good job in helping families deal with older children with serious problems.

I appreciate your taking the time to write.


Gwen Howard
State Senator

Thank you for writing. The media attention to individual children is troubling, as we have to shut that off. However the need is real. People are hurting. The cost to the state, long term, can become huge.

I agree with those who say three days is too short a time and would guess most of us agree. It is good to see that the public understands that age is not the issue. We have parents/guardians in great distress, often at the end of their rope. Safe Haven gets a few in by the back door. We know they should be inside for services but we do not know how to help mentally ill or troubled children get in the front door to access services. Nor do other states. Either the state or the parent has to be in charge of a child and we do not know how to share that responsibility smoothly. So, much work is to be done.

By the way, the present law has no age limit, it says “child” which by law is interpreted to be 14 years and younger.

May we work together to help all our kids to become productive citizens.


Thank you for your compassionate reply.
Don Preister

Dear Amy:
Thank you for writing. We appreciate hearing as many views as possible. I do use the information I receive in weighing what we should do on any given issue.

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