Thursday, October 2, 2008

What would it take for you to give up your children?

There is nothing that could ever cause me to give up any of my children. I have a hard time even letting them out of my sight most of the time. Imagine my shock when I read this New York Times article earlier today about parents in Nebraska dropping their children off at local hospitals forever. Nebraska was the last state to pass a safe haven law. This kind of law is meant to prevent dumpster babies, but Nebraska's version applies to children of all ages. Basically, a parent can abandon their child at a hospital with no worry of prosecution. Fifteen children were left in September.

It makes me sad. I am sad for these children because they are old enough to know and (unconditionally) love their parents and to know that their parents are giving them up. They will have memories of their lives before they were abandoned. Some are teenagers. I was a less-than-perfect teenager, but I can't imagine my parents just washing their hands of me. I am sad for the parents, too. I'm sure they love their children. How desperate must one be to abandon a child after raising and loving them for years. Why can't these parents get the help they need? Maybe they don't know where to look, maybe it's not there, maybe they found it but still couldn't make it work, who knows. It is sad no matter what the reason.

I want to be outraged or angry. I want to say these parents never should have had kids in the first place or should have tried harder before resorting to this. I can't bring myself to be anything but shocked and sad. I want to hold my kids a little tighter and wish I could protect them from a world where things can go this terribly wrong.

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