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What's the Nebraska safe haven law?

There are some situations in which the mother of a baby decides that she can no longer care for her child. In the past, mothers in this situation may have been tempted to simply leave their baby on the steps of a church in a basket. These days, such incidents are not that common, but that doesn't mean they don't happen. In cases where a mother surrenders her child in Nebraska, the state's Safe Haven Law is an effective way protect the mother from prosecution.

Last month, just such an incident occurred. The Nebraska Health and Human Services Department claims that a mother surrendered her child to the facility, and it was the first time it happened in 2017. The mother left her baby at the Bryan Medical Center

An affidavit signed by the mother approving the turnover of her child states that the mother had no way to care for her baby. It further stated that she doesn't know who the father of the child happens to be.

The Nebraska Safe Haven Law was created in 2008. It prevents the abandonment of newborn babies, and also allows for babies to be surrendered at specific locations. Initially, no age limit was included on the Safe Haven Law, and this allowed parents to dump older children at the hospital too. In fact, numerous parents did dump their older children at area hospitals, but later, the law was revised so parents were only permitted to surrender babies that were 30 days old or less.

If you need to surrender your baby, or if you're looking to adopt a surrendered baby, you may benefit from speaking with a Nebraska family law attorney. A lawyer can advise you of your legal rights and options in terms of adoption or potentially surrendering your child.

Source:, "Mother gives up baby under Nebraska's safe haven law," accessed May 12, 2017

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