There’s a little more information today on Nebraska’s latest Big Kid dump.

This morning’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution identifies the “desperate mother” as Tysheema Brown, 33, of Smyrna.

No details, though, on how she managed to drive an allegedly uncontrollable kid 1000 miles all by herself. Did she handcuff him? Lock him in the trunk? OD him on Dramamine? Did he arrive in a straight jacket?

According to Lincoln Police Chief Thomas Casady, who has been less than happy with the Nebraska Fiasco, the county attorney’s office will file a petition in juvenile court and a judge will decide whether to keep the boy under state protection or reunite him with his family.

No word if DHHS intends to contact Georgia authorities. It’s a sure bet, though, that Georgia officials will get involved as have Iowa and Michigan agencies in those out-of-state cases.

Finally, you’ll really enjoy this: a quote from Tim Jaccard, founder of New York’s AMT-Children of Hope Foundation and now the president of the National Safe Haven Alliance (I guess Tom Atwood bailed):

When children are older they have the ability to understand what’s going on, and they’re thinking, “Mommy and Daddy don’t want me anymore, so they’re throwing me in a hospital.” That’s a psychological blow.

Unlike the squeaky cute clean slates who get thrown in a hospital and are just plain glowy-eyed that they weren’t thrown in the dumpster

Does Jaccard really believe that babies and big kids don’t share the “psychological blow” of being dumped? That it’s only big kids who are traumatized by abandonment?

Baby dump laws and sealed records are part and parcelof the adoption industry: adoption anonymity and the sealed records system. The laws were only legislated when adoptees took back their right to identity and birth records. And it’s backfired.

Big kids with names and histories, especially ones with diagnosed behavioral and mental disorders are about as marketable as Chinese baby milk.

Children are not chattel. No child, no matter what age, should be abandoned willy-nilly, especially with the permission and promotion of the state. Families, mothers and children are in “crisis” across this country and the only solution given is to dump the kid and walk away? Is that the bar we want set in the United States?


  1. That is all so pathetic; I’ve said it before but will say it again,Safe Haven Laws save NO lives; they just hurt the kids who are dumped, sooner or later, depending on age.

    Why don’t those so hot to promote dumps spend their time promoting legal, identified adoption with records kept, family preservation when possible, and social services, not dumps, for troubled families of all ages? Naw, that would make too much sense.

    Just keep on dumpin’….even if it DOESN’T “save just one.”!Has there ever been one safe-havened child who was known to have been safe-havened instead of killed? I don’t think so.

  2. This is all simply fascinating to me. During my years at the Children’s Law Center in Washington, DC we often wondered if a parent had a “right” to relinquish their child to the state. In other words, do they have the right to “dump.” Apparently they do, at least in Nebraska.

    Unlike Marley and others, I think the Nebraska law is GOOD. The overwhelming response simply points out how inadequate the child welfare system is in this country. Trust me, embarrassed child welfare officials are with the anti-dumpers; they want this problem swept back under the carpet ASAP. With no right to dump, they can go back to business as usual.

    What we are seeing in Nebraska is the leading edge of the economic and mental health fiasco currently overwhelming the country. The dumpers, good bad and ugly, are showing us all that the safety-net for children and families no longer exists in any meaningful way. Like canaries in the coal mine, they are harbingers of things to come.

  3. Oh, I agree with you Jamie. I haven’t written about it yet, but this pokes a big stick in the sore that’s American child welfare. And everything we said about baby dumps has come true! People turn their kids over to the state every day in droves–SH just lets them circumvent the process, no matter what the age.

  4. This just frosts my gourds! People “dumping” their children makes me think about how badly I wanted to keep mine. Both my raised children kicked up their heels a bit during their teens, but it never occured to me to just hand them off to the state. As it has been pointed out, this illuminates the ills of the social services and that can be a good thing. People are too willing to let this be someone else’s problem. And, the attempts at family preservation by the state social service agencies that I have observed, thus far, are jokes.

  5. With the exception of the Statons and a couple other dumps, these kids reportedly are diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, schzephrenia (sp), and other serious mental or behavioral disorders. It appears that it is extremely difficult for them to get help the state and private agencies supposedly offer. The kids keep being recycled through the child welfare/psychiatric/warehouse system with absolutely no results. This isn’t limited to Nebraska, of course, but Nebraska created a new channel that now exposes the whole ugly mess. These are kids and families who fall between the cracks and the state and private agenices just want them to go away.

    Jamie wrote so well:

    What we are seeing in Nebraska is the leading edge of the economic and mental health fiasco currently overwhelming the country. The dumpers, good bad and ugly, are showing us all that the safety-net for children and families no longer exists in any meaningful way. Like canaries in the coal mine, they are harbingers of things to come.”

    This has been a long time coming. The problem goes back decades, and it’s just imploded. It will only get worse, while of course, our money and natural resources go overseas in neo-imperialist endeavours.

  6. I wasn’t aware of the mental health issues that these children have. This issue has been a bug for me for a long time. The mental health community started suffering during the cuts made in the Regan administration, and has never recovered. It didn’t save any money as they assured us it would; it merely transferred the problem from being a mental health issue to a police issue, and now, apparently, a Kid Dump issue.

    It saddens me to see families torn apart because of mental illness. I feel that our society has a responsibility to assist members that are unable to care for themselves, and the mentally ill are often unable and the care for them often frustrating and sometimes dangerous.

    This is yet another American Tragedy. Our consumerist society has a lot to be held accountable for, disposable bottles, packaging, appliances, disposable mothers in adoption and now, finally, disposable children.

  7. I agree, Sandy. This started in the 1960s. I believe that some de-institutionalization was warranted. Probably a lot, in fact There were obviously a lot of people who were very treatable and wre locked away for no good reason other than somebody’s convenience. (and so much more is treatable now than 40 years ago).

    My agrandmother spent over 35 years in state hospitals. I have no idea what her diagnosis was. In the mid-1960s Ohio decided to let most everybody out with little notice My grandmother was 70+ and totally ill-equipted to live on the outside and it was a real scramble to find a place for her to live that could care for her, yet give her as much leaway as possible. It was a nightmare.

    When I was at Ohio State we had a professor whose daughter was seriously mentally ill and a physical danger to anyone around her unless her medication was tightly monitored. The state washed its hands of her, and her father had a horrible time finding permanent residential treatment for her. Only one place in th state would take her and it cost a fortune.

    Mental illness has never been treated seriously in this country. Insurance barely covers it. And treatment is limited and expensive. My mother suffered from depression after my dad died, attempted suicide, and where did she end up. In a mental ward with people talking to Martians. If that isn’t a reason to remain depressed I don’t know what is!

    I can’t even imagine what it’s like to have a mentally ill kid and get the heave-ho from those who are claim there here to help. I suspect mentally ill children is a growing problem (why, I don’t’ know). The state, like in the case of my professor friend, washes its hand of the deal to save money, and real people, real families suffer.

    Children are always devalued, and no where more than by the state. It’s all about power and social engineering and much of the time a big cash cow is sitting at the desk.

  8. I agree, Marley and it is not just children that are devalued but mothers as well. Mothers and their children are seen as interchangable, problematical and no one wants to try to fix the REAL problems. Our society is elitist in every aspect, financially, socially and, in respect to mental health, we are in the dark ages.

    And can you believe that John McCain said that Palin would be a great “expert” on special needs children because she has a 7-month-old with Downs? That’s like calling someone who likes to ride horses an “expert” in animal husbandry.

  9. No, James, the Nebraska law is in no way “good.” Yes, the child welfare system is a disaster, but under no circumstances should anyone be applauding child abandonment as some perverse way of calling attention to that disaster. Nor should the cost of receiving services ever be the relinqushing of parental rights or the loss of family!

    As for your pretty-far-out-there assertion that child welfare officials are with we anti-dumpers – why should they be? In every other state, with dumps limited to infants, it’s the inadequacy of child welfare that’s disregarded, all the focus is on interception of children for placement with adopters and nothing is ever said about how poverty and lack of services help make those kids available for adoption. Nothing is ever said about the system – at all – nor is there questioning as to why encouraging abandonment could ever be a good thing!

    The only thing that seems to matter is the treating of children as inanimate objects, commodities to be moved around, or in your case, pawns in some media sideshow that you for some reason seem to find perversely pleasant. Perhaps it’s time to turn off the T.V. and consider what the real world is like.

  10. Anonymous it’s been about 30 years since I’ve watched any significant amount of television, but I do know one thing – media attention changes things a lot faster than cowardly anonymous blogging. That’s why the Nebraska political establishment is freaking out; all their dirty laundry in full view during an election year.

    I don’t consider abandonment a good thing, but I’m also in the so-called “real world” enough to know that some of the dumpers are probably lousy parents. Perhaps some are even abusers and maybe even a few are pedophiles. And just maybe in a few of these cases the kids are better off without their deadbeat parents.

    What’s needed is a continuum of services which are child specific; not pro-parent or pro-adoption or pro-reunification, but tailored to the individual needs of each child. Unfortunately bureaucracies do a lousy job of individualizing. Good courts, good lawyers, and good services are the key to success. Very rarely do all three happen at the same time.

    I should know. I’ve actually done something about solving these problems beyond stealth comments.

  11. James, you intimate that the rest of us are not conversant with your, so-called, “real world.” I assume that the grandmother who dumped her teen grandchild is a pedophile? Once again the many get branded with the crimes of the few. Investigate the people who are leaving their babies and teens before you start with the usual, pro-adoption “abusers and neglecters” tirade. Those who adopt have also gone so far as to murder the children they took into their homes. And to assume that a mother would be abusive and neglectful just because she is young, single and poor is social-worker, God-complex thinking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *