New York: Speaking of Safe Havens….


….New York A9638 recently crossed my path. Sponsored by  Assb.Michaelle C.Solages,(D-#AD22.) the bill proposed two changes in the state’s child abandonment law.

  1. Making it illegal for parents to abandon children up to 16 years of age; the current maximum age is 14.
  2. raising the age a child can be left under the state’s Safe Haven law from 30 days of age to 16 years.,

this isn’t  some abstract implication–it’s written right into the bill:

A person is not guilty of the provisions of this section when he or
     9  she engages in the conduct described in subdivision one of this section:
    10  (a)  with  the  intent  that  the child be safe from physical injury and
    11  cared for in an appropriate manner; (b) the child is left with an appro-
    12  priate person, or in a suitable location and the person who  leaves  the
    13  child  promptly  notifies an appropriate person of the child's location;
    14  and (c) the child is not more than [thirty days] sixteen years old.

Apparently, nobody bothered to tell Rep Solanges about Nebraska. But I will!

Read Children of the Corn, my very extensive –sometimes day-by-day– account of the  Great Nebraska Fiasco of 2008 where dozens of inconvenient kids ended up dumped through the auspices of the ex-Nebraska Safe Haven law that allowed anyone from birth to 18 to be dumped.  Parents came from all over the country.  Over a 127- day period, 36 kids, including a number of teenagers, were tossed.  One dad dropped off 9 kids. Another kid tried to Safe Haven himself.  Here’s a summary of stats I compiled.

Asb Solanges has very solid and sane creds, so inquiring minds want to know where this came  from.   There is nothing wrong with raising the age for the prosecution of parents who abandon children up to the age of 16, but Safe Haven? Was this some sloppy targeting of unregulated re-homing?   That’s the only excuse that occurs to me, and that’s a stretch.

The bill went no farther than the Codes Committee, gathered no additional sponsors, and is now dead. I can’t imagine any Safe Haven advocate that I know personally supporting this weird tripe. Let’s hope it stays that way.

Thanks to Greg Luce for the tip!




Nebraska has its first catch of the season! Last Wednesday a perfectly safe, healthy, and possibly identified newborn was saved from the jaws of the trash compactor when she was dumped off “anonymously” at the Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff. According to news reports, two women (KNEB says they were “a young girl and an older woman’) dropped off the infant at the ER counter. The women according to reports, spoke briefly to the admissions clerk “but gave little information.” But maybe enough: [Police Capt. Kevin] Spencer said police were checking on the welfare of the mother, who was believed not to have received medical care after giving birth. Criminal charges were not being considered against the woman, who probably gave birth at home. KNEB (Scottsbluff) filed a slightly different report: Helser says the mother and father of the child, and the baby’s exact birth date, is unknown. Scottsbluff Police, worried about the welfare of the mother, have encouraged the public to provide information to help locate her. Police don’t believe she received any medical care while delivering the child. Over on Nebraska Television, Beth Baxter, from the Orwellian-sounding Region 3 Behavioral Health Services, sort of tsks tsks Nebraska’s Continue Reading →


Yesterday (August 18) Box Butte County Judge Charles Plantz dismissed the Baby Boy Ana/Baby Box Butte case; thus affirming his earlier decision to return the baby to his family permanently. According to a statement by Todd Recklng director of the Nebraska Division of Children and Family Service, all parties to the case agreed to the dismissal. Reckling’s statement is not posted on the DFS Safe Haven or DFS press release page. News reports, however, say that the parents, whose names remain confidential, will continue to work voluntarily with the department. The statement does not say what services they will use. Baby Boy Ana is the first infant dropped off under Nebraska’s “new and improved” baby dump law. We hope he is the last. The easiest way to follow this case is through reading Children of the Corn. If any more news on this case surfaces, we’ll keep you updated. The most detailed account of yesterday’s hearing (so far) can be found at the Fremont Tribune. Welcome home, Baby Boy Ana!


The August 4 Lincoln Journal Star reported more details in the “safe haven” abandonment of Baby Box Butte, now known as Baby Boy Ana. According to court documents, recounted by reporter Joanne Young, but not released to the public: …show the baby boy still had a partial umbilical cord intact when dropped off by a woman who said she was the child’s aunt. Without giving hospital staff her name or the mother’s name, she provided some family medical history. Two days later, while HHS was working on placing the baby with foster parents who could adopt him, a woman contacted HHS, saying she was the biological mother. Officials met shortly after that with her and the alleged father, maternal grandparents and aunt… …Court documents show the mother, whose name has not been made public, reported she had not known she was pregnant until she went into labor. She had started birth control, but had stopped after three months. She then noticed she was gaining weight, but never larger than “one size in jeans.” She said she thought the “bloating” she was experiencing was from taking the birth control pill. She had a period after stopping the pill and another two Continue Reading →


Here’s updates on the July 20 Box Butte baby dump case. (Go directly below this entry for entries posted by Baby Love Child and me on the case). Thursday and Friday news reports (here, here, and here) circulated that the biological parents of the newborn had contacted authorities as early as July 22, to see about the return of the infant. Saturday, the Alliance Star Herald and Omaha World-Herald gave details. The papers report that on July 22, two days after the baby was left at Box Butte General Hospital, the mother, her relatives, and the baby’s father contacted the hospital, asking for the baby’s return. The baby had been put on a routine 48-hour hold and officials were preparing to release him to a foster-to-adopt family. HHS, consequently, decided to keep the baby for another night at the hospital where both parents visited him, and the mother cared and stayed with him. Reports in both papers are substantially the same. The quote below is from the Alliance Star-Herald, a more detailed account than appears in the World-Herald: The biological parents of a baby boy abandoned under the state’s Safe Haven Act had asked for the baby to be returned Continue Reading →


This morning The Omaha World-Herald and other Nebraska media (here and here) report that the state got its first “safe haven” catch since its new and improved law went into effect late last year. The baby, described as “a male Caucasian newborn less than 30 days of age” was dropped off by a family member at the Box Butte General Hospital in Alliance Monday night. Nebraska’s post-fiasco law permits designated dumpers to drop off babies 30 days and younger no questions asked. Did we say no questions asked? According to Nebraska Health and Human Services Chief Executive Officer Kerry Winterer (RIP Todd Landry), in an HHS press release: “It’s important to gather information like family medical history to meet this child’s current and future needs,” he said. Officials asked that anyone with information call the HHS office in Gering at 308-436-6559, the Box Butte County Sheriff’s Office at 308-762-6464, the Alliance Police Department at 308-762-4955 or the Nebraska State Patrol at 308-632-1211. What ever happened to no shame, no blame, no name? The press release does not appear on the state’s “safe haven” page or HHS press release page. If and when it does, I’ll link it here. I’ll also Continue Reading →


Nebraska’s biggest and most famious “safe haven” case is “officially” closed. Yesterday, Gary Staton, 36, (left) appeared before Douglas County Juvenile Court judge Elizabeth Crnkovich to settle guardianship of his two oldest sons, 16 and 17, “safe havened” last September at Creighton University Hospital during the Nebraska Fiasco. Crnkovich, who has worked with the family for the last six months, did not terminate Staton’s parental rights, but appointed unnamed legal guardians for the boys ” who are currently in foster care and attending high school together. Calling the Statons a “good family” Crnkovich told Gary Staton, “I’ve worked with you a long time and through that have known the challenges and have known the circumstances that brought us to this place… What you’ve done today, oddly enough is very generous.” On March 12, Staton voluntarily terminated parental rights to his seven youngest children, “safe havened” at the same time. Those children are currently living with his late wife’s aunt in Lincoln. According to Action 3 News Omaha, she plans to adopt them. After the hearing Action 3 decided to stalk Staton, forcing him to sneak out down the backstairs of his new house without comment. A reporter, however, managed to Continue Reading →


I’ve been collecting material to update the Nebraska Fiasco, but haven’t had the time to put everything together. Since the big news on the Fiasco scene Monday was the termination of Gary Staton’s parental rights, I’m catching up a bit here. Please go to Children of the Corn for the complete collection of Nebraska Fiasco blogs. GARY STATON TERMINATES PARENTAL RIGHTSAccording to Omaha Action 3 News, Gary Saton, 36, the widower who “safe havened 9 of his 10 children (the oldest is a legal adult) at Creighton University Medical Center last September, went to court Monday (March 9) to formally terminate his parental rights. Since their abandonment, the seven youngest children, ages 2-15, have been living with an aunt (sometimes described as a great aunt) in Lincoln who will remain their legal guardian until each turns 19. The two oldest boys are, at their own request, living in foster care in Omaha so they can finish high school together. Staton was granted visitation. He planned to visit his former family in Lincoln Monday evening. No word otherwise, on Staton’s current situation except he has moved from the family’s home which has been condemned by the city. Last October, a week Continue Reading →


NO! CHILDREN OF THE CORN ISN’T GOING AWAY! From the same folks who last fall brought us at least 50 abandoned and traumatized teens and pre-teens via their “unique safe haven law” comes the news that the majority of Nebraska senators responding to a pre-session poll by the Associated Press, would support a measure to ban abortion in the state. Most support an exception for rape, incest, or the health of the woman, but four reject all exceptions. According to an article in the December 31 Beatrice Daily Sun: 23 Nebraska state senators [out of the 40 who responded] said they would back such a ban. That’s despite the precedence of Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that established a woman’s right to have an abortion. The full AP survey has not been released. According to a commenter named “Eric” on Kyle Michaelis’ New Nebraska Network blog The Coat Hanger Caucus: Almost 1/2 of senators support abortion ban (December 30) Senators Adams, Carlson, Coash, Cornett, Flood, Fulton, Gay, Gloor, Hadley, Hansen, Harms, Heidemann, Janssen, Karpisek, Langemeier, McCoy, Nelson, Pankonin, Pirsch, Schilz, Stuthman, Utter, and Wightman indicated they would support a ban on abortion. “Eric” speculates from Continue Reading →


Catching up on today’s abandoned babies stories, I found Police search for abandoned infant’s mom in today’s Chicago Sun-Times, a follow-up on a newborn recently discovered in the unheated vestibule of an Uptown apartment building. Thankfully, the baby is doing fine. But at the very bottom of the article under “Related Blogs”this gem, dated November 17, 2008 is linked to the story courtesy of Carbolic Smoke Blog: Number of children abandoned under Nebraska’s safe haven law jumps from 34 to 852 when Father Flanagan drops off orphans from Boys Town at local hospital. Witnesses say Flanagan was “downright giddy,” rubbing his hands together and laughing. He told befuddled hospital workers that “the kids are your responsibility now. It was either this or bankruptcy, so they boys had to go. This will give me a chance to reorganize and turn Boys Town into something profitable, like a Walgreens. I’ll have some genuine good news from the Nebraska Fiasco up this weekend.