Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Omaha, We Have a Problem: Relevant Family and Soceity

I've been following this sad sign of the times story out of Nebraska, where an attempt to widen a safe surrender law to include infants older than three days, has led to the unintended consequence of minors, even in their teen years, being abandoned by parents or custodial guardians who claim that they can no longer care for their children. As of today, twenty two children have been surrendered under the Nebraska law, with parents often traveling from other states to do so.

Often the parents allude to financial hardship, but many also speak of out of control children, some presumably with special needs, who they have come to the end of their rope with. This law has revealed a soft underbelly in American culture, and how are we to deal with it? In some of the accounts, family and community members were not alerted, and had no knowledge of the difficulties. Perhaps it signals a fundamental isolation that families and communities must take a hard look at themselves and find solutions to head off such a desperate last resort.

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