Family crisis

What is this world coming to?

Have you heard about the Nebraska law that has inspired parents to abandon their children at hospitals?  I have been following this story for a while now, and in every article about it you read that someone or other says, “Gosh, we need to close the loopholes in this law that was originally designed to protect newborns…” and yet I keep reading about more kids being dropped off.  How long does it take to close a loophole?  Or are they questioning whether they even should close it?

I don’t know what to think.

On the one hand, how does any situation get this bad?  The father who dropped off his nine kids, ages 1 to 17, was living in poverty after his wife had just died.  How is there no one on this planet to help this family?  There are people as we speak enjoying themselves on vacation, people buying themselves a third or fourth car, people planning what mountain of presents they will put under the Christmas tree in a couple of months, but this man was left to despair until he decided to hand over his kids to what he thought would be a better life.

On the other hand, maybe there are people out there who genuinely just don’t want their kids.  The kids are neglected, they act up, they are isolated even more by their disengaged parents, so they act up more. Are these kids better off somewhere else, maybe if we recreated orphanages so that they genuinely served all the needs of kids who have been abandoned?  If we can spend billions of dollars bailing out a huge corporation seems like we could scrape together something to help the youth of this country that someone has obviously failed to take care of. 

Who knows.  I am just trying to imagine what could possibly be going on.  Personally I don’t even understand the infant abandonment thing, I guess we accept it because the infants are more helpless and also more adoptable, whereas the older kids can fend for themselves and no one else would want them anyway.  


I am not leading to any reasonable conclusion or solution.  I just think this law, whatever its original intention, raises a lot of interesting points about our current priorities in this country.  It is increasingly difficult for me to read the story passively, to remain a spectator, to have a detached curiosity.  It is beginning to feel like sitting in an armchair with a cold one while watching a building burn with people trapped inside screaming for help.

Am I being overly dramatic?  Is there a cold, aloof way to look at this that I am missing?


Filed under society

6 responses to “Family crisis

  1. stacybuckeye

    It’s hard for me to read stories like this because it makes me felt so helpless. It makes me want to do something, but what? It’s hard to look at any situation where children are abandoned with coolness.

  2. liajo

    I would worry more about you or myself or anyone if this kind of story didn’t bother them. There are always we can do. Anything from being a foster parent to donating clothes, blankets, toys and time to places that do try to help these children.

  3. Joy

    People seem to have such a caviler attitude where children are concerned. Why do we allow it? We seem to take care of everything and everybody else and we have something so broken as this and nobody wants to do a thing about it.

    I feel so sad about this. I have no answer either. This is such a good and touching post.

  4. Thanks all, for wallowing for a moment with me.

    Thanks, liajo, for your visit.

  5. Okay, I finally had time to visit your blog and discoverd that I was FOUR posts behind! Sheesh! I’ve started at the top and read them all and will just comment here on the post that is closest to my heart. I have a hard time understanding why older kids are being abandoned. Are the caretakers really that overwhelmed? Do they not have a support system in place or other resources for help available? Sometimes I wonder if it is just simple selfishness or laziness on their part and they just don’t want to “deal with it” anymore. I don’t know, I suppose I shouldn’t judge since I don’t know each situation, but I can’t help wondering what it does to a kid to be abandoned like that.

  6. It’s okay, Kween, you warned us a while ago that you haven’t had much time lately, and I completely understand! I appreciate your readership when life permits it. Thanks for the comment!

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