Tag Archives: families

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?

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