Should Safe Haven Laws Be Changed to Protect Older Kids?Stephanie Precourt
I’m sure the buzz is still going strong this morning after yesterday’s Casey Anthony verdict. I think of her daughter Caylee, as well as a recent case in my own community- Christian Choate, only 13 and locked in a cage by his parents until he was killed. And the recent headline shocker of the girl found alive in a cage in Virginia.
I do not like to talk or even think about these gruesome stories but I have to wonder, could these children or many kids not in the spotlight be saved if the Safe Haven laws- laws allowing parents to give up their infant to authorities with no questions asked- were changed to include older children?
Most of the Safe Haven laws only accommodate an infant around 3-30 days old. You can find your state’s Safe Haven law here. A few years ago Nebraska did change their law to any child under the age 18, but changed it back to 30 days old because of too many deserted teenage children. I know there probably isn’t a perfect answer or solution, but I would think the abandoned children at a safe place is better than them being abused or killed. And yes, it could mean parents would be walking free from something they should be punished for but- again- so often they are “found out” much too late. What law is in the best interest of the children?
Is society’s access to too much information causing Parenting Anxiety?