Abandoning unwanted children

Frank Sonnek alerted me to another heart-breaking phenomenon, as if we needed any more. A number of states have passed “safe haven” laws designed to allow young mothers to leave their newborn infants at a hospital or other facility with no fear of prosecution, an easy way to give up a baby for adoption. The intention was to prevent the horrible phenomenon of “dumpster” babies. This was a humane, pro-life measure, designed to halt infanticide. But increasingly, parents are leaving teenagers at hospitals. They are typically out of control adolescents that the parents do not know what to do with. Sometimes, though, parents are abandoning their children en masse because they no longer feel they can take care of them.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Kirk

    I’ve been reading about this in the news and I can’t imagine what abandonment would do to the psyche of a child. Fortunately, this phenomenon of leaving older kids and teenagers at hospitals is more or less relegated to Nebraska (I believe) which did not build age limits into their Safe Haven laws. I think that in most states, only infants may be abandoned.

  • rlewer

    We know what Mark Twain said about teenagers. I wonder how many parents are tempted?

  • BKW

    As Kirk said, the older kids are relegated to Nebraska – but this includes older children with disabilities as well.

  • BKW

    How sad.

  • Anon

    Is that worse than being murdered, though?

  • The Jones

    Death is not the worst thing to become a soul. Perhaps living and wishing you were dead until the moment you pass to the next world is worse than being killed and getting it over with once and for all.

    “I don’t want you. Goodbye.” Imagine hearing that from a parent and being old enough to understand what it actually means. Ouch. That’s got to be horrible.


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