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Older children abandoned under Nebraska safe haven law

Beginning on Sept. 1, older children were abandoned under Nebraska's safe haven law, which has no age limit.

Eleven children were dropped of Sept. 24, forcing state officials to discuss possible misuses of the law, according to the Omaha World Herald.

State officials said parents should not be taking advantage of the law because they want to give up on raising their children, according to the Omaha World Herald.

"It is the job of the parent to be a parent," Todd Landry, children and family services director for the State Department of Health and Human Services told the Omaha World Herald. "(The law) in no way absolves a parent of their responsibilities."

In total last month, 15 older children in Nebraska were dropped off by parents or guardians, according to a report by the New York Times.

Mark Courtney, an expert on child welfare at the University of Washington, told the New York Times that what happened in Nebraska "would happen in any state."

"These days there's huge void in services for helping distressed families," he told the New York Times.

Nebraska was the last of the 50 states to enact a safe haven law, but its version was much broader than those in other states, according to the New York Times.

Lisa Blunt, a counselor with the Child Saving Institute in Omaha, told the Omaha World Herald parents should not resort to abandoning their children, but rather seek appropriate help.

Landry told the Omaha World Herald he predicted the courts would order the parents and guardians of the recently abandoned children to seek counseling and parenting classes to help them put back together their families.