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Child Abandonment

Posted Oct 03 2008 9:42am
I wasn't shocked to read about the Nebraska father who had dropped off his nine children, - abandoning them - at a local hospital due to overwhelming stress and his inability to care for them any longer. What parent wouldn't be stressed with nine kids, let alone a man who was somehow trying to do it on his own, after the death of his wife. Talk about emotional overload.

What shocked me even more and has not allowed me to think of much else this morning, is the "backlash" that officials have now created with their insistence that now the laws in that state must be changed. In other words, or what I'm hearing at least, is that older children who are being raised by parents who are so stressed that they are actually contemplating walking away, must remain in that abusive situation.

I know, there is no abuse that we know of being brought up here in these recent cases, but wouldn't that be the next step? If a parent has less last-minute options, what are the choices he or she would feel that would be left? Leaving these children in a neglectful situation?

I'm not sure what's worse, sending out a message to these parents - and children who are old enough to read and hear the news - that just because a parent no longer wants to be a parent, means that no one else should have to pick up the slack, or the helpless feeling of needing to walk away in the first place?

Changing the state laws would be very irresponsible, in my opinion. What I would have liked to hear officials saying is that there areresources available to parents to help reduce the stress in their lives and offer a list of these services and support groups and community resources that are out there.

I'm a Certified Parent Educator who works with parents that have kids ranging in age from newborn (or even parents who are expecting) to teens. There are Certified Parent Educators across the country - and in many countries outside of the U.S. - wanting to help parents and families and helping them to to avoid these last minute impulses to abandon their children.

Learn how you can become an advocate for children by becoming an instructor yourself.
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