Saturday, December 6, 2008

When Using Nebraska's Safe Haven Law Became A Mistake

Teri Martin thought she was doing the best thing for her adopted 13 year-old son when she decided to transport him to Nebraska to take advantage of Nebraska's Safe Haven Law, which allows parents to essentially abandon their children without fear of prosecution. As a result of that decision, Teri Martin and her husband Terrence are now facing a trial for neglecting all 4 of their children on December 12th according to the Detroit Free Press. Teri Martin is also barred from the home and only allowed one hour of supervised visits per week.

Teri Martin described a 13 year-old boy who set fires, got expelled from schools and was being recruited by gangs. Martin did say that after she delivered her son to the Nebraska hospital, she knew that she'd made a mistake. What happened to parents taking responsibility for their children. If a 13 year-old is already having issues, how can dropping him off at a Nebraska hospital, 700 miles from home, make things better.


Marley Greiner said...

I've been covering the Nebraska safe haven situation extensively. I've gotten behind, but hope to have a new piece up on the Martin case soon.

One thing that seems to be forgotten in the current coverage of this case is that Teri Martin (especially) and her husband Nathaniel, according to court documents, have repeatedly said they did not want him. They claim they were "forced" to adopt him because they wanted to adopt his younger brother, and the older boy was part of the deal. Reportedly, they even tried to return him.

We have no idea just how severe this child's problems are, but the Martins' attitude towards him certainly couldn't have helped. And you are absolutely correct in questioning how dumping him into Nebraska broken child welfare system was supposed to help. Martin, imo, simply wanted to get rid of the problem.

My writing partner, Baby Love Child have written about Nebraska on our individual blogs and also at Children of the Corn

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