The firestorm this has ignited amazes me.
Michigan authorities are embarrassed, and have gone on record explaining that they have facilities in each county prepared to take a child in. But Michigan authorities fail to add that Michigan child-surrender laws only cover a parent until the child is 72 HOURS old. After that, the parent may well face charges of neglect, abandonment, and more.
Nebraska authorities are lashing out at Michigan and citing Michigan's lack of mental health resources and imply that the mother needed intervention. If that is, in fact, the reason for this surrender, then are the Nebraska authorities also implying that the extended family members were in need of mental health care as well?
Nebraska authorities are frustrated because this is the second out-of-state child left since their surrender law became effective months ago. One spokesman said,
"The intention of the Nebraska law covering children up to age 18 was to help
families with young children who may be in danger, not to give parents of
out-of-control teenagers an out."
I don't know who would be in greater danger than a 13 year old boy whose mother, father, aunt, and grandmother all agreed would be better off being driven 700 miles and surrendered rather than remain in their care. Now an investigation is underway in Michigan to determine if the mother should face charges.
My heart breaks for that boy. My heart breaks for the family. The fact remains, however, that they needed help and they made what must have been a difficult decision. They chose what they believed was a safe solution for that child. It was a far better solution than the one given to the 4 children who die every day in the U.S. as a result of abuse or neglect. Four a day! 1,400 a year!
Kuddos to you, Nebraska. You provided rescue for a child in need. Please stop pretending to be the victim.
And to the other states, when a parent begs for help by saying, "I can't parent this child any longer. Help me," is that really a criminal act ??
UPDATE: The local Michigan prosecutor has now determined that the surrendered boy is a "typical, normal boy," thus, the parents' other 3 children have now been removed from their custody.