A Detroit woman who drove 725 miles to give her teenage son to the state of Nebraska under its safe haven law did so because she was stressed out and was trying to teach him a lesson, reports the Detroit Free Press. The 13-year-old told officers his mother said as she left him, “Just do what you have to do, and I’ll check back with you soon.” He had luggage, extra clothes and $10, according to an affidavit. The teen said his mother told him that because police were involved, he “would realize she wasn’t kidding anymore.”
The youth is in Nebraska custody under the state’s controversial safe haven law, which allows parents to relinquish children up to age 18 to the custody of the state, while most states, including Michigan, permit only the abandonment of newborns and infants. The abuse of Nebraska’s law has legislators there rethinking it, and prompted Michigan child welfare officials to warn parents not to rush through any decision about relinquishing their children because of family stress or economic woes.