Two teens left under safe-haven law

OMAHA, NE If the state confirms both cases, they would be the 25th and 26th children left under the state's much-criticized safe have law since it went into effect in July. The law allows caregivers to abandon children at hospitals without fear of prosecution.

A 16-year-old girl was left Sunday at Midlands Hospital in Papillion. Also Sunday, a second teen was dropped at Children's Hospital in Omaha. Her age wasn't available Monday.

The 16-year-old and her mother had lived in Papillion, south of Omaha, but moved to Arizona, police Lt. Chris Whitted. It wasn't clear how long they lived away or how they traveled back to Nebraska, he said.

The mother didn't give a reason for the drop, Whitted said, but added: "Obviously, there's concerns about being able to care for her daughter."

The girl, he said, "was unaware she was being dropped off" and has been placed in state custody. Whitted said the mother left the hospital and authorities weren't able to track her down.

Nebraska was the last state to enact a safe-haven law, which is intended to protect unwanted newborns from being abandoned. Some have interpreted the law to mean children as old as 18 can be abandoned because it uses the word "child" and doesn't include an age limit.

The Legislature plans to tackle the issue at a special session on Nov. 14. Speaker of the Legislature Mike Flood said he'll introduce a bill establishing a 3-day-old age limit.

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