What Do You Think Of A Country That Allows You To Abandon Your Child With No Consequence?
For those of you joining late who don’t wish to wade through the 125 comments, the post below was a thought experiment to test a hypothesis, not a serious condemnation of Safe Haven Laws.
On several anti-gay marriage threads, it is posited that gays shouldn’t qualify for marriage recognition because they cannot breed. Some claim it may actually affect the social norm of heterosexuals to marry and have children, and there is a government interest in maintaining procreation.
Yet no one can describe the mechanism – exactly how government recognition of those who cannot breed will affect the behavior of those who can. I suspected it is an excuse to get to a desired result; that the proponents of the idea don’t actually believe government has such power of persuasion over the second group by the simple act of recognizing the first group.
To test their commitment to that theory, I posted below and adopted their claim: That government recognition of one group (those who are abandoning their babies) will cause another group (those who are not) to be affected on the decision to abandon their babies too.
In this thread, the idea that others would have their attitude affected about child rearing based upon government recognition of those who are abandoning their children was denied. The almost mystical power of persuasion the government can have over one group by recognizing another disappeared.
When stopping gays marrying was the desired result, government power of persuasion was claimed. When the desired result was saving children, government power of persuasion to cause child abandonment (by assisting in the abandonment!) was at one end of the spectrum denied and at the other end ignored.
That country would be America. Do you even recognize her anymore?
All 50 states have adopted a form of the Safe Haven Infant Protection Act.
Under the law, within 30 days after birth, you can drop your child off at any police station or hospital and walk out.
In fact, the law has a slogan: “No shame. No blame. No names.”
If no parent comes back to claim the child for 21 days, the State will move in Court to terminate the parental rights of the parents and allow for adoption. That means there will be no child support responsibility of the birth parents, either.
I suppose we can call it the pro-orgy law, because there seems to no longer be any government disapproval of reckless sex. One can imagine some sympathetic people this might help, but isn’t this also an easy out for the prostitute, the philandering man and shameless tart?
I recalled this law when discussing gay marriage with member KC Mulville.
KC, like many of our members, had made the point that gay marriage is unwarranted because marriage is inexplicably tied to birthing children, and it is an accepted truth that “society demands biological parents raise their children.”
Not anymore. Now that every state allows you to rid yourself of parental responsibility with the ease of dropping off your child like she were a pizza, the once accepted truth that society demands we care for our children is now an untruth. Demand it? Society is no longer even suggesting it.
If the case against Gay Marriage is that government acceptance of a behavior is an encouragement of the behavior, then what behavior is this law encouraging?
I will concede a couple of points. We’ve always allowed people to give up their children for adoption. This just makes it easier, and perhaps the ease is exactly what gives me pause. Once we remove any consequence to birthing a child, haven’t we devalued human life? Haven't we accepted hedonism?
Also, this law has obvious cross-over to the abortion debate. I can see a pro-life position in this, by telling women if they feel emotionally unready to be a parent, or to cite the Supreme Court, not financially ready (as vulgar as I find that excuse, it is part of the basis for the Court’s opinion), then all they need to do is let the child live, and society will care for the child.
Of course, this has to be like poison to anyone who has a sliver of traditionalism or social conservatism (not to mention parental instinct). Nothing in this law stops a rich and ready person from transferring their child-rearing responsibility to the State, even if the excuse is they are too lazy or simply can’t be bothered. Or they wanted a boy, not a girl. Or this child is too sick and inconvenient.
If our culture of family values is spiraling downward, the state promoting a no cost, no shame abandonment of children has to be the latest point on the continuum toward the destruction of nuclear families that has at the other end no fault divorce and the repealing of alienation of affections as a tort.
So I again turn to the Ricochet political and cultural noosphere for answers. What do we think of these state sanctioned and supported child abandonment laws? Net positive or net negative?