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Topic : 11/07 Child Abandonment

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Created on : Friday, October 31, 2008, 04:17:56 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Abandoning a child is largely considered the worst thing a parent could do … or is it? As an alternative to leaving unwanted babies to starve in dumpsters and alleys, many states have enacted a safe haven law, which provides the option of leaving the child in a safe place, such as a hospital or fire station, with no questions asked. Nebraska was the last state to enact the law; and did so without an age restriction. As a result, there has been a recent spate of parents dropping off grown teenagers to the care of the state! Should an age limit be set? When Courtney, 34, became overwhelmed with caring for her 15-year-old daughter, she says she used the loophole in the law to get her daughter the care she needed. Was this an act of abandonment, or a mother’s last resort?  Next, abandoned at an airport at just 10 days old, Elizabeth was given the nickname “Delta Dawn” by the pilots who found her, and Michael, left in a trash can by his birth mother, was saved by a night watchman. Learn how their lives played out and hear the lasting repercussions of their abandonment. Then, meet Elizabeth, a 20-year-old mother of two who says she is considering giving up her daughters. Would her decision be in the best interest of the children? And, when Maria, at age 16, unexpectedly gave birth on her bathroom floor, she says she stabbed the baby with a pair of scissors. Find out what drove her to such drastic measures. Join the discussion.

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November 20, 2008, 11:15 am CST

child abandonment

Quote From: huizen

Lots of people think how can you abonden your child??? well I know now!! and will never condemn anyone.
We adopted our son in 1991, we were thrilled, we waited so long for a child, but before long I got a uneasy feeling and I couldn't place it, the way he reacted on us and others was odd, years later we discovered finaily what it was reactieve attachtment disorder and possible fetal alcohol effects without the facial expressions.
By then we were exhausted on the brink of a nerveus breakdown, the neverending lies, telling story's to other people who were untrue, half true, partly true en what ever, but always negative for us, the big mouth, the screaming, the disobidience, not able to play with kids, the stealing, difficulties at school. in de neighberhood, not able to talk to us, but talking to SW's (sociaal workers) like he had discussed with us already (wich he never did!!) so we came over as difficult and since he has great looks and manipulated talking (he thrives on traingulation, we gues because on the chaos he lived before us)
All the while we were trying to figure out what he had and more inportant what could be done about it, we spend hours and money on therapist's, courses, books went to seminars, had many people over, try to get help from everywere, but till todayno one was really able to help, they were to unexperienced, not enough funding, te easy, we got thrown in the groep of parents wo really messed things up, the made no difference in treatment of different kind of type parents.
We could lied to, the made decisions who didn't worked out for our son (while we warned them) and we got the blame (he runned away and they didn't helped to search for him) got betrayed by our own friends who believed his lies (the hiddeth him).
Our own family (except a aunt and my sister) didn't believe us and didn't helped us (now they do, but now it's to late)
When he was 13 years we couldn't' take the stess, hate and the passive agression from our son anymore, and we placed him in a rtc, and till today I feel so sad about it, I fear that I probably wil never get over that fact, because I love my son, but he was not able to love me back, but instead refused to be reared by us ( and no, he often did things at others to, so I don't think somebody else could  have done it better)
We even searched for his birthmother, found her, let her come over on our cost, but even that didn't make any difference.
We had no help except for God, we did everything possible, we ralized very early we needed help for his special need, but we got ......
I don't think many people can understand that children can really hate and make live impossible in a family (by the way, I didn't know either)
Many people search for help, but don't get it, no matter what they do, so this is the last straw to get help for their children, and please help them, let somebody listen to their screams for help, don't comdemn.
For us it's to late, he doesn't want comtact anymore, and we fear he won't make it in society.
I do not believe that children hate, this is something they learn, they are not born with these feelings. People think it is so easy to have a baby and raise this individual to become a complete, well functioning adult. This is the toughest job anyone will ever take on, and I believe very few of us are qualified to take on this difficult task, thats why we have so many lost young people, Children need parents who are strong in their relationship, and completely comfortable with who they are. Children learn what they live, and these safehavens are a bandaid not a cure for the real problem. These young parents need to take some parenting classes there is so much help out there. Loving a child and feeding and clothing them is just not enough and most young parents do not know what they are getting themselves into. When you have a child your whole life changes and so do your priorities but these young people are not ready to change their lives or their priorities for these children. This takes maturity, commitment and an unconditional love for your children. I had my children when I was young, and it was extremely difficult yet the huge love I felt for them outweighed all the mountains I had to climb. My older son is now 36 and very successful, I am truly proud of him. Unfortunately my younger son went missing after a head injury and has been missing for ten years. ENJOY! every moment of your children they are grown before you know it. They are a true blessing and the legacy you leave behind.  jemella
November 24, 2008, 8:49 am CST

abandoning children



Hi Dr. Phil,  on the show this day you  had a parent on that is having difficulty with her child and doesn't know where to turn.  She states that her child has been diagnosed with "oppositional defiance disorder" and you kind of sluffed her off.  I also have a child who was diagnosed with this after years of trying to get her help. My family was in turmoil since she was old enough to walk and talk.  She is aggressive; verbally mean; and physically agressive to the point that she went after her sisters with knives. We have been to years of counciling as a family and for her individually, with many different psychogists whom she never spoke a word to.  When she became a teenager she was finally admitted to our local children's psychiatric center without much progress.  She came home to live again the first admission but after the second admission she was 17 and went to live in a group home.


She is now an adult of 33 and still has issues unresolved.  She has become what I consider a borderline personality disorder although she is not professionally diagnosed.  She refuses any care. She manipulates her family going from one of us to the other until she gets satisfaction.  She has very limited insight and is very impulsive.


The bottom line of this discussion is that parents should be encouraged to get  help whenever possible and never give up on their child.  They are in pain also even if they don't understand why.  This disorder does exist and maybe we should let parents know what it is and what it entails so they can seek help.

January 3, 2009, 9:21 pm CST

11/07 Child Abandonment

Quote From: hopefaithlove

there maybe help available out there but not for everyone.  Not all insurances pay for these therapists or doctor visits or counseling.   And its not always the parents that need the help and need to be looked into.  Why is it always the parents fault for their childrens behavior?????  if there is so much help and resources out there then why would these parents be dropping their children off?  I get so tired of all the "theres help out there for everyone"  no there is not.   Until you live with a child like this dont be giving your advise about how much help there is out there, and judging parents for doing what they think is right.  If you are a parenting coach how can you do your job effectively when you sit in judgement of the parents?  I can not stand people like you who think you are above all of the parents out there who have children with behavioral problems granite there maybe some that need the therapy and may have been abused themselves that do need the help but they still dont deserve to be judged. 
  I apologize if my message sounded like I was judging.  I think my clients would tell you don't judge.  I'm a parent as well and not a perfect parent.  When my two older children were in their early teens, we had a very difficult  time and had to seek out the help of a professional.  We needed an objective listener, someone who was not directly involved and could see all aspects of our challenges.  It helped a lot.    If you are a parent who has a very challenging child and can't find support, I'm sorry.  I wish we were a society where it was your right, not a privilege to access all the services we need to help ourselves and our kids.  Bringing up children is not an easy job and some children are much more difficult than others.    
April 1, 2009, 1:07 pm CDT

11/07 Child Abandonment

Hello Dr Phil

On Monday 30th March in this town called Melbourne, Australia, watched your show (No. 1163) about children abandoned as babies.

I want you to tell those people who, although they have good lives, with adoptive parents they still wonder - don't look back!

When I was 15, a girl at school had to leave because she was pregnant. I told my Mum that if it happened to me I would put the baby in a rubbish bin. She said don't be stupid (What is new?) and she and Dad would have brought it up.

I would never have allowed that to happen. I was so unhappy myself as a child that death in a rubbish bin would have felt far better. To this day, at 49 years of age, I know that I would never want to inflict what I experienced childhood as being on another human being. I've never had children- never wanted to -because I never felt as if I were in a position to do so. Not emotionally, financially or otherwise.

What I'm trying to say here is that those peoples' mothers may have felt they were doing the best they knew how by their new born babies. People don't for the most part be deliberately cruel. The women who dumped their kids like this must have  been feeling lonely and frightened (probably very young) and they didn't want them to have to suffer the way that they themselves were suffering. OK!

It's true that I now am a very grumpy old woman. As a child I used to fantasize about carving myself up with an axe. Oh well, I'm still here and I still keep trying to made things alright for myself and those around me. I think that's all any of us bloody well can do!

By the way my parents were always bloody good Christians and the hardest thing for me was always having to live this great big lie about how perfect our family must be. It ain't necessarily so!


My name is Robyn

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