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Opening Arguments

The system did it

By now, should be used to bad parents offering lame excuses for their failure and neglect. Still, some are so outrageous that we can't help but be repelled:

INDIANAPOLIS - A northern Indiana woman who left her 8-year-old son at a Nebraska hospital under that state's safe haven law says she did so because she doesn't trust Indiana's child welfare system.

Stephanie Mote, 30, told Fort Wayne television station WANE in a Friday interview that she doesn't trust the system in Indiana based on her own experience as a child.

"I took him there where I knew he would be safe because I didn't trust the welfare system in Indiana and I didn't want him to go through what I went through when I was growing up through the welfare system in Indiana," she said. "So I felt like it would be the best thing to do would be to take him there where he would be safe."

Almost every story about this incident has a variation on the same headline -- "Woman explains why she left son in Nebraska" -- but of course there's no real explanation possible. A friend of hers is even quoted as saying she didn't abandon her son -- "She just wanted to get him help." Right. She didn't turn him out here because there would have been legal consequences. She took him all the way to Nebraska because a glitch in that state's law would give her immunity, but she didn't abandon her son? She offers the alleged failures of Indiana's child welfare system as an excuse for why she can't be a decent mother? She has knowledge of how good Nebraska's system is?

This is either one of the most telling examples of denial on record or a woman so used to just saying anything that she expects us to believe anything. Her son is back with Indiana officials, which is, unfortunately, probably the best place for him.


tim zank
Mon, 11/17/2008 - 2:36pm

Just another glaring example of another slug in our "throw away" society for whom "responsibility" is an utterly foreign concept.

Bob G.
Mon, 11/17/2008 - 4:03pm

And don't forget "accountability", Tim....responsibility's half-brother.

If people lack ONE, it's a damn good bet they lack the OTHER.