Nebraska Dad Who Left 9 Kids Says He Was Overwhelmed

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Omaha, Neb. (AP) A Nebraska father says he was too overwhelmed to care for nine of his children without his late wife, so he abandoned them at a hospital under the state's new safe haven law.

Gary Slaton tells Omaha station KETV that he hopes “their future is better” without him around.

The five boys and four girls range in age from 1 to 17. Slaton has a tenth child, an 18-year-old, who wasn't dropped off.

A number of relatives have volunteered to take the siblings. The State Department of Health and Human Services is conducting required background checks in hopes of placing the children in the next few days.

Slaton's wife died early last year. He says he quit his job because of his family responsibilities but couldn't pay bills or take care of his kids.

Nebraska's unique law allows caregivers to abandon babies and teenagers alike at hospitals without fear of prosecution.