Abandoned Babies – Why Are We Not Promoting Safe Surrender?

We have all heard stories about newborn babies whom have been found dead merely hours after they were delivered.  Their mothers, for whatever reason, are not able to care for their baby, do not want their baby, or have been hiding their pregnancy from the very beginning, leave their newborn child in a dumpster, trash can, alley,  park, stair well etc.  These innocent babies do not stand a chance alone, and only hours after being given life, it is taken away.  This completely breaks my heart, and I ask myself, why are we not doing more to raise awareness of safe surrender for these mothers who do not feel they have another option?

The purpose of safe surrender is to protect infants from being hurt or killed due to abandonment.  Safe surrender laws allow parents or legal guardians to confidentially and anonymously surrender an unharmed infant from 0 to 90 days old on average, in some states it can be up to 1 year, after their birth at any safe place such as a hospital emergency room, a fire department or a police station.  They do not need to provide any information, they just walk in, hand their baby to a safe person and walk out.  That simple.  A babies life is saved, a couple that may otherwise have never had a child, can become a family, and a mother has done the right thing, instead of becoming a murderer. Furthermore, mothers surrendering their newborn infants do have a window of time to reclaim their baby should they wish to do so.  This time period is usually between 3 to 14 days, varying on each individual state’s laws.

I personally believe that we need to do more to have the safe surrender laws become common knowledge.  I commend the states which have passed them and thank them for protecting infants whose futures in other circumstances would have been non-existent.  Mothers need to know that safe surrender is a completely viable option before leaving their baby in some random dirty place, alone and hungry, never knowing if they will be found in time.  Allow these babies to have a future, allow someone else to give them a life that they otherwise would not have had.  Safe surrender is one of the smartest laws that has been passed in the effort to protect infants.  Now it is time to make it known.

Safe Surrender

Safe surrender laws are in place in every state in the USA.  While the laws vary slightly from state to state, they are all born under the general motivation to save infants lives.  Currently there is no safe haven legislation in Canada – something that hopefully can be changed in the future.

Please take a small moment of your time to sign the petition found at the link below.  Together we can make a change and have Safe Surrender / Haven laws implemented in Canada.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/safe-surrenderhaven-laws-needed-in-canada-lighting/

Safe Surrender BillboardSafe surrender can change the lives of many people for the better.  These babies are placed for adoption, where they are raised in a home full of love and support.  They are provided with opportunities which they may have never have had, had they not been surrendered.  There are so many incredible people out there that would do anything to have a baby, and when parents selflessly recognize their inability to care for a child and subsequently surrender the infants, they are giving others the opportunity to become parents themselves.

Safe surrender does have many success stories.  This is Brody’s.

The life of one man was about to be forever altered with the joy of parenthood, and baby Brody’s mother gave him that gift.  In 2009, within 72 hours of Brody’s birth, his biological mother walked into a fire station and surrendered the newborn baby boy to fire fighters.  The decision to give her son the best possible life he could have, knowing that that meant he would be raised by someone other than herself, was not an easy decision.  She was in tears, visibly upset, and yet she still had the courage to recognize what was best for her child.  Her decision to surrender her baby boy shows how much she loved her son, and the day will come when Brody learns of his start in life, and he will have the opportunity to recognize the love his biological mother has for him.  Little is known about Brody’s biological mom, but what is known is something that Brody’s father intends to ensure his son knows.  What Rick does know about the lady, he has written down for his son in a special keepsake box.  He wrote “Your mom was a very special person and you know, one day, when you want to look for her, when you’re old enough, I’ll help you.”

Rick was a single man, over 40, living in a rental home, with a good job, who wanted nothing more than to be a father.  Adoption was his answer to fulfilling his dreams.  However, in the beginning, Rick had little hope that he would ever be allowed to adopt.  Let’s face it, his situation is not one that is often present in an adoption.  Despite his doubts he went forth with San Diego County Adoptions, taking all the required classes, and one year later, he was matched with a newborn baby boy that had been surrendered.  He recalls getting ready for work that morning, when he received a call saying ‘we have a baby and you have an hour to decide’, without out hesitation Rick responded “I’ll take him!”.

Rick has an incredible network of support for him and Brody.  “I have a lot of great friends and family.  My very best friend who happens to be Brody’s Godmother watches him two nights a week while I work.  I have a sister who watches him and then another family friend watches him.”  Being Brody’s father has been incredibly indescribable for Rick.  “Every time he does something new, you go ‘oh my gosh, that’s incredible’.  The first time he said da da, I was changing his diaper one day and he said ‘go’, so I said ‘OK, let’s go!’”.  And Rick isn’t done yet.  He hopes to adopt a brother or sister for Brody.

Brody and Rick

Brody and Rick

Brody and Rick’s story is one that inspires hope for so many different people, in so many different situations.  It embodies the very essence of a mother’s love for her child, and one man’s dedication and determination to become a father, despite all odds he may feel were stacked against him.  Rick and Brody are the shining example of why safe surrender works, and they are catalysts to raising awareness for safe surrender, saving hundreds of babies’ lives each year.

Rick and Brody are not the only success stories out there.  This is Tal and Barbara’s.

Barbara and Tal

Barbara and Tal

Barbara Gallen was an unmarried television writer in her fifties when she made the decision to adopt, after realizing that her desire to be a mother would never go away.  In the spring of 2009, Barbara’s prayers were answered.

A baby boy had been dropped off at a hospital under the safe surrender law, and this little boy was placed with Barbara.  Barbara states that she never had any doubt when she got the call that this was her child.

Barbara and Tal

Barbara and Tal

Tal has grown and become what his Mom calls “a basketball phenomenon”.  Barbara is eager to share Tal’s story and show mothers out there that they do have an option when faced with an unwanted pregnancy.  She says she feels nothing but appreciation for Tal’s mother.  This young lady did the very best thing she could ever do for Tal, and provided him the opportunity to live a full and rich life.

Anyone with questions regarding how Baby Safe Haven laws can help can contact the Toll Free Crisis Hotline at 1-888-510-BABY

~

~

~

~

Individual USA State Laws

WASHINGTON – An infant up to 3 days old may be left at any fire station or hospital emergency room.

OREGON – An infant up to 30 days old may be left at any medical facility, hospital, fire station, birthing center or police station.

IDAHO – An infant up to 30 days old may be left at any hospital, clinic or emergency medical services provider.

MONTANA – An infant up to 30 days old may be left at any hospital, fire department or law enforcement agency.

WYOMING – An infant up to 14 days old may be left at any hospital, fire station, police station, sheriff’s office or any other place of shelter and safety identified by the Department of Family Services.

CALIFORNIA – An infant up to 3 days old can be left at any safe surrender designated hospital.

NEVADA – An infant up to 30 days old can be left at any hospital, obstetric center, independent centre for emergency medical care, public fire station or law enforcement agency.

UTAH – An infant up to 3 days old can be left at any hospital emergency room.

ARIZONA – An infant up to 3 days old at any hospital, emergency medical service provider, fire station, licensed private child welfare agency, licensed adoption agency or church.

COLORADO – An infant up to 3 days old may be left at any hospital or fire station.

NEW MEXICO – An infant up to 90 days old may be left at any licensed hospital or health care clinic.

NORTH DAKOTA – An infant up to 1 year old can be left at any hospital.

SOUTH DAKOTA – An infant up to 60 days can be left at any fire department, law enforcement agency, clinic or medical facility.

NEBRASKA – An infant up to 30 days old can be left at any hospital.

KANSAS – An infant up to 45 days old can be left at any medical facility, fire department or city or county health department.

OKLAHOMA – An infant up to 3 days old can be left at any medical facility, hospital, fire station, police station or child welfare agency.

TEXAS – An infant up to 60 days old can be left at any hospital, emergency medical services provider or child welfare agency.

MINNESOTA – An infant up to 3 days old can be left at any licensed hospital.

IOWA – An infant up to 14 days old can be left at any hospital, emergency room or other medical facility.

MISSOURI – An infant up to 1 year old can be left at any hospital, fire department, emergency medical professional or law enforcement agency.

ARKANSAS – An infant up to 30 days old can be left at any medical provider or law enforcement agency.

LOUISIANA – An infant up to 30 days old can be left at any medical facility, fire department, hospital, police department, emergency medical services provider, pregnancy crisis center, medical clinic, public health unit or child advocacy center.

WISCONSIN – An infant up to 3 days old can be left at any hospital, fire station, sheriff’s office, police station, emergency medical services provider or any other law enforcement agency.

ILLINOIS – An infant up to 30 days old can be left at any hospital, fire station, police station or emergency medical services provider.

TENNESSEE – An infant up to 3 days old can be left at any hospital, birthing center, community health clinic or out-patient walk-in clinic.

MISSISSIPPI – An infant up to 3 days old can be left at any emergency medical provider, hospital emergency room or licensed adoption agency.

ALABAMA – An infant up to 3 days old can be left at any emergency room of any licensed hospital.

GEORGIA – An infant up to 7 days old can be left at any medical facility including any hospital, institutional infirmary, health center or birthing center.

FLORIDA – An infant up to 7 days old can be left at any hospital, emergency medical services station or fire station.

SOUTH CAROLINA – An infant up to 30 days old can be left at any hospital, emergency medical services provider, law enforcement agency, fire station or any worship center.

NORTH CAROLINA – An infant up to 7 days old can be left at any hospital, health care center, local or district health department, non-profit community health center, social services agency, emergency medical services provider, law enforcement agency, fire station or with any responsible adult.

VIRGINIA – An infant up to 14 days old can be left at any hospital emergency room or emergency medical rescue squad.

WEST VIRGINIA – An infant up to 30 days old can be left at any hospital or medical facility.

KENTUCKY – An infant up to 3 days old can be left at any hospital or with any emergency medical services provider, police officer or fire fighter.

INDIANA – An infant up to 45 days old can be left at any hospital emergency room, police station or fire station.

MICHIGAN – An infant up to 3 days old can be left at any hospital, fire station, police station or emergency service provider.

OHIO – An infant up to 30 days old can be left at any hospital, emergency medical services provider or law enforcement agency.

PENNSYLVANIA – An infant up to 28 days old can be left at any hospital.

NEW YORK – An infant up to 30 days can be left with any responsible person at a suitable location.

MAINE – An infant up to 31 days old can be left at any law enforcement agency, medical emergency room or medical services provider, including, but not limited to: physician, nurse, podiatrist, optometrist, chiropractor, physical therapist, dentist, psychologist, physician’s assistant or any EMS personal.

NEW HAMPSHIRE – An infant up to 7 days old can be left at any hospital, fire station, police station, church or with any 911 responder to an agreed transfer location.

VERMONT – An infant up to 3 days old can be left at any fire station, police station, health care facility, place of worship, licensed adoption agency or with an emergency responder contacted through 911.

MASSACHUSETTS – An infant up to 7 days old can be left at any hospital, fire station or police station.

RHODE ISLAND – An infant up to 30 days old can be left at any hospital, fire station or police station.

CONNECTICUT – An infant up to 30 days old can be left at any hospital emergency room.

NEW JERSEY – An infant up to 30 days old can be left at any hospital emergency room or police station.

DELAWARE – An infant up to 14 days old can be left at any hospital emergency room.

MARYLAND – An infant up to 10 days old can be left at any hospital or with any responsible adult.

WASHINGTON, DC – An infant up to 3 days old can be left at any hospital, fire department or police department.

ALASKA – An infant up to 21 days old can be left at any hospital, fire station or emergency medical service provider.

HAWAII – An infant up to 3 days old can be left at any hospital, fire station or police department.

***** Each state requires any infant to be left with an on-duty employee of any of the mentioned facilities. *****

Advertisements

~ by LTWH on September 2, 2008.

2 Responses to “Abandoned Babies – Why Are We Not Promoting Safe Surrender?”

  1. This is the best law on the books….My grandson was safely surrendered and the joy of my life, without this law and his birth mom giving him a chance I would not be his grandma. Spread the word and save lives.

    • That is fantastic Shelly!! Whatever hurdles your grandson’s biological mom was facing, she chose to think of her son first, and your family was blessed with a beautiful little boy. I hope we can really get the message out there to mothers who are not able to care for their newborn babies, that you do have options, options that are safe and anonymous. I just love hearing the success stories from Safe Surrender!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: