Billings Baby Doing Well

The baby boy who was abandoned in a Billings hospital bathroom is doing well.  He is now 6-months-old and has been adopted by a loving family.  He was actually the first baby in the state’s history to be legally given up under the 11-year-old Safe Haven laws in Montana.

I was surprised to read in this article that the state does not mandate that parents give infants to a person at Safe Haven locations.  So, leaving this child in the hospital bathroom was just fine.  Pardon the opinion, but that seems ridiculous to me.  What if this baby was left somewhere at which he was not found for hours?  OR what if he was found by a non-staff member who wished to harm him?  Not smart.

This article continues with some arguments against Safe Haven laws which I found to be quite entertaining, but also ridiculous.  I have read more stories about infant abandonment than any one person should and I can say with certainty that Safe Haven is necessary and it saves lives.

Article found here.

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Missouri Hoping to Expand Safe Haven

There is currently a bill on the table in Missouri that would expand the state’s safe haven window from 5 days to 45 days, which is the national average.

I am glad that the state is trying to do something with this, but I am still confused as to why any state would think such a short window would be a good idea.  Odds are, even if a mother does drop her newborn off after an age limit, she will not be criminally prosecuted.  That is not the issue.  The problem is, a mother might get scared that her child is outside the window and be too afraid to take the baby to a safe haven.  This could lead to that child being placed in a dangerous situation.

As always, the main problem is that there is no funding to promote these laws.  There is no need for a parent to fear utilizing safe haven as long as the baby has been reasonably well cared for.  I wish there was a magical solution to this problem and I could make sure every single parent knew the facts.

For now, please read this article.

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Anniversary for Baby Mary

This was a beautiful article.

I am very sorry I missed the anniversary of Baby Mary’s death.  The mother responsible for leaving the child in a trashcan a decade ago is now serving a life sentence for first-degree murder.  Her name is Tracy Dupre.

The article describes the memorial service that the Northumberland County community held for the infant.  Most journalists these days try to stick to the facts without using flowery words or injecting too much emotion into the story.  With situations like this, I think those extra thoughts are important to understanding a point of view.

Appealing to emotion and the consciences of readers is certainly one way to get people on board with the Safe Haven cause.

I highly recommend this article.  It may make you cry.

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Easy Ways to Spread Safe Haven Law Details!

Again, another short article (click here), but it reminds me of a bigger picture.

This was just a short mention of the case I covered not long ago about the baby killed with a cinderblock.  It was reported on a local news website.  I wish this was done more often.  If just once a week all local news stations would mention Safe Haven Laws, the word could spread much quicker and more babies could be saved.  What we really need is just something this simple to get people talking about it.

Perhaps we could not save all of the babies, but I am so frustrated by the amount of stories I read where the only justification is “I didn’t know Safe Haven Laws existed!”  Will you help make sure this doesn’t happen again?  All you have to do is talk!

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Tell your friends and neighbors about Safe Haven Laws.
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Is the Term “Abandonment” Appropriate for Safe Haven?

This is a very short article, but it reminds me of something I have been thinking about for a while.

The word “abandonment” has awful connotations.  I think it might help the Safe Haven cause if dropping off a child at an approved location were legally changed to a different term.  “Abandoning” a baby makes me think of all the horrendous stories I have read through my research for One By One.  As long as a parent never puts their child in a harmful  situation and follows the letter of the law to terminate their parental rights, having a different term might possibly convince parents to do the right thing.

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Casey Anthony Makes Some Question Age Limits in Safe Haven Laws

In the wake of the Casey Anthony case many people are questioning the age limits that are stipulated in Safe Haven Laws.

What do you think?  Should all children be accepted at Safe Haven locations?  Keep in mind what happened in my own home state of Nebraska when all minors were accepted.  Many parents dropped their children off that were as old as 16.  I cannot imagine the irreparable damage this could do to a teen’s psyche.  A child of less than 30 days old would not even be able to remember his or her birth parents, but what of a teenager who had spent a big chunk of their lives with that parent?  Can anyone picture being able to deal with that?  I know I couldn’t.  Yet, a higher age limit might cut down on child abuse and neglect cases.  Does saving a child from physical damage surmount the need to protect them from emotional damage?

To read the rest of this article, click here.

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  • Tell your friends and neighbors about Safe Haven Laws.
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Infant Abandoned Outdoors at a Trailer Park

Another baby was abandoned in an unsafe, outdoor location.  The mother Sara J. Clauson, 26, has been charged with reckless endangerment for the incident.

She gave birth and then left the child on a neighbor’s lawn in the trailer park where she lived.  The baby was alone for 6 hours before she was discovered.  I can somewhat understand a teenage girl who gets scared and does not want to tell anyone she has given birth, but a 26-year-old?  The odds do not seem good that she had never heard of Safe Haven Laws which would have allowed her to drop her baby off at a safe location completely anonymously.  The most I can say about the woman is that she appears to have been too lazy to do so.  The least I can say is that she should be jailed for maliciously endangering an innocent baby. 

Click here to read the rest of the details.

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Paternal Rights in Safe Haven Laws

This is a new and interesting story.

A mother, angry with her husband, decided to take her 1 and 2 year old children to a nearby fire station and dropped them off.  The husband and father was notified and he came to get them the same day, but this raises some issues.

If a mother drops a child off at a Safe Haven location, should it be required for the father to be notified?  It seems like common sense for this to be the case, but how can this be enforced?  Some cases of infant abandonment stem from a mother who was raped, does not know who the father is, or has no contact with the father at the time of delivery.  How then could paternal notification be required?

I’m stumped.  Any thoughts?

Article found here.

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Baby Abandoned by Dumpster- Steps Away from Church

Today’s article just SICKENS me. 

A newborn baby was found abandoned near a church dumpster just a few weeks ago.   Does this make sense to anyone?  Not me.  The parent who abandoned the child clearly had the presence of mind to take a child to a church.  For what possible reason did they not take the child INSIDE the church? 

The baby is okay, but was suffering from mild exposure when found.  I completely understand if the mother did not feel able to raise a child.  I would much rather see it placed in a safe and loving adoptive home.  Yet, did she really care so little about the baby that she could not walk a few extra steps to take it inside?  Sad.

Click here for article.

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Melita Johnson- Safe Haven Law victory?

Melita Johnson- mother

Here’s an interesting story.  A mother dropped her infant off at an approved Safe Haven location and within the 3 day age limit for Tennessee.  The baby was unharmed and healthy.  Yet, the mother is still facing charges.  Why?  She filed a false police report stating that she simply found the baby abandoned.  The fact that she did not own up to being the child’s mother on the police report is a big no-no.

I am so glad that the mother did the right thing and the baby is safe and sound, but it seems that she was not up to date on the stipulations of Safe Haven Laws for her state.  As you know, another goal of ours besides keeping infants safe is to let new parents know that they have options if they feel overwhelmed by or ill-equipped for parenthood.  We do not want this scenario to discourage parents from leaving children at an approved location.  Just in case you were not aware: filing a false police report is not a good idea.  Article here.

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  • Tell your friends and neighbors about Safe Haven Laws.
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