As reported in the news, the countless stories concerning babies being left in places like subways to abandon their babies, or left to die (in hot cars) some unintentionally, and some intentionally by their parents is becoming an epidemic. A lot of people are saying post-partum depression is the main culprit, which is leading to these events. Or the parents feel they can just leave their babies anywhere and start with a clean slate. Some of these parents have been quoted as saying that taking care of a child is hard work, and they no longer had the mental strength to continue.I always wonder, where are the family members and friends who must be aware that a mother may place a child in harms way. Are they simply ignoring any warning signs and hope the mother is just going through a stressful phase in her life. Mental illness is not something one likes to discuss especially in the Black community, so maybe that is one of the reasons friends and family ignore signs of post-partum depression.
Then one has to hear the stories of fathers who hurt their children. The more sinister reasons are to get back at the mother by harming the child. By their logic, killing their child will hurt the parent and is an act of vengeance, and usually the person that did the act cowardly kills themselves in the process. There are safe haven laws in this country, where a parent can drop off a baby with no questions asked. I rather hear that babies lives are saved, than to hear that these precious babies did not have the opportunity to live and contribute to society.
I personally can’t imagine hurting a child or abandoning a baby altogether. There are plenty of couples who can’t conceive that would give anything to have that opportunity to form a family of their own. The actions that have been in the news lately is not only disheartening, but selfish and just plain evil. I know mental illness which includes depression is what I try to convince myself that this is why this is happening, but my love for children will never accept this reasoning.
SAFE PLACES TO DROP OFF YOUR BABY! NO QUESTIONS ASKED:
An infant was abandoned on a subway station, and the other killed, allegedly by his mother. In both cases, the children’s mother said she was overwhelmed.
Authorities used these terribly sad cases to illuminate the options mother have when they feel like they have nothing else to give, and what the community can do to look out for an prevent tragedies such as these.
Clinical psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere, vice president of children welfare and family services at the Children’s Aid Society Jane Golden, and former New York prosecutor Julie Redelman spoke with PIX11 News Wednesday about help available to overwhelmed parents.
New York is a Safe Haven state, meaning babies up 30 days old can be left with any responsible person at a suitable location, like a fire house, police station or designated hospital. It’s entirely anonymous and a mother will not be probed about her decision to relinquish her infant, as long as the baby has not been abused.
The places where you may legally drop off a baby vary from state to state. Check your state’s law, with an attorney, or with the National Safe Haven Alliance’s website to determine applicable safe haven locations in your state. Every state allows for an unwanted, unharmed baby to be relinquished to an employee on duty at a licensed hospital. Other safe haven locations may include:
Police and fire stations. Most states have designated police and fire stations as safe haven locations. In states where police and fire stations have been named as safe havens, the baby must be left with an on-duty employee.
Hospitals. Most states have designated hospitals as safe haven locations. Some require that the baby be relinquished at a specific location within the hospital, while others allow the baby to be left with any adult working in the hospital. In some states you may also leave a newborn at the hospital where you gave birth and let an employee know you will not be returning.
Churches. In states where churches are considered safe havens, the law generally requires that the baby be left inside and that persons are present at the church at the time. Some states require the baby be handed to an employee with emergency medical training.
Medical centers. In states where medical centers are designated safe havens the laws are very clear; babies can be left at medical centers during business hours and only with an on duty employee of that medical center.
Adoption agencies. Very few states consider adoption agencies as safe haven drop offs. In those states that allow a baby to be dropped off at an adoption agency, the baby must be handed to an employee of the adoption agency during normal business hours.
Welfare agencies. A few states allow licensed welfare agencies to act as safe havens. In these states, the baby must be handed to a volunteer or employee of the company during normal business hours.
Other. A handful of states allow a parent to call 911 and relinquish a baby to an Emergency Medical Technician (“EMT”) or 911 responder, or leave the baby with an employee at a birthing center, institutional infirmary, or other medical facility.