No one really knows why would a parent, especially a mother, leave their newborn baby and refuse to take care of it. The sad reality is that many women decide to give their bundles of joy for adoption, and the reasons for doing so are numerous.
Recently, a mother of two healthy twins made a decision to surrender her babies to the San Bernardino Fire Station in California.
The official report by the Fire Department, which they also shared on their Facebook page, states how the babies were clean and fed and brought to the local hospital for further check-up minutes after their arrival at the station. The firefighters offered the mother medical assistance too, but she refused any further help. She was also told how she could come back and take her children back withing 14 days if she wishes so. This period of two weeks is regulated by the safe surrender state law.
“This is exactly why the Safe Surrender program was created,” said Fire Chief Mark Hartwig. “This young mother did the right thing by bringing her babies to the fire station. Regardless of your circumstances, the Safe Surrender program is a viable and loving option—no questions asked.”
This law known as California’s Safe Haven Law allows new mothers or other people, to surrender a baby to a designated “safe-surrender site” within 72 hours of birth. The baby and the person bringing the newborn both get coded ankle bracelets in case the parent changes their mind and wants the baby back.
After the medical examination and treatment, the babies are placed to foster homes, or pre-adoptive homes.
This policy of placing the baby at a safe site allows mothers who are not able to take care of their little ones to get them to a place where they know they will be given proper care and later a forever home. This prevents babies to be abandoned and end up dead which is punishable by law.
From 1999 to 2018, 3,524 newborns were surrendered using Safe Haven laws, 1,397 newborns were illegally abandoned, 773 newborns were found dead, and 462 newborns were found alive, according to National Safe Haven Alliance.
“You may have heard stories about babies being left in dumpsters, public toilets, or other unsafe locations. The parents abandoning their babies may have been under severe emotional or financial stress. The mothers may have hidden their pregnancies, fearful of what would happen if their families found out. Because they were afraid and felt they had nowhere to turn for help, they abandoned their baby,” according to the California Department of Social Services website.
This law that protects both the biological parent and the baby was first introduced in California in 2001 and was formally signed in 2006. This law resulted in 931 babies being surrendered in California in the year of 2017.
In Los Angeles County, 151 babies have been given to the safe places since 2001.
“One hundred and forty-nine families have been blessed, 149 mothers made the right decision, 149 children have the right to grow up and be whatever they want to be because of the love and the care of the safe-surrender families,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe said in a video posted to the L.A. County Safe Surrender Facebook page.
All haven-safe sites have signs displayed. This law resulted in many baby lives being saved, as mothers choose to place them in these places instead of simply abandoning them.