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Your Help Needed to Defeat SAFE HAVEN Laws!
OPPOSE HB 104
E-MAIL, CALL, AND FAX the New Hampshire Senate Committee on Public Institutions, Health & Human Services TODAY and urge them to VOTE NO to HB 104, the latest attempt to bring legalized baby dumping to New Hampshire.
This bill will be heard on Tuesday, March 18th. HB-104 has already been passed in the House of Representatives.
Baby Dump legislation is a feel-good band-aid for legislators who want to address the problem of newborn abandonment. However, legalizing anonymous baby dumping isn't the answer. These laws encourage irresponsibility and threaten the lives of infants and their mothers who may be encouraged to give birth without medical attention. They also strip the abandoned infants of their identities and provide no recourse for fathers or other
family members who may not be aware of the infant's existence. There is no evidence that these laws are working in any of the states where they have been implemented. Legalizing an irresponsible, potentially dangerous, and unethical act is not the answer! The prestigious Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute issued a report on March 10th, "Unintended Consequences: New Study Raises Serious Concerns About Legalized Infant
Abandonment," This report casts serious doubts upon the so-called "safe haven" laws that have swept across the country. The study suggests that these laws not only do not solve the problem of unsafe infant abandonment, but they may actually encourage women to conceal pregnancies and then abandon infants who otherwise would have been placed for adoption through established legal procedures or being raised by relatives
Read the full text at
CONTACT INFORMATION FOR NEW HAMPSHIRE SENATE PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE
Sen. Andre' Martel, Chairman
237 Riverdale Avenue
Manchester, NH 03103-7301
Sen. Robert Boyce , Vice Chairman
Star Route W #113
Alton Bay, NH 03810-9713
Sen. Iris Estabrook
8 Burnham Avenue
Durham, NH 03824-3011
Sen. Joseph Kenney
PO Box 201
Union, NH 03887-0201
Sen. Jane O'Hearn
7 Pope Circle
Nashua, NH 03063-3307
RAPID E-MAIL CUT AND PASTE FOR SENATORS:
Adoptees Caucus for Truth (ACT)
Board Member and Registry Owner
Florida Search Network
SIGN THIS PETITION: http://obc.2ya.com
Last edited by raybuffer : 07-17-2003 at 11:02 PM.
Caring, personalized adoption services for adoptive parents & birth parents. Nationally recognized adoption attorney whose philosophy is that you deserve to be treated with respect and compassion. Attorney Advertisement for Robin Fleischner.
i support many of your posts but not this one. how dare anyone critisize someone for wanting to not kill their child.
i have one question do you support abortion also??
I wholeheartedly disagree
Before you sign this petition you have heard just one negative and in my opinion inaccurate explanation of this law.
I completely disagree with Ray's petition. A women who uses the protection of the Safe Haven law is someone who did not make a plan for their baby before its birth for whatever reason and absolutely does not think they can offer the baby a good life. Generally they will abandon the child in some way and this is why there are babies found dead in trash cans. The law offers them a chance to easily free themselves from the child while giving it the best chance for staying alive and receiving medical care. The babies are kept and checked over and when ready they are then sent to foster care while Child services finds a home for them which in all honesty for a newborn is not going ot be too difficult. In the states where this law has been implemented they have found that the amount of infants found DEAD has decreased. [This in no way is meant any offense to the caring birthmom's around here as the situations are completly incomparable]
Its your decision but I believe that this is one of the best laws that has come along in a long time!
Completely agree that there are alot of problems with this. What I find interesting is that someone that speaks so much of the bmothers love for her child would think that this is a lesser alternative than abortion. At least in this situation, the child lives. Granted there is minimal hope of the child knowing it's biological heritage, but it would at least be alive. To me, women that might take advantage of this "Safe Haven Law" for the most part do not have the support of the bfather. So to ask, "what about the father" is most likely a mute point. If these women had any support at all, they most likely would not need to take advantage of the Safe Haven aspect.
ADMINISTRATION NOTIFICATION: Discussing or debating the status of a members account is not permitted.
How Many Have Been "Saved"?
Does anyone have solid information on how many infants have been saved by Safe Haven laws? And no, that isn't the number of infants who have been anonymously abandoned at approved sites.
The answer to this question lies in the answer to a deeper question: of the infants anonymously abandoned at approved sites, how many would have been dumped in an unsafe location had these laws not been enacted? I'd argue that it's not 100%.
My concern with Safe Haven laws is that we're assuming the capacity for rational thought in individuals who obviously aren't thinking rationally. She most likely didn't tell anyone she was pregnant, she doesn't want anyone to know she gave birth, and she definitely doesn't want any trail to lead back to her. It's a decision about HER, not about the CHILD.
Knowing this, why would we assume that she would think the action through and find a "safe" place? If that was the case, why aren't more infants anonymously abandoned on the doorstep of some wealthy persons house instead of in dumpsters?
My second concern is that we're somehow promoting irresponsible behavior in people who would otherwise choose a responsible, already established option - legal adoption. Are we encouraging women who would have chosen adoption to instead dump their infants?
Data on this is all difficult, if not impossible, to gather of course.
"If even one infant is saved, this law has done its job" - something posed by supporters of such legislation.
Another angle - "If even one woman changes her mind about placing her child for adoption and instead chooses anonymous abandonment, then this legislation has undone the job of all previous legislation that tried to put the best interests of the child first".
Safe Haven Laws
Safe Haven laws are a reaction against criminal behavior that has become more widely heard of thanks to the media.
Of course babies were abandoned in the past. Of course, children were disposed of in the past. We just didn't know or hear of it as much.
Didn't abandonment used to be considered negligent at the least, and killing an already born child found in a trash can or bathroom, either manslaughter or murder depending on the circumstances?
Who started this safe haven law first? I want to know. It disgusts me. Someone accurately stated, in my opinion, that the issue is that a pregnant woman did not make a plan for the baby.
Isn't that the issue? I think it is. And since when is the mother's failure to plan an excuse for ruining any chance that child has for access to future information and due legal process through legalized adoption?
I'm sorry, but I am so mad about this topic I could spit nails. Sometime, somewhere, no matter what the age, maturity level or emotionally stability of the mother, can't someone just concede that we are supposed to be responsible human beings and do the right thing?
And why is someone trying to bring up the abortion issue? That brings up that age old argument that adoptees should be thankful they weren't aborted but adopted. Now we want to say we should be thankful we were abandoned, not aborted? Yeah right. Thanks so much.
Gal. 4:4-7 NAS
With the safe haven law, either "parent" can "dump" the child at a 'safe haven"....Sooo what about those "parents" that are certain their young child cannot parent..what would stop them from "getting rid" of the child? what about those that abandon due to panic and then suddenly change their mind ( I have read in some states that have enacted this law there is a few day time restraint that the parent can come back and change their mind) but would CPS or DSS come and step into the picture and terminate those rights anyway?
there are way too many loopholes and uncertainties about this law for it to be set in stone and for those that support it to say without a doubt it's a sure thing. Some states have even stated that it has really changed nothing...If one is in panic, do you really think they are going to have the rational that "oh...wait...where is the safe haven around here for me to dump this child" "hmmm let me get a phone book and check out where the local hospital,police station etc is"
Also from my understanding it can only "legally" be done for up till the child is five days of age...Well what about those that find that they cannot cope say...2 weeks after the fact? 2 months after the fact? BUT cannot go through the shame, the stigma etc of adoption?
Again, too many loopholes and not enough 'help" concerning this law at all...so in my opinion it gets a defiente thumbs down!!
Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people move our souls to dance. They awaken us to new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom. Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon. They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.
Some women and girls don't tell the father that she is pregant. Now with the adoption laws the father must sign the adoption papers as well. In an adoption case the father can refuse to give up his child and get full custady of his child. And the bmom can still sign her rights away, so he's futcher or curaint wife can adopt his chid. But under safe haven laws he has no choise in the matter.
God Bless You, Rayma
Feeling Buried Alive Never Die...
By: Karol K. Truman
Safe Haven Laws shouldn't be necessary in the first place
We should take a look at what it is as a society that coerces women into abandoning motherhood. Why are these mothers giving up hope that they can parent? What circumstances in their lives have made the thought of motherhood unacceptable?
Adoptive mothers can get very caught up in the moment when it comes to "baby dumping". It's important to step outside of the comfort zone and see the bigger picture.
I am a hopeful adoptive mother. I actively support a woman's right to choose abortion. I believe that reproductive freedom is the cornerstone of women gaining a voice in America. I also believe that as a society we need to reexamine what it is about our society that makes young women feel they are unable to care for their children.
I do not believe that adoption activism and abortion activism are diametrically opposed. I believe that they are both expressions of the reproductive freedoms that women and our society as a whole have benefited from in the last 30 years.
As for the paternity issue, the father of the abandoned infant most likely abandoned his responsibilities long before the mother considered leaving her child.
This law started in TX after a rash of 13 baby abandonments in Houston over the course of 10 months.
Excellent article that explains the pros and cons of the safe haven law is located at:
Paternal RIghts Under Safe Haven Laws
With all due respect, the comment:
"As for the paternity issue, the father of the abandoned infant most likely abandoned his responsibilities long before the mother considered leaving her child."
is way too broad of a generalization. It may not be pertinent to this thread to discuss it, but it may be. These forums have taught me that there are a few good men who care. I submit that many birthfathers do not know of the pregnancy. As woman's rights advance, is it at the expense of men's rights?
Gal. 4:4-7 NAS
Interesting you should say that...
This topic sparked a heated debate between my husband and me. He was most alarmed by the law's lack of accountability and the surrender of infants without the father's knowledge. I do believe that lack of involvement and both financial and emotional support from the father is a primary impetus for infant abandonment, however, you are right in that I made a generalization. My niece’s birth father is very involved, and requests photos every father's day and sends letters on a regular basis. My niece was also not abandoned, rather, she was placed with an agency and he relinquished his rights accordingly.
When we discuss infant abandonment, it is also important to keep in mind that this is a phenomenon that occurs very infrequently. In 1998, for instance, 105 infants were abandoned in public places in the whole of the US.
As women's rights advance it is in spite of men's rights, not at their expense. Men have had the right to abandon their children since the dawn of time, with no repercussions until the last part of the 20th century. Why is it so controversial to afford women the same liberty?
Child Abandonment and the Safe Haven Laws
Here are some links I came across for anyone seeking more information on child abandonment statistics and the Safe Haven laws. 1) Fact Sheet - Boarder Babies, Abandoned Infants, and Discarded Infants
(July 2002) <http://aia.berkeley.edu/pubs/BoarderDefs.htm>
2) Expediting Permanency for Abandoned Infants: Guidelines for State
Policies and Procedures (2002) <http://aia.berkeley.edu/projects/perm.htm>
3) The Child Welfare of America has some good information, including an FAQ
and a brief monograph on the issue. Online: <http://www.cwla.org/programs/baby/>
4) The US DHHS published a summary of statistics, "1998 National Estimates
of the Number of Boarder Babies, Abandoned Infants and Discarded Infants."
The report is available through the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse
and Neglect Information: <http://www.calib.com/nccanch/catalog/pop.cfm>.
However, the basic information from this report is presented in "Boarder
Babies, Abandoned Infants, and Discarded Infants (July 2002)."
A few other suggestions:
1) A large collection of information, internet links to "Safe Haven"
organizations, and internet links to numerous news articles can be found
through the International Association of Voluntary Adoption Agencies &
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) -
2) A list of all of the states that have passed "Safe Haven" laws can be
found on the National Conference of State Legislatures web site. They
have, perhaps, the best and most recent information. Online:
3) An interesting article regarding this issue is available at
- The Drive to Enact 'Infant Abandonment' Laws--A Rush to Judgment?
By Cynthia Dailard <http://www.agi-usa.org/pubs/journals/gr030401.html>
4) An objection to "Safe Haven" laws can be found from the American
Adoption Congress: <http://www.americanadoptioncongress....-abandoned.htm>.
There are no national statistics on the success or
failure of "safe haven" laws. Perhaps such information is being tracked
locally. You could try contacting the Child Protective Services office or
Health and Human Services organizations is states with such laws.
Hopefully this will give all of us a clearer idea of what we're dealing with here. Sincerely, Sharon
Last edited by Sharon : 06-05-2003 at 09:21 PM.
Hey! Cool idea.
you know what? Your idea to contact local authorities and start tracking from the bottom up is a great idea. It is also one that can work. City to City, County to County. If no one else has the stats-- we can. And then our elected officials will listen to us.
Gal. 4:4-7 NAS
Baby Dump News / July 6th Issue - PART I
I would encourage everyone interested in this topic to subscribe to the email newsletter reprinted below by Marley Greiner
by contacting: email@example.com
BABY DUMP NEWS:
A WEEKLY E-CHRONICLE OF NEWBORN ABANDONMENT
INFANTICIDE, SAFE HAVEN LEGISLATION AND RELATED ISSUES
July 6 , 2003, v3, #26-#27
Distributed weekly by:
Marley Elizabeth Greiner, Executive Chair, Bastard Nation
Disclaimer: Some newspapers keep articles on 7 or 14 day (or even less) free access and then forward them to paid archives. The easiest way to access these articles is to go to
Also go to Google News
All links are tested just before sending.
THANKS: Marla, Jean Morrisey, Roberta, Janet, Cyn, Marlena, Mike, Pat L, Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, IAVAAN
THIS WEEK: Safe Haven laws used to justify petition to overturn Roe v Wade; Hawaii governor dumps the dump; Illinois mandates how to abandon your baby curriculum; homeless man finds baby in NYC; baby abandoned on doorstep in Australia....and more.
Justice Foundation Press Release: Pursuit of justice in Roe v Wade 60 motion moves forward; TJF legal team previews next step.
Texas Justice Fund press release referencing SH laws as justification to overturn Roe v Wade: "Beginning in 1999, a woman's legal responsibility to care for her child has shifted to the state with the enactment of "Baby Moses" (safe haven) laws in 40 states.
To read specific section of petition go to: http://www.livejournal.com/users/nephesh/57030.html
Fort Smith Times Record, June 19, 2003
Trial date set for woman accused of killing newborn
FORT SMITH--Update on Twighla Sue Painter case (BDN v3 # 7). Painter, 32, to stand trial on September 16 for 1st degree murder in death of newborn daughter delivered into a white plastic bag. Said she didn't know she was pregnant.
Redlands Daily Facts, June 18, 2003
First newborn dropped off at Arrowhead is left by a man
COLTON--Unidentified man drops off new newborn at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center; baby in good condition. Debi Faris says it is the first time she's heard of a man using the SH law. "It would be much easier knowing that a mother had brought her baby in, but maybe the mother didn't want to be noticed, so she asked the father. 23rd baby reported to be safe havened in California.
Riverside Press-Enterprise, June 18, 2003
Man leaves infant boy at area hospital
COLTON--More on above story. Since law went into effect 73 babies have been abandoned and found alive outside of the SH program; 23 infants found dead.
Pasadena Star-News, June 19, 2003
Woman drops off newborn at hospital
PASADENA--Young woman drops off newborn at Arcadia Methodist Hospital on June 13.
KNBC-TV, Los Angeles, June 19, 2003
Newborn boy left at fire station
LOS ANGELES--Newborn boy left at fire station--report from county unclear if it was a city or county station. Reportedly 5th "safe surrender" countywide and 15th healthy newborn surrendered in county since program began in 2002.
San Francisco Chronicle, June 19, 2003
News briefs from California's Central Coast: (3rd article)
SANTA MARIA--Update on Juana Santos Orocio case (BDN v3 #8) Orocio, 24, agrees to leave US and return to Mexico; can apply for readmission to the US immediately after she leaves the country. If she had been deported, she would have had to wait 10 years to apply or been barred for life. In March sentenced to 5 years probation and 4-year suspended prison term. Baby, now 2, survived his abandonment, but his whereabouts unknown due to confidentiality agreements.
Milpitas Post, June 20, 2003
Police search for identity of Baby Boy Dale
MILPITAS--Update on Baby Dale case (BDN v3 #24, 25). Review of case. Immediate concern is welfare of mother. Police go door-to-door. Coroner says baby is Caucasian or possibly Hispanic. Believes mother may have wanted to keep pregnancy a secret and that she is a local.
Contra Costa Times, June 25, 2003
Surrender baby law languishes
CONTRA COSTA COUNTY--SH advocate, Elizabeth Rimbualt from the Woman's Club of Antioch, complains that county health officials have "needlessly held back from publicizing" SH law. Claims lack of publicity is a "horrible display of bureaucracy." Argues that program should be publicized and implemented instead of waiting for all personnel to be trained, "Whether they have the right paperwork or not doesn't matter."
Riverside Press-Enterprise, June 25, 2003
Woman, younger brother suspected of incest
BLOOMINGTON--23-year old Bloomington woman and her 17-year old brother arrested on suspicion of felony incest after children playing in alley found dead fetus that authorities believe is couple's stillborn child. Autopsy reveals that baby was stillborn due to natural causes. Relatives unaware that woman was pregnant, thought she was a lesbian that often masqueraded as man on telephone party lines; looks like a boy, calls herself Anthony. Received no prenatal care. Brother and sister brought up in fostercare.
Riverside Press-Enterprise, June 25, 2003
Autopsy reveals baby found in Bloomington had died in womb
BLOOMINGTON--Fetus died of natural causes; police may file incest charges against mother, Jennifer Alvarez, 23 and her 17-year old brother.
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, June 25, 2003
Healthy newborn left at Pomona hospital surrender unit
POMONA--Newborn girl dropped off at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center's SH baby slot. First use. Placed in unit, setting off audible and visual alarms in ER. Baby in good health.
KABC-TV, Los Angeles, June 28, 2003
Abandoned boy in good condition
LOS ANGELES--4-day old boy found abandoned in apartment stairwell in good condition.
Morgan Hills Times, July 3, 2003
Baby law allows parents to give up newborns
MORGAN HILLS--Santa Clara County officials remind residents about SH law; review of law.
Boone (NC) Citizen-Times, June 19, 2003
Police search Boone for clues to baby's death
BOONE--Update on Key West Baby Jane case. (BDN v3 #21. 24 ). Key West police visit Boone to investigate couple identified as parents of newborn found dead in hotel breezeway. Sara Lynn Bleckley, 23 of Ashville and Joshua Allen Mayhew, 25, of Winston-Salem have not yet been charged.
Governor of Hawaii vetoes safe haven legislation: Statement from Gov. Linda Lingle, June 20, 2003.
HONOLULU--Governor Lingle vetoes recently passed safe haven legislation (HB133) legalizing anonymous infant abandonment,noting that "any good that might be accomplished by this bill is likely to be outweighed by the harm that it would cause." Concerns include absence of requirements for the abandoning individual to prove parenthood or provide any information about the newborn. The "focus should be on the long-term well being of the newborn, and that safe haven measures like this one fall short in that critically important respect."
Chicago Daily Herald, June 28, 2003
Teen indicted in death of baby
STREAMWOOD--Update on Jenny Sotomayor case (BDN v3 # 23). Sotomayor indicted on 1st degree murder and concealment of a homicide in death of newborn. Judge refuses to reduce bond from $500,000 to $50,000.
Press Release: Safe Abandoned Babies Foundation, July 2, 2003
Amended school code requires instruction on Abandoned Newborn Infant Act
http://www.prnewswire.com/news/ (then type in Save Abandoned Babies Foundation for link)
NORTHBROOK--Press release from Save Abandoned Babies Foundation. Gov. Rod Blagojevich signs amendment to the School Code requiring grade, junior and high school sex ed curriculum "to advise" pupils on how to abandon their babies. Attorney William F. Martin, Exe. Sec of SABF says "This is good news for newborn infants in Illinois and claims that "teaching our children that there is a responsible alternative to abandonment will help prevent more of these tragedies.
Bloomington Pantagraph, July 3, 2003
New law requires abandonment education
SPRINGFIELD--Another article on new IL law. Dawn Geras says, "If we can reach people before they are in crisis mode--if they know about the option--they'll remember what the safe alternatives are." Since law went into effect in 2001 3 babies have been turned in, but 15 other babies have been unsafely abandoned, with 8 of those eventually dying.
Louisville Courier-Journal, June 20, 2003
States draw attention to law on giving up newborns
LOUISVILLE-Claim that women aren't using SH law because they don't know about it. PSA unveiled in Indiana, funded by a $20,000 grant from the Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis, Inc, urges women to call the Newborn Lifeline Network in Pekin, IN. In the 16 months the IN law has been in effect it has not been used as far as anyone knows. State doesn't track or have money to publicize. Three babies have been left in ERs in Kentucky. Kentucky officials have traveled throughout state holding SH press conferences; state is searching for private donor or nonprofit partner to help finance or raise money.
Hagerstown Herald-Mail, June 24, 2003
Woman enters Alford plea in death of son
http://www.herald-mail.com/?module=d...28&format=html (requires registration)
HAGERSTOWN--Update on Patricia Ann Stotelmyer case (BDN v # 5). Stotelmyer, 26, takes "Alford plea" in which she does not admit guilt, but agrees that the state has enough evidence to gain a conviction. Agreed to no more than 10 years on charge of child abuse resulting in death. Gave birth to 7-month in bathtub then left baby in tub with running water, though autopsy indicates baby was smothered, not drowned. Has 2 other children.
NBC4-Washington, DC, July 4, 2003
Abandoned infant found in field
http://www.nbc4.com/news/2313167/detail.html (requires registration)
MONTGOMERY COUNTY--Construction workers find newborn girl lying under brush off dirt road; taken to Shady Grove Adventist Hospital.
Washington Post, July 6,, 2003
Abandoned baby is stable as parents sought
SHADY GROVE--Details on construction site abandonment. Baby, now called Liberty--Libby for short--in stable condition, but doctors concerned about abrasions and ticks. Detectives don't know how long Libby was in bushes covered with insects before discovery . Police concerned with welfare of mother and asked her to come forward.
Newton Daily News Tribune, June 18, 2003
"Safe Haven" is tabled by council
WALTHAM--Handful of city councilors give "chilly reception" to Morriseys home rule SH resolution.. "While some communities have opposed the idea, Michael Morrisey said the actions of some Waltham city councilors Monday night caused his wife to leave the meeting in tears. 'We've actually never seen that type of hostility in a city. I was actually more embarrassed for them than anything else." City Councilor Robert Logan led charge to quash resolution. "The issue should be addressed at the state level. It should not be addressed at the local level." Said it could set precedent if council considered an issue not specific to local government. Morrisey claims SH is a local issue
Rumbo News, (mid June)
Lawrence aprueba la seguridad de los bebes--Methuen le sigue
LAWRENCE--Spanish language account of Lawrence town council SH resolution.
Boston Globe, June 19, 2003
Bylaw would permit surrender of unwanted babies
BELMONT--Morriseys take home-rule proposal to Belmont. Long article on presentation and opposition. Selectmen voted on June 2, to include the article on the warrant of the fall Town Meeting, provided there is a meeting. Otherwise, it will be on the annual Town Meeting docket next Spring. Includes pro-quotes from the Morrisesys and opposition quotes from Kim Stevens of Massachusetts Families for Kids and Sen. Steven Baddour. Also views of local officials.
Hampshire Gazette, June 20, 2003
Doctor: Paluseo in "dissociative state" around birth
NORTH HAMPTON--Update on Jennifer Paluseo case (BDN v221, 22, 26, 33, 35; #; v3 #5, 21, 25 ). Psychiatrist testifies that Paluseo was not emotionally aware of what was going on during labor and hours after birth. Interviewed day after baby's body was discovered. Says because she was in "dissociative state" and might not have been able to evaluate whether she should have talked to police.
Fall River Herald, June 24, 2003
Councilors hear "baby haven" idea
FALL RIVER--Morriseys present SH home rule safe haven proposal to city council. Council VP Alfredo P. Alves says he doesn't think the proposal is controversial; chief of police favors law. Proposal tabled to be passed on to corporation counsel, and if approved, request will be sent to city council for pubic hearings and vote.
Holliston Tab, June 25, 2003
Beacon Hill roll call
BOSTON--Report on SB 766 hearing. Human Services Committee hears testimony on SH proposal. Supporters say new law will save lives and give young scared mothers a choice Opponents say bill sends wrong message by legalizing child neglect and abandonment. Point out that state offers ample opportunity to give babies up for adoption.
Fall River Herald News, June 25, 2003
Our view: Safe havens save babies
FALL RIVER--Editorial endorsement of Fall River SH, but calls it "a small bandage on a gaping social wound, but it is at least a bandage and it can keep babies alive."
Hampshire Gazette, July 2, 2003
Paluseo said aware of choices
NORTHAMPTON--State's psychiatric expert testifies that Paluseo was not suffering from mental disorder when she delivered baby, hid it, and later talked to police about it. Was self-interested; told medical personnel about birth, but not police.
WDIV-TV, Detroit, June 20, 2003
Questions remain after stillborn left in garbage
DETROIT--28-year old woman dumps stillborn baby in garbage can; may be charged. Discovered after she went to hospital for treatment and doctors discovered she had recently given birth.
KARE-TV, Minneapolis/ St. Paul, June 24, 2003
Woman sentenced in "Baby Marshall" death
Update on Stacy Miller case (BDN v2 #6, 23, 27, 41; v3 #10, 20 ). Miller sentenced to 12 years on 3rd degree murder charge; let newborn to die in toilet after giving birth at Marshall Hy Vee 2 years ago. Ordered to serve 1/3 of sentence under supervised release. May appeal.
KARE-TV, Minneapolis/ St. Paul, June 25, 2003
Judge denies media request in care of abandoned baby
MARSHALL--Judge denies request from Marshall Independent and Marshall Radio to open Child in Need of Protection files and hearings in Stacy Miller case. State law says files should be open to public except in exceptional circumstances.
New York Post, June 22, 2003
Homeless man finds newborn on street
QUEENS--Homeless man find 4-5 day old baby wrapped in yellow blanket on sidewalk. Takes her to homeless shelter where police were called. Baby believed to be Hispanic.
Newsday, June 25, 2003
Source: Death of newborn at school an accident
BRONX--Bronx DA decides not to prosecute girl who gave birth in bathroom of school nurse's office in April. After he was born she wrapped him in blanket and took him to nurse. Died 6 days later.
Binghamton Sun-Bulletin, June 26, 2003
Mother indicted in death of three babies
MONTICELLO--Update on Diane Odell case (BDN v3 # 20, 21, 22). Sullivan County Grand Jury indicts Odell on 2 counts of 2nd degree murder for each of the children born in 1982, 1983, and 1984 in her home. Defense attorney says she will plead not guilty at arraignment.
Nashua Broadcaster, June 19, 2003
Letters to the editor
(not in online edition)
NASHUA--Letter in response to Broadcaster editorial in support of SH from NH Rep. Janet Allen
Ashville Citizens-Times, June 18, 2003
Abandoned baby laws overlooked
ASHVILLE-- Review of various state SH experiences with focus on Bleckley/Mayhew case (see Florida).. Dawn Geras says of Key West Baby Jane case, "I have a hard time believing that if a mother or father knew about this option, they wouldn't use it." Says that in IL since the law was enacted 18 months ago, 7 babies born to 6 women have been found dead. State Senator Bob Carpenter, sponsor of NC bill says "The idea of the bill was to decriminalize the idea of having an illegitimate baby."
Charlotte Observer, June 18, 2003
Police: Woman who found abandoned baby was its mother
CHARLOTTE--Update on Charlotte park case (BDN v3 #24, 25 ). 23-year old woman who found abandoned baby in park admits that she is the mother. Will not be charged with crime since she complied with SH law by turning baby over to authorities. Tells police she knew she couldn't take care of baby. Has 1-year old and is a college student who works fulltime.. Didn't know she was pregnant until the 3rd trimester. Wants baby adopted.
WXII-TV, Winston-Salem, June 23, 2003
Baby's body found wrapped in plastic bag
WINSTON-SALEM--Officials with Forsyth County Sheriff's Office say body of newborn found in plastic bag. 17-year old girl treated at Forsyth Medical Center after she complained of vaginal bleeding and cramps. Hospital alerted her stepfather who found body in bathroom cabinet. Autopsy pending; no charges yet filed.
WCPO-TV, Cincinnati, June 26, 2003
Safe havens for newborns program working well in the tri-state area
CINCINNATI--Newborn boy dropped off at Good Samaritan Hospital in Hamilton last week. Since law went into effect in 2001 5 babies have been dropped off in the area and none have been found dead or dangerously abandoned.
WOIO-TV, Cleveland, July 3, 2003
Body of newborn found in woods
MILFORD CENTER--Body of newborn boy found in woods in Southern Union County. No one charged, but police believe they have identified 19-year old mother. Autopsy pending.
Ohio News Network, July 3, 2003
State says safe haven program working
COLUMBUS--Although Ohio does not officially track SH abandonments, it claims that 20 babies have been dropped off in SH program.
WPVI-TV, Philadelphia, June 22, 2003
Abandoned baby found
PHILADELPHIA--Woman out walking at 3:30 AM finds abandoned baby boy on sidewalk. Is in stable condition.
NBC 10-TV, Philadelphia, June 24, 2003
Police: Abandoned baby was never abandoned
PHILADELPHIA--Woman who said she found abandoned baby on sidewalk now admits she is the boy's mother. Police say she was confused and overwhelmed after giving birth and called police for help. She never lost custody of child and never abandoned it. No charges filed so far. Says she will put baby up for adoption.
Philadelphia Inquirer, June 29, 22003
American rhythms: Create a world where babies aren't abandoned
PHILADELPHIA--Commentary by Jane Eisner questioning usefulness of SH. "But the rush to enact safe-haven laws suffers from more than a lack of publicity. With the noble intention of saving lives, the laws turn a practice regarded as primitive--leaving a baby in a basket on a doorstep--into something deserving of a marketing campaign."
Florence Morning News, June 19, 2003
Bennettsville, Marlboro County investigators seek help in locating mother of infant
BENNETTSVILLE--Body of newborn girl found at trash depot in Marlboro County. Sanitation workers find it loading trash on to larger truck. Autopsy pending; authorities ask public for help.
Aberdeen News, July 3, 2003
Baby's death still a mystery
ABERDEEN--Update on Aberdeen case (BDN v3 # 21). Day County authorities still do not know the cause of death of a newborn found concealed in a vehicle owned by family of 17-year old assumed to be the mother. County state's attorney says he doesn't think the baby was abandoned in car to die.
NBC5-TV, Dallas, June 27, 2003
Newborn body found
IRVING----Family dog reportedly uncovers body of newborn in backyard. (NOTE: report sent to me, but cannot be found on nbc5 site.)
San Antonio Express-News, June 28, 2003
Baby abandoned in Stockdale
STOCKDALE--Newborn found wrapped in bloody maroon towel found by city workers outside a Wilson County volunteer fire station. Named Baby Michael David by CPS, which was awarded custody. Low temperature but in stable condition. No current plans to charge anyone in case, but authorities would like baby's background for medical care. Unclear if abandonedment will be considered SH since baby was left at unstaffed fire station.
KTRK-TV, Houston, July 2, 2003
Woman pleads guilty to abandoning newborn dumpster
MISSOURI CITY--Update on Rokesha Joseph case. (BDN v2 # 42, 44). Joseph pleads guilty to leaving baby girl in trash bin at apartment complex last November. Faces 2-20 years.
San Antonio Express-News, July 3, 2003
Mystery baby still in hospital
STOCKDALE--Baby Michael David has completed antibiotic treatment for infection and is in stable condition. Volunteer fire stations are not designated SH drop-off centers and Justin Unruh of the Baby Moses Project said it is "something we need to look into" since the abandonment seems to be an attempt to comply with the law.
WCAX-TV, Burlington, June 26, 2003
Accused baby killer faces Vermont trial
BURLINGTON--Update on Jason Hann/Krissy Werntz case (BDN v2 # 8, 9, 17, 18, 19, 21; v3 #3 --Arizona/Arkansas). Hann, 28 accused of murdering his 2 newborn babies 18 months apart in Vermont and California will first stand trial for 1st degree murder in VT. Wertnz remains jailed in Arkansas where the bodies were discovered in their abandoned camper.
Washington Post, June 25, 2003
Abandoned but not unloved
MOUNT VERNON--Update on Mount Vernon Country Golf Club case. (BDN v3 #23 ). Baby Vernon James Doe's ashes buried at St. James Episcopal Church in Mount Vernon. Dozens of police and local residents attend funeral. Cause of death unknown. Was about 4 days old when he was abandoned in plastic bag. Authorities believe his parents were teenagers. Long review of investigation.
WISC-TV, Milwaukee, June 18, 2003
Charges upgraded against mother of dead babies
TOWN OF RICHWOOD--Update on Kristin Scott case (BDN v3 # 25). Scott now charged with 1st degree reckless homicide in death of first infant. No charges yet filed on death of second. Held on $50,000 bond. Includes picture.
Appleton-Neenah-Menasha Post-Crescent, June 25, 2003
Oshkosh teen to stand trial in her baby's death
OSHKOSH--Update on Kristen K. Cleaver case (BDN v3 # 18, 19). Winnebago County circuit judge allows 1st degree intentional homicide charge to stand against Cleaver, 18. Defense attorneys sought to have intentional homicide charge dismissed on basis that Cleaver did not make an affirmative act that caused the death of the baby, arguing that she didn't kill it, but let it drown. Cleaver can receive automatic life sentence without parole if found guilty. Cash bond reduced from $100,000 to $50,000.
WISC-TV, Milwaukee, June 26, 2003
Complaint: Accused baby killer afraid to disclose pregnancy
TOWN OF RICHWOOD--Prosecutors say Kristin Scott concealed pregnancy due to what people would say about her. Includes review of WI SH law. According to Helen Healy, founder of a Safe Place for Newborns, "8 babies have been saved as a direct result of this legislation."
WISC-TV, Milwaukee, July 3, 2003
Man jail-bound for sex with accused baby killer
OSHKOSH--Richard Lang, 26, sentenced to 60 days in county jail and 2 years probation for having sex with underage Kristen Cleaver 17 and obstructing police.
Adelaide Advertiser, July 5, 2003
Newborn baby left on doorstep
MARIESTON--Newborn boy left on doorstep. "He was not a bad-looking lad at all--as babies are," says John Thom, 82, who found him. Is in good health looking for mother.
Sydney Herald Sun, July 5, 2003
Dumped baby's identity a mystery
MARIESTON--More on above stories. Authorities says whether woman would be charged with abandonment was "not of primary importance" to police. "There's more concern for her and reuniting her with the baby."
Adelaide Advertiser, July 6, 2003
Let us know you're okay
MARIESTON--Police appeal for mother to come forward. "It's sad for her and sad for the child, and if she does not come forward the child may never know its mother." John Thom, who found baby says, "You don't know the circumstances (of the mother) but the poor little bugger must be in a state to do that. Hopefully she's all right."
Adelaide Advertiser, July 6, 2003
Plea to baby's missing mum
ADELAIDE--Worried health authorities want to reunite mother and baby boy, now called Joshua, found on doorstep. Baby in good health and doctors want to make sure mother is OK.
CNews, June 26, 2003
Mummified baby found in TO
TORONTO--2 years after mummified baby girl was found inside storage locker at posh downtown condo, investigators determine that the infant died in 1985 and have been moved between several storage areas before the mother, Joanne Patterson, 45, died. Baby was probably born alive; no evidence of Patterson ever seeking prenatal care of hospital delivery. Baby's father, now in England, denied paternity but agreed to DNA test, which proved him the father. Patterson was a respected business woman, president and owner of Credit Security Insurance Brokers; hidden pregnancy completely out of character.
Toronto Globe and Mail, June 26, 2003
Mummified baby baffles police
TORONTO--More on Patterson case. Baby was discovered by Patterson's 15-year old daughter after Patterson's death two years ago. Researchers from Canada and the US stumped. Determine that body had fully mummified 69 days after birth; determined age by the type of diaper baby was wearing. Baby's father shocked, never knew it existed. Experts believe Patterson had been so upset by the death of the baby that she couldn't let go of it.
Channel 4.com, June 23, 2003 (and other UK press)
Patel gives first TV interview
READING--Update on Trupti Patel case (BDN v3 # 21, 22, 23). Long article. Patel gives first press interview. Says she can now start to grieve for all her children. Gives very personal account of deaths of children
EDP24-TV, Norfolk, June 27, 2003
Police search tip for baby's body
LOWESTOFT--Police begin search of tons of rubbish for newborn's remains. Nina Smart, 24, part-time shop worker and mother of 2 reportedly gave unassisted birth and disposed of body in dump.
EDP24-TV, Norfolk, July 2, 2003
Search for body continues
LOWESTOFT--Search for baby's body continues into 7th day.
Suffolk Evening Star, July 3, 2003
Mum dumped dead baby, jury told
LOWESCROFT--Nina Smart appears in court charged with dumping dead child in bin, then released on bail on condition she surrenders passport, not apply for travel documents, reports to police and resides at given address. No plans to indict at this time. Search for body continues.
IOL News, South Africa, July 2, 2003
Indian newborn buried alive for 16 hours
DELHI--Newborn girl buried alive by father who did not want a girl. Recovered alive by police and district officials after tip.
The Hindu, July 4, 2003
Just-born girl child abandoned
CHENNAI--Newborn girl found near shop at Saidapet. Baby turned over to Children's Hospital at Edgemore; residents of area look for mother.
Expatica, July 2, 2003
Newborn baby dumped in capital
AMSTERDAM--Baby less than 2 hours old found in doorway in De Pjip neighborhood. Named "Lieve" ("Dear"). Third baby abandoned in Amsterdam in 5 years. Most famous was Luca, left in train station Burger King in Autumn 2002. Boy was bald, had no eyebrows or eyelashes and interpreters had difficulty pinpointing what language he spoke. Luca's Chinese mother who lived in Italy, later reported to police and was sentenced to 90 days. Said she left him in Holland because of rare medical condition and she hoped he'd get better care there.
Belfast Telegraph, July 1, 2003
Baby Carrie: fresh appeal to mother
CARRYDUFF----Update on Baby Carrie case. (BDN v3 # 5, 9). Police renew appeal for mother of Baby Carrie stabbed to death in March 2002. 700 DNA samples of girls and women between 13-45 voluntarily given, screened and then destroyed so tests could not be used for any other purpose.
Glasgow Herald, June 23, 2003
Abandoned baby with heart complaint fights for her life
GLASGOW--Baby discovered on doorstep of wealthy builder's home. Is in critical condition and on ventilator. Police believe mother may know home owners; was left in early morning. Baby named Sarah.
BBC News, June 24, 2003
Search for abandoned baby's mother
GLASGOW--Police release pictures of clothing worn by Baby Sarah: green bath towel and black Blink 182 sweatshirt. Incident room set up at Strathclyde Police Station and investigators have made door-to- door. inquiries.
Glasgow Evening Times, June 24, 2003
Clue to Sarah's mum
GLASGOW--Review of clues.
Glasgow Herald, June 25, 2003
Mother of abandoned baby may fear stigma
GLASGOW--Police believe mother of Baby Sarah fears stigma of having child. Police check women's shelters and secondary schools. Looking for 2 women seen in area of abandonment at around time baby was left.
Glasgow Evening Times, June 24, 2003
Dumped baby "improving"
GLASGOW--Baby Sarah remains in critical but stable condition at Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Yorkhill. Police searching for mother; fear she is not only running from police, but from stigma of having a child. Urge her to get medical treatment.
Glasgow Daily Record, June 26, 2003
Abandoned Sarah is a born fighter
GLASGOW--Baby Sarah improves. Still seriously ill, but more stable.
The Scotsman, July 4, 2003
Baby is reunited with her savior
STRATHCYLDE--Jane Rowland, 51, reunited with Baby Sarah whom she found on her porch last month. Appeals to mother to come forward.
Glasgow Herald, July 4, 2003
Loving care that saved life of baby Sarah
Glasgow Daily Record, July 4, 2003
I'd love to keep Little Princess
International social service blasts "safe haven" laws, June 26, 2003
Bill Piece criticizes the April-May ISS/IRES News Bulletin No. 56-57 of International Social Services International Resource Center in which the efficacy of SH is questioned. Complains that article compares SH with X Laws and closes with, "...the perceived wisdom of much of the social work and social service establishment is that women who decide they cannot parent their children have no right to privacy and confidentiality." NOTE: I have not been able to locate the article on the ISS webpage.
Taken from state legislative webpages, news articles
Senate Bill 766 introduced
01/01/03 S Referred to the committee on Human Services and Elderly Affairs
Bastard Nation: the Adoptee Rights Organization
Bastard Nation: Legalized Baby Abandonment Laws Fact Sheet
Bastard Nation: Baby Abandonment Bibliography
Bastard Nation: Statement on Legalized Abandonment Laws
Bastard Nation Response to Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute report on Safe Haven laws
Bastard Nation: What critics of baby abandonment laws are saying
Adoptees Caucus for Truth
Baby Dump information page
Allen Guttmacher Institute
State Policy Brief
Survey of Safe Haven Laws by state
http://www.agi-usa.org/pubs/spib_IA.pdf (need Acrobat to read)
Abandoned Infants Assistance Resource Center
Adoption.About.Com Safe Haven Laws and Programs
Advocates for Pregnant Women
American Adoption Congress Statement on Legalized Abandonment Laws
Bureau of Justice Statistics:
Homicide trends in the US: Infanticide statistical charts
The Canadian Council of Natural Mothers (CCNM)/Conseil canadien des meres naturelles (CCMN)
Child Welfare League of America (CWLA)
List of enacted state safe haven legislation up to August 2002
Chid Welfare League of America (CWLA)
Child's Best Interest
Coordination des Actions pour les Droit a la Connaissance des Origines (CADCO) (France)
Ethica: A Voice for Ethical Adoption
Ethica Position Paper on Save Haven Laws
Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute
Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Instutute
Press release and "Unintended Consequences: "Safe Haven Laws are Causing Problems, Not Solving Them
Updated information on safe havens by safe haven advocate Bill Pierce
Les X-Colere (Angry X!) (France)
Massachusetts Families for Kids
Massachusetts Familes for Kids
Advocacy Position on "Infant Safe Haven"
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)
Child Welfare Project: Infant Abandonment Legislation www.ncsl.org/programs/cyf/ABSL2001.htm
Second Chance for Life
Copyright 2003, Marley Elizabeth Greiner
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