Speaking of safe haven laws, because we were you know, a new safe haven law went into effect in the state of Kansas as of July 1st.
Previously there was an issue with identifying the parent who dropped off their child after one mother was sought because authorities thought she was in medical danger. The new law makes identification less of an issue except where abuse is suspected.
You can read the new law here. (PDF file)
Thanks to CW for the assist.
You can look here for your own state’s Safe Haven laws here.
I must be getting soft in my old age. Tipster Misty sent me a story about a 27-year-old woman from Florida who gave birth at home then placed the newborn in a trash bag where she died. I used to go ballistic over reading stories like this but for some reason now I couldn’t be too harsh on this woman. We don’t know her situation.
The woman was Hispanic and lived with her adult siblings and mother. We don’t know what was going on at the home. We don’t know if the woman herself was in danger from the family if it was revealed or from someone else. She has been charged with manslaughter however. Instead of piling on this woman I decided it was time to talk about the state Safe Haven Laws in the U.S. again.
Each of the 50 states has their own law in which you can drop off a newborn baby at certain places safely with no questions asked. With so many of these stories that constantly show up in the news it makes me wonder if the states are not doing enough to inform the public about these laws. So I’m going to give them a little hand.
For instance this story took place in Florida and according to Florida’s Safe Haven law…
You can leave your baby, up to 7 days old, with an employee at any hospital, emergency medical services station or with a fire fighter at any fire station in Florida.
They also have a crisis line you can call at 1-877-767 BABY (2229).
You can look here for your own state’s Safe Haven laws here.
Police release more details on abandoned baby:
Cora Lynn Watkins
25-year-old Cora Lynn Watkins has been arrested in Houston, Mississippi, for allegedly abandoning her newborn baby in a storage shed. She allegedly gave birth alone, left the baby wrapped in a blanket then returned to work. Luckily some children heard the baby crying. The article states that the kids got some family members but it’s unclear, to me at least, if they were Watkins’ family members. Either way the baby was taken to the hospital and at last report is doing well.
However this isn’t the first time that Watkins has done something like this. She was arrested back in 2010 for abandoning a baby at a Salvation Army. She received probation for that offense and was just released from probation last month. I doubt this time she’ll be so lucky.
It may have been a while since we discussed this but baby dumping like this is so unnecessary. All 50 states have Safe Haven laws where you can drop a newborn off safely with no questions asked. Specifically in Mississippi you can drop a newborn up to 3 days old at a hospital, adoption center, emergency room or EMS station.
Once again I have to ask are the safe haven laws so unknown that this keeps happening?
Thanks to Amy for the tip.
Girl, 16, stabs newborn daughter and stuffs body in closet just HOURS after giving birth:
Over a week ago police in North Carolina arrested 16-year-old Rebecca Blackmore for allegedly killing her newborn baby.
Police say that Blackmore gave birth to the baby at a relative’s home in Knotts Island, North Carolina. After she was taken to the hospital she allegedly claimed that the baby was born stillborn and that the body was in her closet. When police investigated the house it was obvious to them that the baby was stabbed multiple times and a coroner has confirmed that.
The point that most of the articles about this make is that there was a firehouse not too far from the house where the baby could have been dropped off under North Carolina’s safe haven law.
Now I am far from defending her. Whatever so-called reason she had for brutally murdering her newborn I’m sure was a selfish one and she deserves everything she has coming to her. However, once again this makes me wonder how well known are the safe haven laws?
Now we know about the safe haven laws. We who read and write this site on a daily basis are well-informed about the safe haven laws but how well known is it among those who it is aimed at?
Let’s be honest. The safe haven law is aimed at teens and low-income families to prevent infanticides and baby dumpings from happening. So my question is how well do states promote the law to these groups if at all? Not to mention that ever state’s safe haven law is different. How well are the drop off points made clear in each state? Do we need a federal safe haven law in the US?
Thanks to everyone who sent in this tip.
Newborn Found Abandoned In Old Dryer:
What is it with kids and dryers lately?
This past week a newborn was found inside of an abandoned clothes dryer in Houston. The baby still had the umbilical cord attached and was found stuffed in a trash bag inside the dryer. Luckily some passerbys heard the baby crying and rescued it from it’s plastic and aluminum prison.
Texas safe haven laws allow a person to give up the baby at a safe haven for up to 60 days.
A Not-So-Safe Haven:
I wonder how long it took them to come up with that headline.
Anyway, this is an article from Newsweek about what’s happened in Nebraska since they changed their safe haven law to only include children up to 30 days old.
I’d like you to read the article and offer your opinion. Are some of these mothers too quick to in depending on the government to help them out or do they have legitimate concerns?
Thanks to Stormey for the tip.
Parents of abandoned newborn taken into custody:
21-year-old Harold Vermal O’Neal and an unidentified 17-year-old mother were arrested for leaving their newborn at a fire station. The problem was they left the newborn outside wrapped in a towel inside of a diaper box. When the baby was discovered its body temperature was at 88 degrees.
South Carolina’s safe haven law states that a baby can be left at a fire station but someone has to take physical custody of the baby.
I do lay partial blame on the parents for not being smart enough to realize that the baby could have died due to exposure but the safe haven laws from state to state are so varying it’s hard for anyone to that wants to safely give their baby to a safe haven to know what their states procedure is.
A federal safe haven law is needed and needed badly.
California ‘haven’ youth in home state:
The 14-year-old from Davis, California who was dropped off by his foster Breeder in Nebraska is returning to California.
He’s now under the custody of his local social services department. That makes me wonder if his foster Breeder actually tried to find assistance within her community or was driving 1,170 miles to Nebraska her first choice.
Yolo Mom Who Abandoned Boy In Nebraska Speaks Out:
The Breeder who did drive the 1,170 miles from California to Nebraska is trying to defend her actions in the media.
The 14-year-old was her foster child who she’s had since he was 4. According to her recently he had gotten in to drugs, cigarettes, alcohol and stealing. She also says that he threatened her and her family with knives and was thrown out of a boys home for statutory rape. All of this sounds oddly familiar. How can a 14-year-old be charged with statutory rape?
She claims she tried to get police to arrest him but they told her that juvenile hall was full.
So what do you think dear readers? Legitimate use of Nebraska’s old safe haven laws or cop out?
Safe Haven Child Dropped Off Before Change:
A Breeder from Yolo, County, California was able to sneak in under the buzzer and dump off a 14-year-old boy at a Kimball, Nebraska hospital. For those of you keeping score that’s 1,170 miles if traveled by car.
The Breeder who dropped him just barely made it in before the new law limiting safe haven drop offs to under 30 days old. The boy was dropped of on Friday and the new law went into effect Saturday at Midnight.
Again I say if these Breeders put half the effort into raising their kids that they did in dumping them off maybe they wouldn’t have had a problem.