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  • FL - A SAFE HAVEN Abandoned Baby Law Saves Some, But Others Still Die

    FLORIDA
    http://www.theledger.com/apps/pbcs.d.../NEWS/40125047
    8/1039

    » Top Stories
    Published Sunday, January 25, 2004

    A SAFE HAVEN

    Abandoned Baby Law Saves Some, But Others Still Die
    By Rebecca Mahoney
    The Ledger
    [email protected]

    The young mother walked into the Lake County hospital clutching an infant son
    she didn't want to keep. She had given birth at home, five weeks before her due
    date, and kept the boy for two days while she weighed her options.

    She could have discarded the infant -- hidden him among trash in a bin and
    walked away. She could have left him on the doorstep of a church and slipped
    away.

    Instead, under Florida's safe-baby law, she walked into South Lake Hospital in
    Clermont on April 11, 2002, handed him to a surprised nurse, and said goodbye
    to her son -- legally and anonymously, with no questions asked and no fear of
    arrest.

    A few days later, little Brody was placed with his new parents, Kristine and
    Steve York of Ocoee.

    Once so fragile he fit in the palm of a baseball glove, Brody is now a healthy,
    active 21-month-old.

    Although his dark hair and eyes reflect his biological mother's coloring,
    Kristine and Steve are every inch his mommy and daddy. (See related story about
    Brody's new life on page A1.)

    Brody is among at least 18 unwanted infants to be safely abandoned since the
    state's Safe Baby Act was adopted three years ago. Six have been surrendered in
    the last six months.

    The law allows mothers to leave their newborns anonymously at fire houses,
    hospitals and ambulance stations within three days of birth without fear of
    prosecution. Forty-five other states have similar laws.

    "We do know we are saving lives, and we are making a difference," said Nick
    Silverio, founder of A Safe Haven for Newborns, a nonprofit organization
    dedicated to promoting Florida's law. "Are we going to save every life? I don't
    know. But we're certainly trying."

    The law is designed to offer desperate parents a legal and uncomplicated
    escape, possibly saving the newborn from being abandoned unsafely. Mothers can
    protect their identity and avoid prosecution while getting peace of mind
    knowing their children will be placed with families.

    So-called "safe-haven" laws are not without their critics, many of whom say the
    laws do more harm than good. They call the laws unrealistic and say they
    promote a culture of irresponsibility and anonymity.

    Supporters, however, say safe-haven laws offer a safety net for mothers who
    might otherwise slip through the cracks.

    "This law allows a child to have a life and doesn't ruin (the mother's)," said
    Rick Sopka, a coordinator at Healthy Start Coalition of Hardee, Highlands and
    Polk counties who helps promote the state's safe-haven law.

    Distraught mothers around the country are slowly starting to take advantage of
    the laws. In December, for example, a baby girl was left at a hospital in
    DeLand in Volusia County by a young mother who said she wanted to follow the
    law.

    But babies are still being abandoned illegally.

    In the same three-year period that 16 Florida babies were legally dropped off,
    at least 19 others were unsafely discarded. In May, a high school junior left
    her newborn son on a deserted boat in Orlando. In August, a woman abandoned her
    infant on a Bal Harbour beach; another left her son on a Fort Lauderdale patio
    chair, his umbilical cord still attached.

    Similar illegal abandonments happen all over the country, many in states that
    have long since adopted safe-haven laws.

    In California, for example, 20 babies were left at safe places between January
    2001 and July 2002. But 38 others were found in unsafe places, such as trash
    bins and public rest rooms. Seventeen of those babies died, according to a
    report by the National Conference on State Legislatures.

    In Louisiana, not a single parent has ever taken advantage of its 3-year-old
    law. Instead, 11 newborns have been found abandoned in public places; seven
    died.

    Such accounts have drawn scrutiny. Critics say it's unrealistic to expect a
    woman who is distraught enough to abandon or harm her infant to walk into a
    public place and hand her baby to a nurse or firefighter.

    "You're talking about a girl who couldn't figure out what to do about her
    pregnancy . . . and now you want her to jump in a taxi cab and go to a hospital
    and drop that baby off?" said Michelle Oberman, a DePaul University professor
    of law who researches cases of mothers harming infants. "I'm pretty skeptical
    that the safe-haven laws will actually reach these girls."

    But advocates say they think the laws are working, and say their impact will
    only become stronger as public awareness increases.

    "Obviously, these bills are not the final answer, but they provide a
    compassionate approach to saving the lives of innocent and helpless babies,"
    said Silverio. "What's the alternative -- seeing babies crushed in Dumpsters?
    That's probably happening more times than we'd like to believe."

    SIZE OF PROBLEM UNKNOWN

    Nobody knows exactly how many infants are publicly abandoned each year.

    Some states have started keeping track of when such babies are found, but the
    numbers are estimates, at best. It's impossible to guess how many babies are
    abandoned and never found.

    The most comprehensive numbers come from an informal search conducted by the
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2000, which was based on
    newspaper articles on the subject. The search found reports of 105 infants
    abandoned in public places in 1998; a third of those infants were found dead.

    A more recent study conducted by the University of North Carolina estimates 85
    babies are abandoned each year in public places.

    Those numbers don't reflect the estimated 31,000 infants left at hospitals each
    year, mostly because of parental drug addiction.

    The problem of public abandonments seemed particularly pronounced in Texas in
    1999. Thirteen babies were discarded within a 10-month period, prompting
    lawmakers to pass the country's first safe-haven legislation. That law allowed
    parents to give up their babies within 60 days to an emergency medical services
    provider, licensed childplacing agency, or licensed residential child-care
    provider.

    The idea caught on like wildfire, with other states quickly passing similar
    laws. The most recent, New Hampshire, passed its law in May. That leaves only
    five states -- Hawaii, Alaska, Vermont, Massachusetts and Nebraska -- without
    safe-haven laws.

    In Florida, the law went into effect in July 2000 after 11 babies were reported
    abandoned in six months.

    "We have a lot of unwed mothers, young girls making life-threatening
    decisions," said Rep. Sandra Murman, R-Tampa, who sponsored the bill along with
    then-Sen. Charles Bronson, R-Satellite Beach. "I think they needed to have a
    safe haven. They needed to know they could make a decision to save the life of
    their child and not be prosecuted."

    Florida's law states the infant must be 3 days old or younger and unharmed. In
    most cases, the child is given a hospital examination and then placed with a
    private adoption agency. Biological parents have 30 days to change their minds.
    Foster families can apply for adoption after 90 days.

    But some parents-rights groups say such laws are simplistic solutions to a
    complex social problem, and they condemn politicians for condoning an approach
    the United States criticizes in other countries.

    "This is a drive-by adoption," said Marley Greiner, executive chair of the
    Houston-based adoption-rights organization ******* Nation. "You're saying, åYou
    don't have to have prenatal care, you don't have to have an attended birth. You
    can just have this baby in the bathtub, and no one will ever know.' "

    Other adoption-rights organizations say the laws virtually guarantee abandoned
    infants will never know their medical history or find their biological parents.

    "They are saving lives, but it is still not providing any information for the
    adoptive parents that they could use in raising that child," said Carolyn
    Hoard, legislative director for the American Adoption Congress. "This (law)
    gives them almost no opportunity to locate a birth parent."

    CRITICISM FROM A WOMAN ABANDONED IN LAKELAND

    Melissa Snyder, a Walden, N.Y., woman who was abandoned in Lakeland as an
    infant 33 years ago, says she appreciates intent but thinks safe-haven laws
    have the potential to cause frustration and heartbreak for children who want to
    know their heritage.

    "It's an indescribable feeling when you walk down the street and you don't know
    if you could be bumping into your mother or your father or your sister," said
    Snyder, whose mother left her at Lakeland Regional Medical Center shortly after
    giving birth. "There's always so many unanswered questions. It's like a big
    empty void."

    In March, a leading adoption institute issued a report that said safe-haven
    laws are teaching mothers that abandoning their babies is both legally and
    socially acceptable.

    "By providing a no-hassle route for ending parental responsibly, safe-haven
    laws encourage mothers to conceal their pregnancies, give birth unsafely and
    leave their children anonymously, undermining established and effective child
    welfare and adoption policy," said the report by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption
    Institute.

    Meanwhile, fathers'-rights groups say the law sidesteps paternal interests.

    "It's better for a child to be abandoned in a hospital than abandoned in a
    field somewhere, but a greater effort ought to be made to locate the biological
    father," said Mike McCormick, director of the American Coalition of Fathers and
    Children in Washington, D.C. "The father should be given every opportunity to
    claim that child."

    Hawaii's governor found such arguments so convincing she vetoed a safe-haven
    bill her state legislature had overwhelmingly passed.

    "I believe that any good that might be accomplished by this bill is likely to
    be outweighed by the harm that it would cause," wrote Gov. Linda Lingle last
    June in her response to state lawmakers.

    Snyder said she thinks mothers who use safe-haven laws should be required to
    provide the child's medical history.

    "If you're going to just hand the child over, at least give the child over with
    a piece of paper with any medical information," she said. "Down the line, that
    child is not going to have any identity whatsoever."

    Advocates for safe-haven laws admit they aren't a perfect solution. But they
    say the good the laws do outweighs their flaws.

    "We've always said, if we could save one baby, it would be worth it," said Dawn
    Geras, who directs the Save Abandoned Babies Foundation in Chicago, an
    organization dedicated to promoting Illinois' safe-haven laws. "There will
    always be some that won't take advantage of the law. But we are trying to save
    them all."

    REFINEMENTS, EDUCATION NEEDED

    In late September, nurse Julie Pybas was walking into the Palatka Health Care
    Center when she discovered a baby boy on the doormat. The newborn had been
    wrapped in a housecoat or a duster and was half-concealed by the rug outside
    the door.

    Similar cases of babies being left in hospital parking lots or outside fire
    stations have occurred all over the country.

    In the last three years in Polk County, at least two babies have been left in
    the parking lot of Heart of Florida Hospital in Haines City.

    Safe-haven advocates say they don't know if such cases mean mothers don't know
    how the law works, or if they're afraid to walk into a place where people might
    recognize them.

    "The Safe Baby Act ought to be amended . . . to require that the parent either
    hand the child to a responsible adult employee, or leave the child at a safe
    location and immediately place a phone call to the hospital and tell them where
    it is," said Polk Circuit Judge Robert Doyel, who handled one abandonment case
    in Haines City in August 2002.

    Children abandoned in parking lots outside medical centers or fire stations
    aren't considered safe-haven babies, and go into the custody of the Department
    of Children and Families.

    Children who are abandoned under the letter of the law go into private adoption
    agencies.

    Silverio says the problem is simply that people don't know enough about the
    law.

    His organization, A Safe Haven for Newborns, is working to remedy the problem
    through an aggressive public awareness campaign. The state has earmarked
    between $80,000 and $100,000 each year for promotion since the law went into
    effect, but Silverio says that's not enough.

    "Everyone needs to know about this law," said the 60-year-old Silverio, who
    founded the organization in memory of his wife, Gloria, after she was killed by
    a speeding driver in 1999. "Maybe you're not going to abandon your child, but
    maybe you can counsel somebody who might. Maybe somebody would ask you
    questions about it."

    Similar organizations have cropped up all over the country, including SavBaby
    in Texas and Safe Arms for Newborns in California.

    Geras, of Chicago's Save Abandoned Babies Foundation, said she thinks the laws
    would be more widely used if states pooled their resources and worked together
    to get the word out.

    "I'd like to see some national policy that could maybe help everybody," she
    said. "So many of us are continuing to reinvent the wheel."

    Despite the concerns, safe-haven supporters include lawmakers and educators,
    medical personnel and researchers.

    "I think safe-haven laws are an excellent idea," said Lois Pierce, a professor
    of social work at the University of North Carolina who has worked with women
    who have abandoned infants. "It's a law that's been sorely missed in this
    country. It gives people who are not able to care for their children a way to
    give up their babies without there being a lot of stigma attached."

    For Silverio, conviction that the laws work comes from seeing a healthy baby
    boy left safely with Cape Coral firefighters in April, instead of hearing about
    his death.

    It comes from helping a terrified pregnant teenager come to a decision about
    her baby.

    And it comes from the gratitude expressed by joyful adoptive parents, like baby
    Brody's new parents.

    "We're making a difference in people's lives," said Silverio. "We're saving
    babies. And that's the most satisfying feeling in the world."

    Rebecca Mahoney can be reached at 863-802-7548 or
    [email protected].


    Last modified: January 25. 2004 2:35AM



  • #2
    FL - A SAFE HAVEN Abandoned Baby Law Saves Some, But Others Still Die

    Notice how this story, and the other new stories that are being posted,
    neglect to mention that Florida, and indeed every other state, has other
    laws that allow women to relinquish babies "free of fear of prosecution"?
    There is no mention of placing signs on every restroom door about adoption,
    only Safe Havens. It's as if adoption didn't exist at all before Safe
    Havens. It would be an interesting media project to sift through the news
    accounts of Safe Havens and see how many mention existing adoption and
    relinquishment laws.

    Ron

    "BabySafeHaven" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    FLORIDA http://www.theledger.com/apps/pbcs.d.../NEWS/40125047 8/1039 » Top Stories Published Sunday, January 25, 2004 A SAFE HAVEN Abandoned Baby Law Saves Some, But Others Still Die By Rebecca Mahoney The Ledger [email protected] The young mother walked into the Lake County hospital clutching an infant
    son
    she didn't want to keep. She had given birth at home, five weeks before
    her due
    date, and kept the boy for two days while she weighed her options. She could have discarded the infant -- hidden him among trash in a bin and walked away. She could have left him on the doorstep of a church and
    slipped
    away. Instead, under Florida's safe-baby law, she walked into South Lake
    Hospital in
    Clermont on April 11, 2002, handed him to a surprised nurse, and said
    goodbye
    to her son -- legally and anonymously, with no questions asked and no fear
    of
    arrest. A few days later, little Brody was placed with his new parents, Kristine
    and
    Steve York of Ocoee. Once so fragile he fit in the palm of a baseball glove, Brody is now a
    healthy,
    active 21-month-old. Although his dark hair and eyes reflect his biological mother's coloring, Kristine and Steve are every inch his mommy and daddy. (See related story
    about
    Brody's new life on page A1.) Brody is among at least 18 unwanted infants to be safely abandoned since
    the
    state's Safe Baby Act was adopted three years ago. Six have been
    surrendered in
    the last six months. The law allows mothers to leave their newborns anonymously at fire houses, hospitals and ambulance stations within three days of birth without fear
    of
    prosecution. Forty-five other states have similar laws. "We do know we are saving lives, and we are making a difference," said
    Nick
    Silverio, founder of A Safe Haven for Newborns, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting Florida's law. "Are we going to save every life? I
    don't
    know. But we're certainly trying." The law is designed to offer desperate parents a legal and uncomplicated escape, possibly saving the newborn from being abandoned unsafely. Mothers
    can
    protect their identity and avoid prosecution while getting peace of mind knowing their children will be placed with families. So-called "safe-haven" laws are not without their critics, many of whom
    say the
    laws do more harm than good. They call the laws unrealistic and say they promote a culture of irresponsibility and anonymity. Supporters, however, say safe-haven laws offer a safety net for mothers
    who
    might otherwise slip through the cracks. "This law allows a child to have a life and doesn't ruin (the mother's),"
    said
    Rick Sopka, a coordinator at Healthy Start Coalition of Hardee, Highlands
    and
    Polk counties who helps promote the state's safe-haven law. Distraught mothers around the country are slowly starting to take
    advantage of
    the laws. In December, for example, a baby girl was left at a hospital in DeLand in Volusia County by a young mother who said she wanted to follow
    the
    law. But babies are still being abandoned illegally. In the same three-year period that 16 Florida babies were legally dropped
    off,
    at least 19 others were unsafely discarded. In May, a high school junior
    left
    her newborn son on a deserted boat in Orlando. In August, a woman
    abandoned her
    infant on a Bal Harbour beach; another left her son on a Fort Lauderdale
    patio
    chair, his umbilical cord still attached. Similar illegal abandonments happen all over the country, many in states
    that
    have long since adopted safe-haven laws. In California, for example, 20 babies were left at safe places between
    January
    2001 and July 2002. But 38 others were found in unsafe places, such as
    trash
    bins and public rest rooms. Seventeen of those babies died, according to a report by the National Conference on State Legislatures. In Louisiana, not a single parent has ever taken advantage of its
    3-year-old
    law. Instead, 11 newborns have been found abandoned in public places;
    seven
    died. Such accounts have drawn scrutiny. Critics say it's unrealistic to expect
    a
    woman who is distraught enough to abandon or harm her infant to walk into
    a
    public place and hand her baby to a nurse or firefighter. "You're talking about a girl who couldn't figure out what to do about her pregnancy . . . and now you want her to jump in a taxi cab and go to a
    hospital
    and drop that baby off?" said Michelle Oberman, a DePaul University
    professor
    of law who researches cases of mothers harming infants. "I'm pretty
    skeptical
    that the safe-haven laws will actually reach these girls." But advocates say they think the laws are working, and say their impact
    will
    only become stronger as public awareness increases. "Obviously, these bills are not the final answer, but they provide a compassionate approach to saving the lives of innocent and helpless
    babies,"
    said Silverio. "What's the alternative -- seeing babies crushed in
    Dumpsters?
    That's probably happening more times than we'd like to believe." SIZE OF PROBLEM UNKNOWN Nobody knows exactly how many infants are publicly abandoned each year. Some states have started keeping track of when such babies are found, but
    the
    numbers are estimates, at best. It's impossible to guess how many babies
    are
    abandoned and never found. The most comprehensive numbers come from an informal search conducted by
    the
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2000, which was based on newspaper articles on the subject. The search found reports of 105 infants abandoned in public places in 1998; a third of those infants were found
    dead.
    A more recent study conducted by the University of North Carolina
    estimates 85
    babies are abandoned each year in public places. Those numbers don't reflect the estimated 31,000 infants left at hospitals
    each
    year, mostly because of parental drug addiction. The problem of public abandonments seemed particularly pronounced in Texas
    in
    1999. Thirteen babies were discarded within a 10-month period, prompting lawmakers to pass the country's first safe-haven legislation. That law
    allowed
    parents to give up their babies within 60 days to an emergency medical
    services
    provider, licensed childplacing agency, or licensed residential child-care provider. The idea caught on like wildfire, with other states quickly passing
    similar
    laws. The most recent, New Hampshire, passed its law in May. That leaves
    only
    five states -- Hawaii, Alaska, Vermont, Massachusetts and Nebraska --
    without
    safe-haven laws. In Florida, the law went into effect in July 2000 after 11 babies were
    reported
    abandoned in six months. "We have a lot of unwed mothers, young girls making life-threatening decisions," said Rep. Sandra Murman, R-Tampa, who sponsored the bill along
    with
    then-Sen. Charles Bronson, R-Satellite Beach. "I think they needed to have
    a
    safe haven. They needed to know they could make a decision to save the
    life of
    their child and not be prosecuted." Florida's law states the infant must be 3 days old or younger and
    unharmed. In
    most cases, the child is given a hospital examination and then placed with
    a
    private adoption agency. Biological parents have 30 days to change their
    minds.
    Foster families can apply for adoption after 90 days. But some parents-rights groups say such laws are simplistic solutions to a complex social problem, and they condemn politicians for condoning an
    approach
    the United States criticizes in other countries. "This is a drive-by adoption," said Marley Greiner, executive chair of the Houston-based adoption-rights organization ******* Nation. "You're saying,
    åYou
    don't have to have prenatal care, you don't have to have an attended
    birth. You
    can just have this baby in the bathtub, and no one will ever know.' " Other adoption-rights organizations say the laws virtually guarantee
    abandoned
    infants will never know their medical history or find their biological
    parents.
    "They are saving lives, but it is still not providing any information for
    the
    adoptive parents that they could use in raising that child," said Carolyn Hoard, legislative director for the American Adoption Congress. "This
    (law)
    gives them almost no opportunity to locate a birth parent." CRITICISM FROM A WOMAN ABANDONED IN LAKELAND Melissa Snyder, a Walden, N.Y., woman who was abandoned in Lakeland as an infant 33 years ago, says she appreciates intent but thinks safe-haven
    laws
    have the potential to cause frustration and heartbreak for children who
    want to
    know their heritage. "It's an indescribable feeling when you walk down the street and you don't
    know
    if you could be bumping into your mother or your father or your sister,"
    said
    Snyder, whose mother left her at Lakeland Regional Medical Center shortly
    after
    giving birth. "There's always so many unanswered questions. It's like a
    big
    empty void." In March, a leading adoption institute issued a report that said
    safe-haven
    laws are teaching mothers that abandoning their babies is both legally and socially acceptable. "By providing a no-hassle route for ending parental responsibly,
    safe-haven
    laws encourage mothers to conceal their pregnancies, give birth unsafely
    and
    leave their children anonymously, undermining established and effective
    child
    welfare and adoption policy," said the report by the Evan B. Donaldson
    Adoption
    Institute. Meanwhile, fathers'-rights groups say the law sidesteps paternal
    interests.
    "It's better for a child to be abandoned in a hospital than abandoned in a field somewhere, but a greater effort ought to be made to locate the
    biological
    father," said Mike McCormick, director of the American Coalition of
    Fathers and
    Children in Washington, D.C. "The father should be given every opportunity
    to
    claim that child." Hawaii's governor found such arguments so convincing she vetoed a
    safe-haven
    bill her state legislature had overwhelmingly passed. "I believe that any good that might be accomplished by this bill is likely
    to
    be outweighed by the harm that it would cause," wrote Gov. Linda Lingle
    last
    June in her response to state lawmakers. Snyder said she thinks mothers who use safe-haven laws should be required
    to
    provide the child's medical history. "If you're going to just hand the child over, at least give the child over
    with
    a piece of paper with any medical information," she said. "Down the line,
    that
    child is not going to have any identity whatsoever." Advocates for safe-haven laws admit they aren't a perfect solution. But
    they
    say the good the laws do outweighs their flaws. "We've always said, if we could save one baby, it would be worth it," said
    Dawn
    Geras, who directs the Save Abandoned Babies Foundation in Chicago, an organization dedicated to promoting Illinois' safe-haven laws. "There will always be some that won't take advantage of the law. But we are trying to
    save
    them all." REFINEMENTS, EDUCATION NEEDED In late September, nurse Julie Pybas was walking into the Palatka Health
    Care
    Center when she discovered a baby boy on the doormat. The newborn had been wrapped in a housecoat or a duster and was half-concealed by the rug
    outside
    the door. Similar cases of babies being left in hospital parking lots or outside
    fire
    stations have occurred all over the country. In the last three years in Polk County, at least two babies have been left
    in
    the parking lot of Heart of Florida Hospital in Haines City. Safe-haven advocates say they don't know if such cases mean mothers don't
    know
    how the law works, or if they're afraid to walk into a place where people
    might
    recognize them. "The Safe Baby Act ought to be amended . . . to require that the parent
    either
    hand the child to a responsible adult employee, or leave the child at a
    safe
    location and immediately place a phone call to the hospital and tell them
    where
    it is," said Polk Circuit Judge Robert Doyel, who handled one abandonment
    case
    in Haines City in August 2002. Children abandoned in parking lots outside medical centers or fire
    stations
    aren't considered safe-haven babies, and go into the custody of the
    Department
    of Children and Families. Children who are abandoned under the letter of the law go into private
    adoption
    agencies. Silverio says the problem is simply that people don't know enough about
    the
    law. His organization, A Safe Haven for Newborns, is working to remedy the
    problem
    through an aggressive public awareness campaign. The state has earmarked between $80,000 and $100,000 each year for promotion since the law went
    into
    effect, but Silverio says that's not enough. "Everyone needs to know about this law," said the 60-year-old Silverio,
    who
    founded the organization in memory of his wife, Gloria, after she was
    killed by
    a speeding driver in 1999. "Maybe you're not going to abandon your child,
    but
    maybe you can counsel somebody who might. Maybe somebody would ask you questions about it." Similar organizations have cropped up all over the country, including
    SavBaby
    in Texas and Safe Arms for Newborns in California. Geras, of Chicago's Save Abandoned Babies Foundation, said she thinks the
    laws
    would be more widely used if states pooled their resources and worked
    together
    to get the word out. "I'd like to see some national policy that could maybe help everybody,"
    she
    said. "So many of us are continuing to reinvent the wheel." Despite the concerns, safe-haven supporters include lawmakers and
    educators,
    medical personnel and researchers. "I think safe-haven laws are an excellent idea," said Lois Pierce, a
    professor
    of social work at the University of North Carolina who has worked with
    women
    who have abandoned infants. "It's a law that's been sorely missed in this country. It gives people who are not able to care for their children a way
    to
    give up their babies without there being a lot of stigma attached." For Silverio, conviction that the laws work comes from seeing a healthy
    baby
    boy left safely with Cape Coral firefighters in April, instead of hearing
    about
    his death. It comes from helping a terrified pregnant teenager come to a decision
    about
    her baby. And it comes from the gratitude expressed by joyful adoptive parents, like
    baby
    Brody's new parents. "We're making a difference in people's lives," said Silverio. "We're
    saving
    babies. And that's the most satisfying feeling in the world." Rebecca Mahoney can be reached at 863-802-7548 or [email protected]. Last modified: January 25. 2004 2:35AM

    Comment


    • #3
      FL - A SAFE HAVEN Abandoned Baby Law Saves Some, But Others Still Die


      "Ron Morgan" <[email protected]> wrote in message
      news:[email protected] hlink.net...
      Notice how this story, and the other new stories that are being posted, neglect to mention that Florida, and indeed every other state, has other laws that allow women to relinquish babies "free of fear of prosecution"? There is no mention of placing signs on every restroom door about
      adoption,
      only Safe Havens. It's as if adoption didn't exist at all before Safe Havens. It would be an interesting media project to sift through the news accounts of Safe Havens and see how many mention existing adoption and relinquishment laws. Ron
      Here's the most "interesting" quote in the article:
      "I think safe-haven laws are an excellent idea," said Lois Pierce, a
      professor
      of social work at the University of North Carolina who has worked with
      women
      who have abandoned infants. "It's a law that's been sorely missed in
      this
      country. It gives people who are not able to care for their children a
      way
      to
      give up their babies without there being a lot of stigma attached."
      Apparently relinquishing a baby through informed means is more stigmatizing
      than dumping it off at a fire station. Traditional adoption procedures are
      irrelevant under Safe Haven ideology. The more they talk the more their
      agenda is showing. And they don't sound too smart either.


      Marley


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