Let’s Talk About The Safe Haven Law

Another day of scrolling through Facebook when I should probably be doing something else. It’s another day and the same sad, horrible story comes up in my feed. While it isn’t the exact same story, it is the same ending. A newborn baby abandoned in trashcan, garden, bathroom, dumpster the list goes on. It is a knife to the heart every time I see it. 

These sweet babies are not feeling the love and warmth that they should as they enter the world. Instead, often times they are cold, alone and hoping to survive. In some cases, the babies are stumbled upon by passerby’s, and in other times the result, isn’t as good. This story could have such a different ending.

Maybe we don’t do a good job in talking about it. In Louisiana, we have a Safe Haven Law. What does this mean?

According to the Department of Children and Family Services, it means

“If you find yourself with no other alternative and are considering abandoning your baby, Louisiana’s Safe Haven Law provides a safe place for your child. If you are unable to care for your baby and the baby’s well-being is in danger, you can bring the newborn up to 60 days old to an emergency designated facility or Safe Haven site. By leaving the baby in the care of an employee at a Safe Haven facility, parents can give up custody of the newborn with no questions asked.”

This means that if you are a woman who has a baby, no matter the circumstance, you have a choice. You can gift your baby a better future and outcome than a trashcan or bathroom stall. I am not in any way judging. It is a crazy world, and people are in crazy situations. But I write this post as someone who as seen the beauty of adoption. I have seen moms yearning to have children, now with full hearts and arms because of the gift of adoption. As someone who struggled with fertility, I know there are mothers out there who are longing for a baby. Let another woman mother and give that gift.

As a community, perhaps, we need to say it is okay, to admit that motherhood is not your path for whatever the reason or the timing. But act. Hand the child over to the nearest hospital, EMS, fire or police station, pregnancy center or public health unit. No questions asked is the policy.

Louisiana has been a Safe Haven state since 2000. More information regarding the Safe Haven Law is available by calling toll-free 1-800-CHILDREN.

2 Responses to Let’s Talk About The Safe Haven Law

  1. Jean & Michael Morrisey August 15, 2017 at 11:09 am #

    Sadly there have been 100 deadly newborn abandonments across the country in the last 18 months
    That’s 100 dead newborns!
    What is the response of the major safe haven awareness campaigns across the country? You’re seeing exactly what they do in this article. The same exact response to deadly newborn abandonments took place just weeks ago in Illinois. Same in Indiana, New Jersey, Michigan, South Carolina, and most of those states these where deadly abandonments happened multiple times in the last six to twelve months. California has 5 or more abandonments per year. They have multiple funerals, and a dedication of a park to the safe haven children by a 70 year old county supervisor.
    Where isn’t this endless set of senseless tragedies taking place? Massachusetts. We’ve had only one deadly newborn abandonment in the last 10.5+ years! Only 1 abandonment in almost 7 years.
    ZERO abandonments in the last 3 years!
    What is Massachusetts doing to stop 95% of newborn abandonments? That’s right we’ve stopped 95% of newborn abandonments!!!
    We use standard demographic marketing of our Baby Safe Haven law!! It’s teen and 20 year olds that use the laws, and they are the ONLY ones you see out in the media promoting Baby Safe Haven in Massachusetts!
    NEVER do you see a 50+ year old official using a shaming message against Generation Y or Z. It’s peers helping peers in crisis. AND IT WORKS!!
    We NEVER use safely surrendered babies or children to mock teens who are in crisis and need to make tough decisions.
    All the states who use the old advocates, old so-called “experts,” old officials and old politicians to exclusively promote their laws have the HIGHEST numbers of newborn abandonments!
    And every single one of those states does this exact same strategy again and again when another deadly newborn abandonment takes place. It’s insane!
    They all know that Massachusetts has stopped 90% of these tragedies, but they refuse to follow a program that puts teens and 20 somethings out in front of the press every single time. The old officials, and so-called experts, see their face time as more important over the death of the next newborn. And there will be another deadly newborn abandonment again, sometimes in just weeks, because they can’t communicate with Gen Y & Z. It’s insane!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Introducing just a few of the young people who will inform their peers across the country, following our Massachusetts model.

    The originator of the MA campaign with over 100 media coverages for Baby Safe Haven: http://youtu.be/k3dn_DPodPw & http://www.clipsyndicate.com/video/play/1750474/boston_s_view_singer_renee_marcou & http://youtu.be/sPl0NOyV4ro & http://www.wickedlocal.com/article/20080921/News/309219734 & http://youtu.be/xAC9QMw27v4

    A 15 year old in Massachusetts: https://youtu.be/QtGy8dD_54w

    23 year old from Indiana on YouNow social media platform promoting Baby Safe Haven: https://youtu.be/Jpbnx3vW5-0

    Here’s 16 year old in Wichita, KS, on radio, TV, and front page newspaper coverage: http://youtu.be/npu_8TcIKMk & http://ksn.com/2014/07/01/baby-safe-haven-awareness-campaign/ & http://www.kansas.com/2014/07/05/3540671/wichita-teen-a-spokesperson-for.html

    This 20 year old is the only bilingual spokesperson/advocate for any Baby Safe Haven law in the US. In Chicagoland en Espanol: https://soundcloud.com/dtvpro/kiararivera-on-la-ley-1079-chicago & http://youtu.be/5UxXYlfhS2g

    18 year old in Danbury, CT, on radio and another front page newspaper story and in a recent tragedy: http://wnyt.com/article/stories/s3976172.shtml & http://www.twcnews.com/nys/capital-region/news/2015/11/29/officials-say-baby-safe-haven-is-the-answer-for-abandoned-newborns.html And: https://soundcloud.com/dtvpro/despina-drougas-on-98q-baby-safe-haven & http://www.newstimes.com/local/article/A-safe-haven-for-unwanted-babies-5663837.php

    16 year old in Knoxville, Tennessee: http://youtu.be/qtmypoHp3Vw

    In Los Angeles, SOTs for TV news use: 1 – http://youtu.be/Nv5nlJzS4yE 2 – http://youtu.be/7hHOI7yajL4

  2. Adoptive Mother to Safe Haven Baby September 16, 2017 at 10:52 pm #

    Love this post.

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