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Safe Haven For Babies

July 16th, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

A newborn baby boy abandoned in a hospital bathroom in Tallahassee is the 10th child that parents have given up in Florida this year. All 10 are alive and fine. State law allows parents who are overwhelmed to leave their newborn at a fire station, police department or a hospital. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, children left anywhere else often don’t survive.

The newborn baby boy was found in a 4th floor bathroom in this Tallahassee hospital on Tuesday. Because the child was not left with a person, police are reviewing surveillance tapes and have opened a criminal investigation.

“We want to find out a little bit more to make sure there are no other children involved, to make sure there’s no other crime that may have been involved. We just want to be thorough and make sure,” Tallahassee Police Department spokesman David McCranie said.

Since 2000 Florida law allows parents to leave newborns up to seven days old at fire stations, police department or hospitals, without consequence, if the child is given to a person.  Since 2000, 132 babies have been given up.

Since the law took effect, 45 parents have chosen to abandon their baby in unsafe places. Only 19 survived.

“Lydia” was dropped off at a Palm Beach hospital four years ago. Born with no arms and just one leg, Lydia has been adopted and is thriving today.

The child left in Tallahassee has not been named. The Department of Children and Families says the baby boy will be placed for adoption.

“But I know the state attorney will move very cautiously on this, because you don’t want to have a chilling impact on the safe-haven law,” DCF secretary George Sheldon said.

Under the safe-haven law, parents who give up their child can ask the court for the child back up until an adoption is finalized.

A Safe Haven for Newborns is a resource for parents facing the difficult decision of giving up a child. They can be reached on the web at www.asafehavenfornewborns.com or by calling 1-877-767-2229 (Baby)

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