Thursday, August 25, 2011

news that gets me fired up

I came across this article today, and I'm not gonna lie: it totally stressed me out.

You may as well go ahead and read it. It's the basis for the rest of what I'm talking about. In case you're too lazy, though, here's the gist of it: Someone found a newborn baby (umbilical cord still attached) in a shoebox outside a home in New York. Police are searching for the parents. The baby is (or was at press time, which was a few days ago) in the hospital in stable condition.

Didn't I allude to this phenomenon a few days ago? People abandoning babies? And how I'm like...anti? (Actually, I'm pretty sure I said that you should be sure to have more uplifting things DVRd so that you wouldn't have to watch news stories about stuff like this. But you could have discerned from that that I'm anti.)

There are so many things wrong with this situation. First of all: WHO WOULD ABANDON THEIR BABY??!?!?!! Please hear what I'm not saying. I'm NOT saying "who would not want their baby?"...because I GET that (unlike me) some people are not prepared, not equipped, and do not desire to have babies. That is so okay with me. I'm not advocating that people who fall into those categories SHOULD keep their babies! It would almost certainly be better for those children to be raised in homes where they are wanted and cherished. And there are plenty of homes like that.

I just don't get how you could abandon them, though. Choose to place in adoption? Yes, absolutely. It's a long and arduous process, for sure...I have nothing but respect for birth parents brave enough to go through with it. But I can't understand carrying a child for 9 months, giving birth, and then abandoning it.

HERE'S THE THING: Forty-nine states and a lot of territories (sorry, Nebraskans) (as of May 2010) have "safe haven" laws that will LET YOU give up your newborn babies at specified locations (hospitals, police stations, etc) with no questions asked. You do not HAVE to keep your newborn baby AND you don't have to go through a long legal process in order to 'get rid' of it, can essentially abandon it in a SAFE MANNER, where the child will be immediately cared for. You will not be held criminally responsible. You can walk away child-free. But your baby will be safe.

Who wouldn't choose that????!!!

The story above happened in New York, which has safe haven laws. So essentially the parents had two options. Option 1: Drop off the kid in a shoebox on the doorstep of the local hospital/police station/fire station. Ring the doorbell and walk away. Kid will be immediately cared for, as well as taken into custody of the state to begin the process of adoption. (And this is me conjecturing, but my guess would be that the adoption process would be a relatively quick one because PEOPLE WANT BABIES and DEMAND FAR OUTPACES SUPPLY!!!)
Option 2: Drop off the kid in a shoebox in front of some random house. Baby might die and/or suffer health problems waiting to be found. Person who finds baby has to figure out what to do...further delaying proper care, increasing chances of health issues/death. Once baby finally makes it to a hospital, now it's a criminal issue and the police must search for the parents??? What?? I'm pretty sure by virtue of dropping off the kid in a shoebox, the "parents" made it pretty clear they had no interest in parenting the child. I can imagine how that conversation will go. "Ms Jones? Hi, Officer Smith here. Right, is this your baby? We found her the other night behind that Dumpster. left her there because you didn't want her? I hear ya. Right, well, see...she's in the NICU now because she half-froze to death in that box...but she's all yours! When can we expect for you to come fetch her?" I have no idea why they're searching for the parents. That part really blows my mind. Are they just checking to see if they REALLY meant to drop her off? "Yeah, just double SEEMED like you pretty much didn't want the kid, since you just left her in a box out there...but did you guys change your minds? Want her back?" I think not.

I'm going to give the birth parents in this particular story a little credit. While they did not pick the BEST option for abandoning their baby (which would obviously be a hospital, or my house), they did at least TRY for a place where the baby would be found. The low-lifes that flush babies down toilets or wrap them in towels and throw them in Dumpsters? That's disgusting. I don't even have the words to describe how atrocious that is. 

I can only assume that the parents in this situation did not KNOW about the safe haven laws. And THAT makes me sad. I think these laws (which vary by state, but have many things in common) need to be publicized like crazy. Put 'em on the side of bus stops. Posters in public bathrooms. Billboards.  TV commercials. People should know that they do not have to abandon their children.

There's one last thing this story made me think about. The person who had the misfortune of finding the baby in the shoebox. Wow. I'm gonna admit it: they're a better person than I am. If I'd been the one to find that baby? You wouldn't be reading this story. I'd keep it. I know it. 

Baby on my doorstep?? Must be the miracle I've been praying for!! Unconventional, God, but I'll take it!

Or at least I'd want to. I'd probably keep her for about 3 days and then feel guilty and turn her in, at which point they'd probably arrest me for kidnapping and ruin the rest of my life. So the person in this story who found the baby...kudos to them for doing the right thing. Not sure I could have done it.  

Whew. I feel a lot better getting all that out. For a minute I was thinking to myself "hey!! this might actually qualify as a 'controversial' post, since I couldn't think of one to mention last week in my 'awards ceremony'."But then I realized that this probably isn't really controversial. I doubt anyone would argue that it would be better for babies to be truly abandoned. At least probably not anyone reading this blog. I do think, however, that I can get away with labeling this as 'politics,' which will bring my grand total of political posts to THREE...thus leaving the lowly 'fax machine' label in dead last place. Poor fax machines.

PS. My face-eating maybe-MRSA tumor is finally starting to get better. It actually got worse before it got better...I went to work on Wednesday and ended up leaving at 11:30 because I actually thought my face was on fire. Then I debated going to the ER for the rest of the day, and decided against it. Luckily, today it is doing a little bit better. It's still ugly, but it doesn't hurt as much. I am so, so, so, so, so, so, so thankful I don't have any weddings or class reunions or anything where I am forced to see people and take pictures going on this weekend. I think I would die. This is a very humbling ailment to have. Sigh.

1 comment:

  1. Very sad :( my guess is they are searching for the parents so they can charge them - I doubt they would ever, ever get the baby back, even if they wanted it!


I love comments almost as much as I love Mexican food. Seriously.