Recently in the news, a woman heard a baby crying in a Washington dumpster, just before she was about to start the trash compacter. After digging through “about 20 trash bags,” she found a newborn baby. The baby is now in stable condition at a local hospital. It is really hard to comprehend that a woman would abandon or even kill her newborn baby. Just google “abandoned babies” and you will find multiple stories of infants dumped in trash bins, down toilets, or just left in parks or on doorsteps. Why would anyone do such a thing?
A very interesting study suggests that some of the woman who kill or abandon their newborns may be suffering from a dissociative mental disorder whereby they deny the pregnancy even exists and then when the baby is born they are shocked and terrified and either kill the infant or perhaps hide the baby or leave it somewhere. Others are aware of their pregnancy but are not living in good circumstances and act out in what they feel is self-preservation. If they abandon their baby somewhere unsafe or leave the infant to die, these women can be prosecuted and can serve time in prison for murdering or neglecting their baby. Would it help if they knew about special laws that allow them to leave their newborn safely and anonymously at a fire station, hospital, or police station?
There is absolutely no reason that a woman in the United States should ever need to abandon or murder her newborn because of legislation called Safe Haven laws. Every state has a Safe Haven law that allows a woman to drop off her newborn infant at designated places (usually hospitals or fire departments) with no prosecution or consequences to herself as long as she has not abused the infant. She doesn’t even have to provide identification. Some people are not aware of Safe Haven laws. Let’s get the information out to the community so that a woman in crisis who finds herself with a newborn and can’t cope knows what to do…knows where to go with the infant to keep herself and her baby safe.
Wyoming’s Safe Haven law says:
“You can leave your baby, up to 14 days old, with an employee on duty at any hospital, fire station, police station, sheriff’s office or any other place of shelter and safety identified by the Department of Family Services in Wyoming.”
With Safe Haven, no one ever has to abandon a baby again. There is a toll free hotline to call for more information: