The Boston Herald (February 25) reported that, in 2007, a record number of newborn babies were given up by their parents (in reality, probably just the mother) under Massachusetts’ Baby Safe Haven program.
The law came to pass after state Representative Barry R. Finegold (D-Andover) proposed the bill, which would allow a parent to legally surrender a baby, aged 7 days or less, at a hospital, police station, or manned fire station without facing criminal prosecution. In other words, under certain conditions, Massachusetts legalized child abandonment.
Honestly, I cannot understand the critics of this law. They argue that the law creates an “easy out” for reluctant mothers. Darn straight! The fact is that these girls and women didn’t legally kill the baby in their bodies, nor did they abandon them in a dumpster or toilet. They knew that they couldn’t raise a child and had an option which contributed to the well-being of that child and the adoptive family.
Another criticism is that this strips children of their heritage. Are you kidding? Since when does one’s place on a genetic family tree trump a loving home environment? They also say that this law promotes irresponsibility. What?? What is more responsible than giving a child over to people who will arrange for the child to be loved and nurtured, when they know they cannot?
The Department of Social Services, which oversees the Safe Haven program reports that the Baby Safe Haven hotline has helped thirty women to get into a parenting or adoption plan. They also said that “parents give up their babies for various reasons, including post-partum psychosis, emotional immaturity, and social isolation.” Whatever the reasons, the woman is still making a conscious choice to “save” her baby from her own emotional and social problems. I say these women are heroes.