Blogger Coley recently wrote about safe havens. She referred to this article which discusses the subject. Safe havens are another issue in adoption that is often debated with many strong and differing opinions.
“If they save one baby….” begins the proponents of safe havens,”…..then they are worth it.” Is there a soul alive who does not want babies to be spared some of the cruel fates some now face? Who doesn’t wince when word comes of another baby found in a dumpster? Can there be anyone who does not find this a horrific event?
New Jersey, which, since enacting a safe-haven law in 2000, has allocated at least $500,000 annually to train workers and pay for TV, radio and print ads. Since the law took effect, 26 babies have been legally surrendered and 22 abandoned illegally, said Andy Williams, spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Children and Families.
Throughout the article they mostly use the term “relinquish” to indicate babies who are taken to safe havens. Personally, I find it objectionable that they use the same term used in legal adoptions. Dropping off a baby at a safe haven, generally with no medical information, is abandonment, not relinquishment. Even it is legal, it is legal abandonment, and not relinquishment.
I hate the thought of opposing anything that really saves the life of a baby. However, I guess I just am not convinced that safe havens really are the best way to save babies. Women relinquish babies anonoymously in third world countries, do we feel that practice is worthy of repeating here? It seems such a primitive practice to allow a woman to give birth and then just hand her newborn off at a firestation or similar place.
Surely, no woman so desperate as to want to deal with her child in such a manner can be sane and mentally healthy. Neither deserting a baby at a dumpster nor a fire station can be the act of a rational human being. I know how we love and want to protect all babies, and I love babies as much as anyone. However, I feel some responsibility and compassion for any mother who is compelled to anonymously surrender her child.
To Be Continued…………………………………