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A critical perspective on the “baby safe haven”/babydump programs

I wanted to draw additional attention to two comments that came through yesterday on one of my recent posts about the ongoing failure that states’ “baby safe haven”/babydump programs have been.

I’m not going to attempt to write around them as the comments speak for themselves, other than to confirm that the author was posting from Michigan.

comment 1:

Melissa Says:

I live in michigan and in 2001 I gave my son up under the save delivery law. I was 16 and had delivered him at home. I was terrified and called an adoption agency out fear she directed me to the hospital and told me to tell the emergency room staff safe delivery I had no idea what that meant or what was about to happen the social worker said she would meet me there ha of course she would. This law is full of holes. I have custody of my son now and hes 8 years old healthy smart and perfect but the battle of getting my newborn back was horrible the state had no provisions for what would happen if I changed my mind the adoption agency fought me so hard they even lied in court they tried everything to keep my baby they took advantage of me and the law it makes me sick to know that the same people who abused the law to begin with are now the ones running the training program. What an industry. I’ve read the statistics for michigan and your article right on I’m one of the the very few on there that wasnt a 40 yearold women who gave birth in a hospital. I never had any intentions on throwing my baby in a trash can nor did I want to abandon my baby under such a law but was in shock from delivering a butt breach baby and was terriffied because I hid my pregnancy. The adoption agency I dealt with was evil and self serving and repeatedly tried to talk me out of filing for custody telling how I would regret my child and it would ruin my life which none of that is true my son is the best part of my life hes an amazing little boy. Something needs to be done about these laws its being a abused by all people involved and it disgusts me this law was put into effect to keep young women from throwing newborns in trash cans not to circumvent adoption laws among other things its been used for . how can this law even be used for what its intended for when the young women it was created for arent even aware or educated on it. Which is probably why a young women was just on the news a couple days ago here in michigan because she threw her newborn in a dumpster. These laws need to be fixed .

and comment 2:

Melissa Says:

I also forgot to mention that i changed my mind the next day and made the adoption agency and the hospital aware of my decision right away but it took 5 weeks and cost my parents about 20,000 dollars to regain custody of my baby

Thank you Melissa, for taking the time to comment and drawing attention to the problems inherent to these legalized child abandonment schemes.

Lots of people assume that even in cases where the child is eventually reunited that there’s no real downside or cost to having these laws in place. Your story draws attention to the sheer effort, the time lost, and the financial demands to families such programs can create even in cases where the kids do eventually go home with their mothers.

Again, thanks for speaking out.

2 Responses to “A critical perspective on the “baby safe haven”/babydump programs”

  1. Marley Greiner Says:

    Thanks Melissa for sending your “safe haven” experience, and thanks to BLC for posting it. I’ve been researching baby dumping since 2000 and am currently working on a scholarly piece on the Ohio’s fiasco. We very seldom hear first-person accounts from women who have used the law, so it’s impossible to know how and why it’s utilized. $

    20,000 to get your baby back? That is outrageous. I’d be very interested to know what adoption agency this was. There’s a couple of usual suspects in Michigan.

    I’ve long thought that babies are returned, absent abuse, because states know the laws, if challenged will be ruled unconstitutional. Nobody wants to be that first domino–or invalidate the adoptions that came from them (which could happen).

    I am highly suspicious on how Michigan uses the law. The vast majority of “safe haven surrenders” there are of babies born in hospital–making them traditional “boarder baby” incidents not “safe havens. There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest that it’s this way all over the country. There are a few genuine walks-ins but the rest are regular hospital abandonments and the stats are cooked to promote the program.

    I’d love to know more about your case. You can contact me through BLC or through my own blog The Daily Bastardette.

  2. Baby Love Child Says:

    Melissa has added a third comment to the original post. I wanted to move a copy of it over here to keep the pieces of her story together on this post.

    Melissa said:

    Well I Delivered My son in the city of westland which is in wayne county I also live in the same city so when I filed for custody my attorney filed in wayne county since as the child custody laws state that you must file either where the child was born , where the mother resides or where the child is currently since the adoption agency refused to tell my attorney which county my son was we filed in wayne county and had an order to return custody within the first week but the adoption agency filed in macomb and refused to return custody until the macomb court hearing they then proceed to lie and say that I knew where my child was located and filed in wayne county anyways but how could I have known where they placed my child. When I called the social worker to make her aware of my decision she had placed my baby with the prospective adopted parents then when I called she removed my baby to a host family which I found out later after the fact that was in gensee county which was niether of the three locations of which paperwork should have been filed in. I had the host mother subpoena who I loved dearly she was very sweet to me and let me visit during the 5 week custody battle and gave me all the photos she had taken of my baby in those weeks because she had the baby in gensee county already when the adoption agency filed with the court in macomb county. They tried everything to keep my son. The social worker gave me a paper to sign while I was at the hospital in complete shock and loaded with demoral when my attorney requested the paper I signed they never gave it up. I had absolutely no recollection of what the paper even said and they eventually in the end when I regained custody tried to sue me for their legal fees. This topic is very near to my heart and I swore when my son came home that I was gonna do something about it but I’m still trying to find a platform to do it from. Thanks so much!

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