Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Abandoned Babies & Safe Haven Laws

This morning I read the following headline:

I immediately became deeply disturbed on so many levels and was even more affected after seeing the baby boy's face as he was crying out in an accompanying video clip:

Here's some of my thoughts about this little baby's discovery and rescue:

1)  Although child abandonment can happen in any country, this particular case came out of China where child abandonment and infanticide rates are prevalent because of strict government restrictions on the number of children a family can have, gender preferences for babies (namely boys being preferred over girls), or a baby being born with a disability.

2)  Poverty is another big determining factor in child abandonment, but this child was found in a particularly wealthy province which makes it so much harder to fathom.

3)  News like this is especially hurtful to learn about when I'm aware that there are thousands of couples who would give anything to have a baby (including depleting their savings to undergo expensive and invasive medical treatments to no avail, or who have suffered miscarriage after miscarriage) and/or those who have been waiting and waiting for the opportunity to be a parent- something which seems to come so easily and effortlessly to others.

4)  Thank goodness for those who are able to provide homes to abandoned babies and children- versus the alternative of these babies being institutionalized or growing up in orphanages.  On a related note, I'm sure there are other foster families out there between placements who heard about this baby boy and thought, "If only this would have happened in our area- we would likely be receiving a placement call today!"
5) If this baby were in the U.S. where Safe Haven Laws exist, perhaps his parents could more easily explore options other than abortion or abandonment without fear of incrimination.

6)  Discarding a child in a sewer pipe.  A sewer pipe?  The implications are that this baby is no more than waste . . . refuse . . . something to be flushed away.  Not in God's eyes.  The following scripture reference comes to mind:  "Remember, the worth of souls is great in the sight of God."

7)   Not only do Safe Haven Laws save the lives of innocent babies but they are a great resource to pregnant girls and women who may not have the support or even the awareness of options available to them.  This may be especially true in cases where women prefer to be anonymous for fear of being disowned by family members if their pregnancy is discovered, when they or their baby are at risk of being harmed, or in cases of rape and incest.

8)  Thankfully, Safe Haven Laws now exist in every U.S. state and organizations such as Project Cuddle help birth mothers find alternatives to abandoning their babies. 
9)  There are safe and hopeful alternatives to child abandonment, including adoption!

(Although I'm not a fan of the "give your baby up" phraseology the founder uses in this clip, Project Cuddle and similar organizations are very worthwhile nonetheless.)


Louise said...

Yes, and amen. That sweet baby was made in the image of God with much worth and value. (Can't bring myself to watch the video.)

Thanks for sharing about Project Cuddle too! I'll be reading up on that one as it's my dream to be a midwife/family nurse practitioner serving the lost and the least.

Annie said...

One of the sweetest boys I know went through our religious education program. He just graduated from high school last year and already has a job working as tech support at his old school. He just has a gift for that. This little boy was adopted by his parents after having been left in a dumpster. I always pray that this young man understands that this has nothing to do with him, and everything to do with how his bio-mom viewed herself.