E-MAIL, CALL, AND FAX the New Hampshire Senate Committee on Public Institutions, Health & Human Services TODAY and urge them to VOTE NO to HB 104, the latest attempt to bring legalized baby dumping to New Hampshire.
This bill will be heard on Tuesday, March 18th. HB-104 has already been passed in the House of Representatives.
Baby Dump legislation is a feel-good band-aid for legislators who want to address the problem of newborn abandonment. However, legalizing anonymous baby dumping isn't the answer. These laws encourage irresponsibility and threaten the lives of infants and their mothers who may be encouraged to give birth without medical attention. They also strip the abandoned infants of their identities and provide no recourse for fathers or other
family members who may not be aware of the infant's existence. There is no evidence that these laws are working in any of the states where they have been implemented. Legalizing an irresponsible, potentially dangerous, and unethical act is not the answer! The prestigious Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute issued a report on March 10th, "Unintended Consequences: New Study Raises Serious Concerns About Legalized Infant
Abandonment," This report casts serious doubts upon the so-called "safe haven" laws that have swept across the country. The study suggests that these laws not only do not solve the problem of unsafe infant abandonment, but they may actually encourage women to conceal pregnancies and then abandon infants who otherwise would have been placed for adoption through established legal procedures or being raised by relatives
Read the full text at
Sen. Andre' Martel, Chairman
237 Riverdale Avenue
Manchester, NH 03103-7301
(H) (603)622-8411
Sen. Robert Boyce , Vice Chairman
Star Route W #113
Alton Bay, NH 03810-9713
(H) (603)875-7371
Sen. Iris Estabrook
8 Burnham Avenue
Durham, NH 03824-3011
(H) (603)868-5524
Sen. Joseph Kenney
PO Box 201
Union, NH 03887-0201
(H) (603)473-2569
Sen. Jane O'Hearn
7 Pope Circle
Nashua, NH 03063-3307
(H) (603)889-6036
(O) (603)271-3041
Ray Buffer
Adoptees Caucus for Truth (ACT)
Board Member and Registry Owner
Florida Search Network
Adoptee Activists
I got this thread reacticated so to speak by accident, I responded to a reply that was a year old. I also got New Hampshire mixed up for Vermont--NH passed their bill last year, I believe, but Vermont has not and may be next--though people say it won't pass there. If and when it goes before the VT legislature, I encourage you to write their legislature.
I agree with your views on Safe Havens. Many adoptees despise safe havens. Deep down everyone knows that the majority of those who use the safe haven will be using it to avoid the traditional adoption route and notifying fathers. The law also gives wives superior rights to make decsions about their children than husbands have. For a married woman to support the bill, is for her to say she does not respect her husband as an equal person under the law. This escapes those married people who support the law, of course, because they don't think it will ever happen to them.
"Forty-six states have the legislation; I think that says a lot about the facts in its favor.
Please don't work to combat this legislation. Nothing is worth losing babies."
Look at the stats on how this legislation is working in all states first. We are losing babies right and left still and history shows that the more we promote abandonment the more we condone it thus upping it's occurance(s). How many language and culture barriers are we having to deal with now (especially in Texas where I am) and mothers who can't understand legalities. This legislation to me is a "do goody good" promotion on the part of many legislators to promote their "good image" in the eyes of voters or people who are not thinking out the long term ramifications of this law.
The answer is to reach these mothers before they abandon their children by ways I mentioned in my previous post. So we save one baby while many more are left for dead and abandoned anyway or given up with no medical records, information for them or their future generations (and how many health problems and deaths will result from this too?)
I and my children are prime examples of lives not lead to their fullest spending years, time, and money on health issues and struggling to survive physically which NO medically records or recourse to get them dealing with rare and hereditary diseases. Abortion you say? Yes, many times over the past 30 years I have wished for that instead of wasting away being sick with no answers to my health issues. Want to see your children sick and struggling? It's not pretty believe me and the stories and situations I have witnessed just in adoption in the past 7 years here online are horrific at times. And, more importantly, the message sent that our children are disposable commodities. Hence, more and more and more children are left this way? I find it sad sorry.
I work with kids, I am a teacher and a mother. Children are all precious to me. That is why I want the best for them. And, the best for them is to be placed in a good home be it birth or adoptive and to know that they were not thrown out like the daily trash.
I am not here to combat baby saving legislation I am here to change the way that it is done.
PS I did get updated medical record and finally after 30 years got answers to alot of much needed questions for doctors. I can't imagine anyone's life being like this but alas it is. Yes, bad things happen to people but THIS is preventable. my point.
"But having criminal penalties for child abandonment can theoretically save babies too."
YEP I agree and so are things like respite homes for unwed mothers that could be anonymous until the pregnancy was over and information and babies adopted legally with rights to the birthfather given or babies kept by birthfamilies with parenting classes and or counseling. I'm sorry if I find legal abandonment at an adoption agency in Texas legal as conflict of interest.
If we have to have safe haven abandonment can we not require some form of information left so that the child has recourse for records and inforation? I just see this legislation as an easier way to get around records and parental rights and make tossing our most precious commodity in the world away easy.
Karbrown makes the point that safe haven advocates never think about--what happens after the child is dumped. The only response one everb gets is the knee-jerk line: "Would you rather the child be dead?" If every mother who dumped a baby did so because she felt a desire to kill the child then maybe there would be a point. But the majority of mothers don't dump the babies for that reason. They do so to get around the child welfare system, the legalities entailed in going through adoption, and to avoid their family and friends knowing about their pregnancy or relinquishment. If men were the ones taking babies anonymously to firestations because they felt a strong urge to kill the children, women all over this country would be howling about how unfair it was and that men shouldn't be given a "new way to abandon their children." But, of course, since it is women who are in the "overwhelmed" situation, it's time once again to fool the public with neurotic pity.
"If men were the ones taking babies anonymously to firestations because they felt a strong urge to kill the children, women all over this country would be howling about how unfair it was and that men shouldn't be given a "new way to abandon their children."
(CLAPPING) Wonderful point! There just are SO many more options that legal baby abandonment, and if so, others way of doing it.
For me, I want to be a part of the solution. I would love to speak to children in schools (and yes children because more and more are getting pregnant younger and younger) about options, about responsibility before and or after you become pregnant, but mostly, about how these are human lives and need to be respected as such. That is a good starting point not when mothers have delivered and are in trouble.
edenstore wrote..If men were the ones taking babies anonymously to firestations because they felt a strong urge to kill the children, women all over this country would be howling about how unfair it was and that men shouldn't be given a "new way to abandon their children."
What you wrote (above) got me thinking.. The people behind Safe Haven say that they want to save babies from being left to die..
A man has not just given birth.. A man is not traumatized..
But he can leave (abandon) the child at hospitals etc.
He would not do murder..
This does not make sense..
I think everyone gets the short end of the stick on this one.
The aparents know nothing of the medical problems.. The child will not know his or her heritage.. The woman (or man) who abandoned the child will have to live with what she has done..
We don't need new laws reguarding abortions and legal abandonment.
We NEED birth control. Distribution, education, free access... it all needs to be increased. In every language, in every part of our culture, it needs to be taught and followed.
If people were not careless enough to have an unplanned pregnancy, these issues would not exsist.
It's not difficult. If you can't grasp the concept of birth control, then abstinence is the answer. Period.
Obviously nothing but abstinence is 100 percent, so doubling up on methods is a MUST.
And for those who never want children: get yourself fixed ASAP. For the sake of all of us who feel the pain of being an unwanted and/or unplanned child.
My mother had 3 children, the first of which she gave up for adoption. I was raised by her for most of my childhood, but eventually ended up in foster care due to neglect. My younger sister somehow was ignored by the Social Services system and ended up having to stay with her until she was 17.
Personally, I believe that if legal abandonment had been available when I was born, I would have been much better off. I could have had a permanent family, stable home environment, etc.
But I still ultimately blame my parents for being too irresponsible and ignorant in their actions. It all can be traced back to the source.
You are confusing the "carelessness" of unplanned pregnancies with the irresponsibility of actually abandoning children. Unplanned pregnancies do not cause children to be abandoned or adopted unethically. Selfishness, greed, and shame cause one to abandon their children. Those are the things, in addition to birth control and education, etc, that should be worked on. My child was unplanned. But he is loved all the same and well-adjusted. This is probably true of many other people. The point with Safe Haven laws is that there is no reason to encourage such abandonment. Anyone contemplating killing their child needs help and support, not criticism for becoming pregnant and encouraged to feel shamed.
You just can't imagine how upset I have become reading many of the above posts regarding the Safe Place for Newborns legislation. Do you want to know who prompted the Safe Place for Newborns Law in Alabama? It was a reporter, Jodi Brooks, who was sickened by the number of reports she was having to cover regarding babies left to die or even murdered by their mothers.
The case that really hit her hard concerned a prominent family in Mobile in which the mother and the grandmother DROWNED a newborn baby boy in the TOILET in order to escape the neighbors gossip regarding the illegitimate birth. This family had means, education, and the resources to care for this child--but decided it would be better to commit murder rather than face the gossipmongers.
It was then that Ms. Brooks approached the DA in Mobile County regarding a way in which mothers in crisis could have a SAFE alternative choice for their child. For those of you who oppose this law--take the time to look at the provisions of the law.
[*]Newborns must be brought unharmed to an Emergency Room or other designated Safe Place Location (the time frame varies state by state--72 hours to 30 days from birth).
[*]The birth mother or father is offered medical attention--in fact there is no restriction saying the birth cannot occur within the hospital with medical personnel present.
[*]The birth mother and/or father is provided with information regarding the law and her/his rights. She is also encouraged to complete a medical history form to be returned at a later time.
[*]The birthmother is given 30 days in which to change her mind. If she (or another family member) decides that she wants the baby, she gets it back.
[*]At the end of the 30 days, advertisements must be made in a legal publication in case there are any birthfathers or relatives who would like to assert their rights to the child. The advertisements run for a specified time (again, it varies by state) in case the birth father is actively looking for the infant.
[*]Then and only then are the birthparents' legal rights terminated and the child is legally free for adoption.
[*]In the meantime, the child is SAFE. The child goes into the custody of DHR. The hospital provides medical attention, and DHR palces the child in an approved, licensed foster/adoptive placement.
[/list] Is this law a bandaid? You bet--if this was a perfect world--our teenagers wouldn't be having sex and having babies at fourteen. Women who face an unplanned pregnancy would have the support of the fathers. In fact, babies would only be born into two parent families in which they would be loved and cared for. But WAKE UP! This is not a perfect world. Babies are born into neglect and abuse. Couples wanting to conceive are unable to have a biological child.
The goal of Safe Place Laws is not to "promote legalized abandonment" but to reduce the travesty of babies being dumped in toilets or dumpsters and left to die. Safe Place laws have not reduced the number of infants placed for adoption through adoption agencies but they have reduced the number of newborn deaths. In fact if there is any downside to this law is the fact that so little has been done to publicize the law. Until it is adequately publicized, too many mothers will chose an unsafe alternative.
The birthparents that have chosen this option cannot be categorized--white and black, teenage girls to women in their 30's. In fact, there have been several occassions where the birthfather was the one to relinquish the child to the hospital. And until we know what the birthmother has had to endure--how can we judge? If she had the family or birthfather support she probably would have made a different decision.
As for denying the birthfathers or birth family's rights to the child--I say where were they the nine months the girl was pregnant? If they were being supportive and nurturing, the birth mother probably wouldn't even consider abandonment in the first place.
Why am I so emotional regarding this law? I am the adoptive mother of one of these newborns. My daughter is four years old and is ALIVE thanks to this law. She was not "dumped out with the trash"--but was placed somewhere her birthmother knew would be SAFE and cared for. She is a happy, healthy, energetic, intelligent, and confident little girl who is adored by her FAMILY! She has a mom and a dad, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who adore her.
If you are going to feel sorrow for a child--feel sorry for my nephew who spent the first FIVE months of his life in a Russian orphanage--where he was one of hundreds awaiting adoption. For the first five months of my daughters life she was being held, comforted, and loved every single minute. She has not known hunger, neglect, cold, or abuse. Feel sorry for the newborns whose mothers don't know about this law and decide to leave them in the toilet, the dumpster, or a shallow grave.
Would I like to know about her birthfamily--Of course--one day I hope to meet them and say THANK YOU! Thanks for giving her life. Thanks for keeping her safe! Thanks for allowing us the privilege of being her mommy and daddy.
"Ms. Brooks approached the DA in Mobile County regarding a way in which mothers in crisis could have a SAFE alternative choice for their child."
Of course, what you really mean is a SECRET alternative--because we already SAFE alternatives (like temporary and permanent surrender options.) Mothers in "crisis" use those methods all of the time. Then again, you don't mean crisis either; you mean "shame." But shame is not a crisis. Shame, where none should exist, is one's own mental problem. That a reporter pressed the legislation because of her experiences proves only that the law is knee-jerk. The child you are raising was never in any danger, but simply unwanted and unrespected.
I did not murder my child, today, even though I'm totally ashamed of having him. Pat me on the back everybody--I saved a life!!
Thank you Ray! I have the info and will pass it around to everyone to try and stop this nonsense! As an Adoptee, I find this type of action Criminal and morally bankrupt, and anyone DUMPING & TRASHING their newborn child anywhere needs to suffer the consequences of their actions in a court of law. This is WRONG!! These people need to be held accountable for their actions and if they are even thinking of "abandoning, trashing, or dumping" their child, then we need to find out what is WRONG in their environment and their upbringing and their households that they can't even talk to their own parents or guardians about something of this nature!
How dare they! They should all be deeply ashamed of themselves, right down to their core!
Interesting article ~
Newborns law lacks publicity
By Mary K. Reinhart, Tribune
June 16, 2005
Just two miles from the Chandler construction site where the body of a
newborn girl was pulled from a portable toilet, 15-month-old Victoria
Romo lives in a comfortable home with a loving family.
Victoria, just three hours old when her mother abandoned her at a
Phoenix hospital, is a smiling, babbling reminder of what the state's
safe haven law is intended to accomplish.
The baby found May 21 at the construction site is a stark reminder of
the law's failures.
With no funding to publicize the law and no coordinated effort to reach
out to young women at risk of abandoning their newborns, the 10 babies
who have been deposited at hospitals and fire stations since the law
was passed in 2001 are just plain lucky.
Victoria Romo is one of the lucky ones. The baby came to Christine and
Victor Romo when she was five weeks old, drug-exposed and tiny. The
Chandler couple already had two adopted sons, foster children they had
raised since infancy.
"She's a beautiful little girl. A smart little girl," Christine Romo
said. "All three of them are from CPS. They're perfectly healthy and
Children adopted through the state Department of Economic Security,
which oversees Child Protective Services, have been abandoned, or
removed from their families because of abuse or neglect. The state
requires training, a home study and financial stability for adoption,
and provides a monthly subsidy until the child turns 18.
As of April, there were 61 children legally free for adoption in
Maricopa County with no prospects for a permanent home.
Foster and adoptive parents can be young or old, single or married.
They don't have to be stay-home mothers, and they don't have to
have lots of money.
"I had a woman call last week and ask if there's preferential
treatment for twoparent families. Absolutely not," said Marcia Reck,
director of Arizona Action for Foster Children in Tempe, which trains
foster and adoptive parents. "What we're looking for is a family who
can best meet the child's needs."
Reck's agency has placed two of the babies abandoned under the safe
haven law, including Victoria. It has trained adoptive parents in their
20s and in their 60s.
Other than some media coverage and stickers on Gilbert trash bins, the
safe haven law has been invisible. That frustrates advocates and
volunteers trying to drum up publicity.
"Nobody knows about it," said Mary Jacobson, volunteer coordinator of
Project Hope Floats at the First United Methodist Church of Mesa.
The church has a telephone next to a sign near the office that connects
to a cell phone. On the other end, a volunteer with a baby seat and
diaper bag is ready to meet mother and baby at the church at any time,
no questions asked. Every Sunday, parishioners hand off the cell phone
and baby items to the next volunteer. So far, the only calls have come
from homeless people looking for food or bus fare, Jacobson said.
By this fall, Jacobson hopes to be distributing bumper stickers saying,
"Don't abandon your baby," with a telephone number to call for help.
"They're scared to death," she said of young women who abandon their
infants. "If they were in a good situation, they would not be trying to
do this."
Christine Romo called her boys to the TV last month when she heard
about the newborn in the portable toilet. She had told the boys as
preschoolers that they were adopted, and they also were told that their
baby sister had been abandoned at birth.
"They know where she could've been," Romo said. "And I think
they're even more thankful for that."
The Romos took Victoria without hesitation, knowing that as an
abandoned baby she came with no medical history. The law requires women
to hand their baby to someone at a hospital, fire station or designated
church, but they don't have to give any information.
Victoria hasn't started walking yet, scooching around the floor on
her bottom instead. She's just started physical therapy to get caught
up. Otherwise, she is a typical baby who loves Elmo, pizza and her big
brothers. Her adoption became final June 2.
The Romos know their children's past has little to do with their
"The way you raise them has everything to do with it," Christine Romo
I have adopted a little boy because a women was brave enough to drop her baby off at a hospital rather then a dumpster!!!! He's a safe haven baby and I think the bio mother is an amazing human being!
I strongly support Safe Haven laws. My only complaint is that I think many states make the time limit to short. For example, in my own state Safe Haven can only legally be used with a baby less than 72 hours old. I believe it should be at least 30 days.