Morgan Hill was abandoned in a dumpster as an infant, and she has turned her story into a tool for child advocacy. She advocates for state-level Safe Haven laws. According to the National Safe Haven Alliance (NSHA), over 750 babies have died as a result of abandonment since 1999. Hill wants each mother to have a safe way to relinquish her baby despite their situation.

In 1995, Hill’s birth mother gave birth to her in a bathtub while she was home alone. She had managed to keep her pregnancy secret from her husband after having an affair. She fed her newborn, wrapped her in a towel, and put her in the car. She drove around not knowing what to do next. Ultimately her decision was a dark one. She put Hill in a trash bag, tied it twice, and placed the bag in a dumpster by a medical center in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.

The dumpster was scheduled to be emptied the next morning, but before that could happen, fate intervened. Garold “Rocky” Hyatt was throwing away some construction debris when he heard a sound and saw the bag move. He ran in to inform the medical staff. Surveillance video was used to locate the biological parents. Hill’s birth father gained custody of the baby, but later placed her for adoption.

Hill had always known she was adopted, but she was unaware of many of the details. A comment from a family member led her to look into her past. When asked, her mother broke down and told her the story. “Over the 18 years, she’d kept a binder full of article clippings from newspapers, online, and pictures as well as records of my biological mother that she showed to me to explain who I was as a newborn and what happened to me,” said Hill.

She reunited with her biological father, the man who found her, and the first responders who saved her life. Now she is on a mission. She says, “I don’t want any other children to be put in a dumpster like I was. If my story saves one life, it was definitely worth telling.”