Alex Robinson was 17 years old when she was transported from the beach to a nearby hospital by ambulance. She was bleeding and in terrible pain when she was told she was in labor. “I was at the beach yesterday in a bikini,” the teenager said. “I’m not pregnant. I’m telling you guys, I’m not pregnant.”
In no time at all, Maverick was born at 29 weeks gestation, weighing only 2 pounds. The infant was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit. Robinson was not given a chance to hold him. She was in shock, and she was panicking. She didn’t want her friends or family to know what had happened.
Robinson spoke with a counselor at the hospital who told her if she placed the baby for adoption no one would ever have to know. Twelve hours after her surprise birth, she signed the relinquishment and Safe Surrender paperwork and was led out the back door with a cab voucher.
Within the next few days she decided she wanted to parent her son, Maverick. Her mother found out and took her to the hospital for the baby. They were denied access and had to hire an attorney. Robinson was reunited with Maverick after a custody battle in court.
The case never should have happened in the first place.
Robinson was 17 years old and still legally a child. She never should have been able to sign away her rights without her parents being notified.
There should be at least a 36-hour waiting period for someone making a decision of this magnitude. The girl was obviously not thinking clearly after such a traumatic event. She was at the hospital all alone, and the staff preyed on her. That counselor could have cost her the baby permanently.
Additionally, the agency that went to the hospital to handle the adoption paperwork had a responsibility to take note of her condition. Adoption is not supposed to be a business of taking babies; it’s supposed to be a service that considers everyone’s best interests.
Safe Surrender laws were made to ensure unwanted babies would end up at hospitals or fire stations instead of back alleys and dumpsters. It was not meant to take infants from vulnerable mothers after a traumatic birth at the hospital. Situations like this need to be monitored and handled with care for everyone’s sake.