Early Saturday morning, someone left a healthy newborn baby on the doorstep of the Stetson Hills police station, and police and city officials are searching for the mom.
Seven years ago the state of Colorado adopted the so called Safe Haven law (c.r.s. 18-6-401 and 19-3-304.5), which states that any mother who leaves a newborn baby at a hospital or fire station can remain anonymous and safe from prosecution. The idea behind the legislation was to create a safe place for scared — likely young — mothers to give up custody of their children and prevent the babies ending up in trash cans. It’s a good law. It protects the mother and the newborn baby.
However, the great City of Colorado Springs again today sent out yet another press release requesting information about identity of the mother of the baby left at the Stetson Hills police station. The release says police are investigating — WHY? And, that they want to make sure the mother is receiving proper medical attention — WHY? Isn’t it up to the mother to seek medical attention if she needs it?
Is the city ignoring the Safe Haven law because the baby was dropped off at a police station and not a hospital or fire station? I hope not.
Even if the city’s attempts to investigate and check on the welfare of the mother are backed by good intentions, it seems to me that this could destroy what the Safe Haven law tries to accomplish. Hearing on the news that police are searching for that mother’s identity certainly won’t be comforting to that mother — and what prospective mother is going to be willing to leave a baby with medical workers if she thinks police will be “investigating” and “searching”?