Need for a Safe Haven
There is an escalating crisis in the United States. Mothers are keeping their pregnancy secret, then disposing of the child after birth in dumpsters, garbage cans, ditches, fields, along lakes, canals and other hazardous places often resulting in a sure death.
While no one can fully understand why a person would endanger a vulnerable child, two common denominators present themselves – isolation and denial. Mothers (and fathers) who abandon a newborn child often believe that they are, and in fact, they may be utterly and completely alone. Living in this isolation, they are left to wrestle with problems that they are not psychologically or emotionally equipped to handle. These desperate young mothers who in great fear and mental distress have too often chosen the frantic path of abandoning their newborn, only to face charges in the legal system. The unthinkable act of these mothers not only destroyed the lives of these babies it made them criminals. Two Lives lost unnecessarily.
The generally accepted stereotype of a person who abandons a newborn child is that of a teenage, underprivileged mother. However, our experience indicates that this is a tragedy that crosses all categories of age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Therefore, affecting all of society.
The Safe Haven Law is a safety net for both the mother and the newborn infant. It allows mothers, fathers or whoever is in possession of an unharmed newborn, approximately seven days old or less, to leave them at “Safe Havens”: any Hospital, Staffed 24/7 Fire Rescue Station, or Emergency Medical Service Station, with no questions asked, totally anonymous, free from fear of prosecution.
This is a positive outcome for all involved: A Child’s life is saved; a mother or father is saved from a lifetime of guilt, anguish and legal prosecution; the hopes of a family waiting to adopt a child are fulfilled.
The Gloria M. Silverio Foundation – “A Safe Haven for Newborns” is the primary information resource addressing the issues of Infant abandonment in Florida.
We believed from the beginning, if we saved only one life, all of our efforts would be worthwhile.