I spend a lot — a LOT of time bashing Massachusetts, (and rightfully so), but every now and then I see them doing something right, and I feel obligated to point that out.
In the past few years, there have been a spate of abandoned-baby horror stories. Dead newborns left in airport toilets, allegedly tossed from cars, in hotel dumpsters — it’s almost beyond belief as teenage girls get themselves pregnant (I refuse to use the term “find themselves pregnant” — I “find myself” a little grayer and a little balder each morning; one has to put forth some deliberate effort to get pregnant), keep it secret for the full term, then “get rid” of the baby.
A lot of states, including Massachusetts, have passed “safe haven” laws in response. Under that law, a woman can take her less-than-week-old baby to certain places — police stations, fire stations, and hospitals are the most common designated places — and simply leave her baby. The state agrees to take the baby and place it with foster homes, and there are no legal repercussions for the mother.
Recently, Massachusetts’ law underwent its first test. A young woman called the state’s toll-free hotline, asked a bunch of questions, then turned in her baby at a Lowell hospital and left.
And one more baby is now with delighted foster parents who want to adopt, and not waiting to be discovered in a dumpster.
No, it’s not an ideal situation. But to me, it’s the least worst solution to a terrible problem. I’m glad Cow Hampshire is one of the 47 states that have such a law.