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November 10, 2009

Babies deserve better than dumpsters

I just don’t understand, I guess.

Moments ago, I finished reading a story about a young woman in Auburn who gave birth to a baby, didn’t know what to do and put the baby in a dumpster. She says she didn’t know what to do. In reality, she had a lot of options – one of which being that she could have given her baby to emergency workers (EMS, fire or police) and simply walked away. Instead, she’s now facing attempted murder charges.

That baby girl was so, so lucky it has been warm weather the past few days – having laid there in a pile of discarded items for three hours unattended. That is a miracle, isn’t it. A for real miracle.

I wonder: would it make sense to publicize Indiana law regarding the disposal of newborns by putting stickers on dumpsters declaring the fact that if you don’t want the child you’re about to put in there, that you should instead take the child to the emergency room at a hospital and leave it there? After all, it seems like an awful lot of the time, people discard children in dumpsters. But, if you’re hell bent on putting a baby in there, are you going to take time to read a sticker? Does taking the time to investigate your options even cross your mind? Perhaps not.

Every time I read about another woman who has put her newborn baby in a dumpster, I think surely there is a family who would give the world to welcome that child into their home. I saw a news story last year about this law and apparently quite a few children are properly given away in this manner. One family even lauded the law, saying it was because of that law they were able to adopt their daughter.

Back in the day, I wonder how many babies really were left in baskets on front porches? Even a front porch seems like a better place than a dumpster – both realistically and symbolically.

I suppose this all comes back to the point that babies don’t always come into the world with the anticipation and excitement they ought to. Oftentimes, mothers are terrified, uninformed, in denial, uneducated, naïve, you name it. Regardless, no one is a worthless piece of garbage. No one.

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