A baby was born in Omaha last week. While, that’s not unusual, where the child ended up was. It wasn’t a crib, an incubator, or a maternity ward. It was the ground.
After a two story drop.
Antonia Lopez is accused of giving birth in her bedroom and then throwing the infant out of her window. Hers wasn’t the first story like this; sadly, it won’t be the last. Baby boys and girls are regularly found in trash cans and dumpsters, often dead. The good news? There’s a safe place they can go.
Across the country, Baby Safe Haven Laws designate locations where babies can be brought, no questions asked. Some states require that infants go to a hospital, but most designate police and fire stations as safe havens as well. The group Baby Safe Haven publishes an interactive map summarizing each jurisdiction’s rules, and you can also get information toll-free at 1-888-510-BABY (2229).
Obviously, delivering a baby in secret isn’t the best option. So if you know someone who’s pregnant and isn’t sure what to do, tell her to visit OptionLine.org or text the word “Helpline” to 313131. She can get information there, including where to find a pregnancy care center.
One of the largest care center networks is called Care Net. It has local affiliates across the country, and many provide free pregnancy tests, pregnancy related information, and material resources. Some provide additional services, such as consultations with licensed medical professionals, ultrasounds for pregnancy confirmation, and testing for sexually transmitted infections.
Counselors can also talk to her about adoption. There are currently more couples seeking to adopt than there are infants available. One place to find them is Adoption.com. Once a couple has been approved by a licensed adoption agency, the site allows them to create an online profile featuring with pictures, contact details, and a bio introducing themselves.
A young woman in Omaha is facing a life behind bars, and her baby’s life is over. There are better alternatives out there; it’s a fact we need to make known.