Part of being a friend means being ready to help out. That can involve all kinds of situations, like when a friend has a flat tire, needs to move some furniture, or when she calls in a panic because she’s hidden her pregnancy for 9 months and just gave birth in the bathroom. You know, the usual stuff.
Preborn children can go unnoticed—even to the people who are carrying them. Other times a woman does know that she’s pregnant but can’t accept the reality of it. Either case can lead to a distraught mom and a newborn she no idea what to do with. The results can be tragic.
All too often, babies are discovered in restrooms, dumpsters, and other public places. Sadly, many of them don’t survive. Meanwhile, their mothers are faced with incarceration and a lifetime of guilt. So, what do you tell your friend when she says that she’s delivered a child she has no intention of keeping? Thanks to Baby Safe Haven Laws, the answer is simple.
Under a Baby Safe Haven Law, a mom can place her baby in the hands in the hands of a caring professional. No questions are asked and no legal consequences are imposed. The laws vary slightly from from state to state: while some jurisdictions require that the child be brought to a hospital, most also designate police and fire stations as safe havens as well. You can find the details of your state’s law online or by calling toll free at 1-888-510-BABY (2229).
Of course, Baby Safe Haven Laws are meant as a last resort, and it’s best if you can reach out to your friend earlier. If you know someone who’s pregnant and facing difficult circumstances, suggest visiting a pregnancy care center. It’s a place where pregnant women can go for emotional support and practical assistance.
Care-Net is one of America’s largest pregnancy center networks, with local affiliates operating across the country. Most locations have free pregnancy tests, pregnancy related information, and material resources. Some also provide additional services, such as consultations with licensed medical professionals, ultrasounds for pregnancy confirmation, and testing for sexually transmitted infections.
If your friend knows that parenting just isn’t for her, then she may want to check out Adoption.com. Set up vaguely like a dating site, it offers aspiring parents a chance to connect with expectant birth moms. Once a couple verifies that they’ve been screened by a licensed adoption agency, they’re free to create an online profile complete with pictures, bios, and other information. Adoptive parents come from a variety of backgrounds, and many are open to making a birth mother part of their life.
From carrying a couch to cranking a wheel lug, real friends are ready to make a difference for each other. However, there are occasions when just knowing the right thing to say makes the biggest difference of all. Sometimes words can save a life, whether it’s of a friend you’ve known for years or one who’s yet to take her first breath.