SAN ANGELO, Texas — It’s a story that’s now been heard across the country - an infant found in a Hobbs, New Mexico, dumpster after being thrown away by his mother.
The child's mother was arraigned in a Hobbs court Wednesday. However, many of the comments seen on the story are pointing towards the Safe Haven Law, which in Texas is called the "Baby Moses Law."
So what is the law and how does it work?
The Baby Moses Law protects both newborns by given them a safe haven and parents from any repercussions.
“The Baby Moses Law was enacted in Texas in 1999, it gives overwhelmed parents a way out for kids up to 60 days of life if they don't know what to do with their newborn they can drop it off at a fire department or any EMS agency and they can take it with no questions asked without any repercussions,” Abilene Fire Department EMS Coordinator, Aaron Maxwell, said.
All designated fire stations have “safe baby site” yellow signs on the outside of the building. Maxwell said the first step after the baby is dropped off is to make sure the baby is healthy and safe.
“Our first step is we’re going to send them to the hospital to make sure that the kid is okay to make sure that there is not any immediate medical needs. After that at the same time we will also be contacting the department of family and protective services and they are going to ultimately be the ones responsible for finding that child a place to live and take custody of that child,” Maxwell said.
CASA Heart of Texas Executive Director, Michelle Wells, said there is some information that is needed at the time the newborn is dropped off.
“You are not required to take the baby to the location, you can have a third party drop it off, but you are required to provide some information about medical history that can be beneficial to the family that eventually raises that child,” Wells said.
Wells recommends calling 2-1-1 if you are in a crisis situation to see what resources are available in your community. She said the Texas Family Planning Services website also has more information about the law and the process.
Local resources available:
Pregnancy Resource of Abilene, 2110 N Willis St., Ste. A, Abilene
Pregnancy Help Center of Concho Valley, 2525 Sherwood Way, San Angelo