A Pennsylvania newspaper recently tackled a delicate but important issue in our state. There is a law on the books that addresses the care and well being of newborn children. Simply stated, the law permits a parent to leave a newborn at a Pennsylvania hospital without any repercussions. There are no questions that must be answered, and the thrust of the law is to protect a newborn infant from another fate. Those that are left are ultimately available for adoption.
Since the law’s inception in 2003, at least 21 newborns have been saved. When a newborn is left at a hospital, it is placed in foster care. Once in foster care, the baby may become eligible for adoption. This is yet another avenue of potential success for families seeking to grow by adoption.
Nevertheless, it has been observed that a perceived stigma has perhaps precluded some parents from making use of the law after their child is born. In situations where a baby cannot be cared for or is not wanted, the potential alternatives may place a baby at risk of injury, abuse or worse. In short, the intent of the law is to save babies.
It is not just the law that wants the best for newborns. Most parents who bring children into the world want the same thing, though some recognize that their life circumstances may get in the way. The Pennsylvania law offers an option that is intended to be in the best interests of a baby and also legally protect parents who want to do the right thing. Those responsible decisions may clear the way for an adoption designed to provide a loving and supportive home. Anyone facing these important and life changing issues, either through relinquishment or a hoped for adoption, may benefit by seeking advice and assistance to navigate our laws and procedures to achieve the best possible results.
Source: The York Daily Record, “Our take: Parents must know they can leave unwanted infants safely at hospitals,” Feb. 12, 2013