Baby Abandonment Newspaper Articles - USA

Baby abandonment laws in various countries are commonly referred to as "safe haven laws", " baby Moses laws" or in Europe, "hatchery laws".

Safe haven

To try to prevent tragedy, most US states have now legalized child abandonment, but critics ask if the new laws are saving babies.

The Christian Science Monitor -, July 24, 2003, By Mary Wiltenburg, Staff writer

Wherever their thin cries go up, they make ghoulish headlines. Already this summer, newborns have been abandoned at a Washington, D.C., construction site and on a Pennsylvania roadside. Some have been found dead, others nearly so. Every state has its horror stories.

As of this month, most states have new laws designed to prevent such tragedies. Texas's "Baby Moses" law touched off the trend in 1999, after 13 abandonments in the Houston area in 10 months caused a public outcry. Since then, 45 states have adopted "safe haven" laws, allowing mothers to legally abandon newborns at hospitals and other designated places. They join a number of European countries - France, Germany, Italy, and Luxembourg, among them - that for some years have had similar laws.

Now, as states - Wyoming, most recently - continue to legalize child abandonment, they are coming under fire from adoption advocates and other critics. Though proponents mean well, critics say, the laws undermine established child welfare policy - and after four years, there is no clear evidence that they are helping.

"When I hear advocates say, 'If it saves just one baby's life, isn't it worth it?' I want to say: 'Yes! Of course it's worth it,' " says adoption expert Adam Pertman. "These cases pull so hard at our emotional heartstrings. But are these laws really saving babies? There's no research that says they are. And are they doing anything for their mothers? Yeah: They're sending them away."

What do the laws do?

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, three states - Alaska, Nebraska, and Vermont - have not yet considered legalizing infant abandonment. Massachusetts is currently debating the issue, and Hawaii's governor this month became the first in the nation to veto safe- haven legislation.

Baby abandoned in box on frigid Alaska street corner

The Associated Press, By Becky Bohrer, Jan. 3, 2022

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A newborn baby was reported in stable and healthy condition Monday after being found days earlier abandoned in a cardboard box in frigid temperatures near a rural intersection around Fairbanks, according to authorities in Alaska.

Alaska State Troopers, in a statement, said they were notified around 2 p.m. Friday that a baby had been found abandoned. The wind chill factor in the area at that time was reported around 12 below zero. The baby appeared to have been left at the location recently, troopers said.

Kelly Atlee, a spokesperson with Foundation Health Partners in Fairbanks, said by email Monday that the baby is “stable and healthy.” Atlee said she could not provide additional information. The Fairbanks Memorial Hospital is among the facilities that are part of the health organization.

A map of the intersection where the baby was found — identified by troopers as Dolphin Way and Chena Point Avenue — appears to be a more rural setting.

USC student held in newborn's death

Associated Press, LA Daily News, U.S.A. October 14, 2005

A University of Southern California student was charged Thursday with murder for allegedly leaving her newborn son in a box next to trash bin where he was found dead.

Holly Ashcraft, 21, of Montana was charged with one count of murder and one count of child abuse, Deputy District Attorney Efrain Aceves said.

Ashcraft, who was arrested Wednesday, made a court appearance Thursday but her arraignment was postponed to Nov. 9. If convicted, she would face 25 years to life in prison.