11/15/2004

Abandon your baby

South Carolina's Department of Social Services has now made it easy for a mother to abandon her child. A mother has up to 30 days to decide whether they want their child or not. What does this do for society? This only makes it easy for women to try to raise a baby, decide they can't do it, and they just give there baby away.

Daniel's Law is what gives mothers this option. A parent cannot be prosecuted for abandoning their newborn if they take the baby to an employee at a hospital or an outpatient facility. The person leaving their child does not have to reveal their identity but will be asked to provide medical history of the parents. This will help the medical staff treat the baby if neccessary. The hospital will be providing medical care to the newborn while The Department of Social Services has custody of the baby.

Instead of the mother taking responsibility for her child and either putting her child up for adoption or taking care of it, this allows mothers to have no worry and just leave the baby at the hospital. It makes it even easier for a parent to ignore their responsibility. Is this something our society needs? An easier way to get rid of their child? Is 30 days too much?

12 comments:

natty said...

I have a hard time understanding how a mother could abandon her baby, however, the fact is it happens. Usually when this happens, the situation that the baby is currently in is not a good one. I believe that any program that allows a mother to make a hard choice and give her baby a better life it is a good one.

The statistics show that there are many more parents seeking a newborn to adopt than there are babies available. I have no doubt that the State will be able to find a loving, stable home.

skippy said...

You can't imagine a young scared mother afraid of telling her parents she has had a baby because her father will beat the shit out of her and kick her out of the house?

You can't imagine a young mother who husband has left her with no money and no support and she has no one to turn to for financial support and help?

You can't imagine an addicted mother unable to care for herself left alone her child?

Can't imagine a women with such bad post post partum depression she might harm herself or her child?

Better a hospital or fire house than a dumpster or submitting the child to dangerous and life threatening situations.

There really is gray area out there, unfortunately some people refuse to be compassionate and to become aware of people who exist who live lives outside of your own personal experience and comfort zone.

Bruce Banner said...

I do like the idea that a woman has the right to give her baby up the hospital without being charged with abandonment of a child. I would rather see a baby be returned to a hospital than having an unfit mother that can not take care of herself let alone take care of a new born infant. Is 30 days long enough for a woman to make that kind decision?

peter_parker said...

This is a very interesting occurrence. I do agree with the idea that it will likely put more children in proper homes, but I think it will likely increase the number of abandoned children greatly. What happens if the supply of babies surpasses the demand? We end up with more foster kids, so does this really solve the problem. It touches our ethical and emotionaly feelings but overall it may not change the outcome at all.

Taber Wolrab said...

I don't think our society needs to take care of more babies because the parents are so irresponsible that they can't do it. It is better in a hospital than in a dumpster, but I don't agree that they should be able to leave a baby at the hospital and just leave. They need to take some responsibility in finding the baby a better home through adoption.

Student 01 said...

Why not let unfit mothers drop their children off, they have a very slim chance of being a productive citizen growing-up in a drug, alcohol, and prostitution filled home. If a mother wants to get rid of her child let her do so at any time. Who cares if the child is one-day old or 15-years old, why make it harder for a parent who doesn’t want their child to begin with? The whole world should be on birth control, I know there are some religious zealots who would say that is a terrible thing it would prevents babies being born, and would promote promiscuity among young people. What is worse, having some promiscuous teenagers with some STD’s or a bunch of babies that nobody wants? I would rather there be a person who has a terrible disease brought about by there own actions than a child who is born into a circumstance that will probably perpetuate the cycle and have the same disease. Before all of you who are against me jump on my back think about it. Some form of birth control administer when the child is born, and can not be reversed without another trip to the hospital. Children would then be born to parents that really want them. Not too a couple of teens who that can’t control there hormones. I also think that if a parent drops off their child at a hospital or even an adoption agency they automatically lose all parental rights to that child. If they want a child bad enough they can make another one.

Bryce Larkin said...

This is horrible. Now I understand the right of free will but if you get pregnant and you want the baby until it comes out and cries, what does this show. If a mother wants to put her baby up for adoption, I think it is great, but to give the mother a trial run of 30 days is a joke. People need to take more responsibility for their actions.

Anonymous said...

Overall, this concept can help women out when it comes to the pregnancy that was not meant to be. Women who are raped are ashamed and by being able to give their child up in a hospital instead of an adoption agency can help them. However, 30 days is way too long. It's like a sales receipt. You have 30 days to return this or else you cannot. This is a life. You cannot try it out and then decide that I do not want this child. You either can keep the child or you cannot. You should not be allowed 30 days to decide.

Student 01 said...

Most of the thinking on this 30-day time frame is asinine. Why would you ever limit the time that a mother has to give up her child if she decides she does not want it. That is totally stupid and incredibly brainless. If a mother does not want her child why force her to keep it, this will only perpetuate the problem and solve nothing.

Maudi said...

What kind of a person would give up somthing that is so innocent as a child? I am a new father we had a child about 8 months ago, I can't even imagine giving up my daughter. I've found new meaning in life and I understand what it means to love. These parents and governmental agencies that allow people to give up their babies are out of their minds. Baring a few circumstances such as mom is a drug addict or abusive I don't believe anyone should even be allowed to give up their baby.

Kova said...

If a mother is determined to get rid of her baby she will do it. While it is hard for me to imagine giving up my own child--if I had one-- I think this legislation is good. Mothers are able to give their children at least a chance at a normal life they the child might not otherwise have. Better a hospital than a dumpster!

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 for spelling mistakes on Student_01's comment.

This one hit a nerve, didn't it? Note that it's related to the good samaritan post from later in this chapter.

This would be a really good example for the extensive form game section of Chapter 10. Remember how those work? You branch out the choices left to right, and then you work from right to left to figure out what will happen (that's called backward induction).

So, the mother has the choice to keep the child or abandon it. If she chooses to abandon it, then there are two new choices - to be open about it, or hide it.

There are actually two levels of decisions that a policy can influence. Daniel's law affects the choice between being open and hiding. As we do our backward induction, it also will influence the choice to abandon or not. But, now consider a policy that is meant to influence only the decision to abandon or not. Because of the backward induction, it won't affect the choice of being open or hidden.

So, the problem with a policy that focuses on getting the mother to keep the baby will run into the problem that it has no way to keep babies out of dumpsters when it fails. Alternatively, Daniel's law can handle that.

So, my money is that Daniel's law is a good way to address a heinous problem.