The Safely Surrendered Baby Law Essay

1170 words - 5 pages

Possible Causes
The sole reason for the Safely Surrendered Baby law is to prevent child abandonment in infants, which can usually lead to death. Parents are known to also to commit neonaticide (the killing of a baby on the day of its birth) in other cases. This matter has made itself known through media, which makes it spread like wildfire; but the probable causes are never listed properly. The complexity of the arguments surrounding baby abandonment is also deepened by the multitude of cultures.
Recent attention to the problem of abandoned babies, and resulting legislative remedies, are responses to the often-publicized stories of babies left in unsafe public places. Regardless of the lack of a clear classification, this is a clear problem that experts also lack information on the characteristics along with the motivations of parents who abandon their babies. The Abandoned Infants Assistance Resource Center at the University of California, Berkeley, has published a fact sheet on leaving infants, which integrates research on neonaticide and media reports of baby abandonment cases. This research found that
“Available literature indicates that individuals who commit acts of neonaticide and public abandonment are predominantly very young, unmarried, physically healthy women who are pregnant for the first time and not addicted to substances. There is no indication that this problem is limited to certain races, ethnicities or incomes. The vast majority live either with their parent(s), guardian(s), or other relatives (Oberman, 1996). An even more fundamental similarity among these cases is the accused woman’s seemingly self-imposed silence and isolation during pregnancy (Oberman, 1996). Massive denial is a prominent feature of this situation. Women who kill and/or discard their infants generally have made no plans for the birth or care of their child and get no prenatal care (Pitts & Bale, 1995). In the case of public abandonment, the women are often not mature enough to thoughtfully weigh their options or the consequences of their actions. Reasons for killing and/or discarding infants include extramarital paternity, rape, illegitimacy and perceiving the child as an obstacle to personal achievement.” (Brief Summary, 2000)
In the absence of specific statistics, it is important to recognize the network of social influences in which baby abandonment happens. It is an issue that affects and is affected by teenagers, parents, schools, churches, and other community organizations. It also places a toll on all of the social services that exist to look after parents and children, including health care, child welfare, mental health care, and welfare. Parents who abandon babies shortly after birth have fallen through the cracks of all of the mentioned public supports and social systems that exist to protect parents and children. Aside from the typical sex education; school-based services along with community-based services are in place to help young...

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