On a chilly January day several years ago, ironically on the day that many churches celebrate the Sanctity of Life, a beautiful baby girl was born. We can only imagine the difficult circumstances this baby’s mother was facing. Was she a teenager who wasn’t ready to be a mom? Or an older woman who already had many mouths to feed? Was she in an abusive relationship? Without housing? Fearing for the safety of herself and her baby? We will never know. What we do know is that she made the most loving, courageous choice a person in her situation could make. She placed her one-day-old daughter in the hands of a hospital employee and, through Pennsylvania’s Safe Haven law, relinquished her baby so that, through adoption, another couple could give this sweet girl what she knew she could not.
WHAT IS THE SAFE HAVEN LAW?
Pennsylvania’s Safe Haven law, also known as the Newborn Protection Act, allows a parent to leave their newborn baby in the care of a hospital or with a police officer without being held criminally liable, as long as the baby is less than 28 days old and is not harmed.
In the hospital, the baby will be examined by a doctor and given care if needed. The hospital will then contact the local Children and Youth Services who will find a loving home for the baby.
ADOPTION: AN ANSWER TO SOMEONE’S PRAYER
On that momentous January day, one mother left the hospital with her arms empty and, no doubt, her heart breaking. Meanwhile, another couple, with great joy and celebration, were receiving the news that a daughter would be joining their family. Today, this little girl is a lively preschooler who loves to sing and dance and talks nonstop. She is an answer to prayer in so many ways! Her parents are so grateful that another mom allowed her own heart to break so that theirs could overflow with love.
Adoption is a heroic choice and should be celebrated as such. It may be the most loving, selfless thing a woman can do when she recognizes the time is not right for her to parent a child. The laws and practices surrounding adoption have changed and improved greatly in recent years. Many adoption agencies allow the birth parents to be involved in choosing an adoptive family. And Pennsylvania law allows the birth parents and adoptive parents to have ongoing communication and contact if it is agreed upon by both parties and approved by a court.
Life’s Choices does not deal directly with parents looking to adopt a child, but we can connect birth parents and adoptive parents through an adoption agency. We have several great organizations that we can recommend.
We know that when a woman is considering whether or not she can parent her unborn child, she is at a place where all her options are hard ones. It is our goal to be a safe place; a place where she can find the time and space to make a brave choice that she can live with, having no regrets.
If you find yourself in this place, we are here for you! Contact Life’s Choices today for more information about your adoption options.