Understanding Safe Haven Laws

- It's a tragic story that everyone learned about earlier this week-- a tiny baby found in a Dalhart dumpster, left there, allegedly, by his mother.  How could something like this happen?  How could it have been prevented?  Kathy Tortoreo from Family Support Services in Amarillo has some thoughts on those questions. 

"I cant speak for any one particular person, however, for a woman to abandon her baby in such a way can suggest several things, not the least of which is a breakdown in the thinking process due to post-partum depression or a mental health diagnosis such as schizophrenia,"  Tortoreo said.  "Desperation and loneliness, in her situation, thinking she has no one to turn to for help; or a terror in believing that, because of the baby, she will lose everything which includes her family, parents, church community, community at large and her circle of friends."

As a counselor  at Family Support Services, Tortoreo deals with all manner of personal tragedies and difficulties.  If a woman is at the point she wants to get rid of her baby, that crisis situation can be managed by linking her with others who will support her through her process, even if the eventual outcome is to truly give the baby away. 

"What I want young women out there to know is that, even if you believe you have no one to help you, you will have a friendly ear on the phone if you call us in your time of terror, confusion and desperation,"  she said.

 Safe Haven Law in Texas say you can bring your baby, up to 60 days old, to a hospital, EMS service, or child welfare agency and leave the baby there in safe and capable hands.

For more information, contact Family Support Services at 806-342-2503.

More Stories

Latest News