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Safe Haven Law: Infant’s Tragic Death Was Unnecessary

Posted on in Adoption

safe haven, child concerns, Lombard adoption attorneysIn a scene that is all too familiar in the Chicago area, a newborn baby girl was found in critical condition earlier this week, abandoned just a few hundred feet from a North Side hospital, a designated Safe Haven under Illinois law. Police officials indicate that the infant was alive when she was found but, despite being rushed to the hospital, did not survive. What makes the story even more heartbreaking is that the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office found that the girl was severely beaten and that her death has been ruled a homicide by "multiple blunt force trauma."

So Close to Available Help

According to reports, the baby was discovered by man walking toward a nearby apartment complex. He picked up the child and alerted security guards, who notified the police. When responders arrived, the child was alive but in critical condition. A source close to the investigation said the girl was in a patch of grass near a dumpster, with evidence of "embryonic" fluid close by. The patch of grass is situated between Weiss Memorial Hospital and Uplift High School. A few steps more, and the child could have been left safely and legally with hospital staff, rather than being left to suffer and die in the cold.

Illinois Safe Haven Law

Founder of the Save Abandoned Babies Foundation, Dawn Geras said that this was the second baby in about a week to be found abandoned. Her foundation was instrumental in the development and passage of the state’s Safe Haven law, which allows parents of a newborn up to 30 days old to relinquish the child to staff at police stations, fire house, hospitals, and other specified locations with no questions asked. As long as the child has not been harmed, a parent relinquishing a child under the law cannot face prosecution for neglect or abandonment.

When a child is handed over to staff at a Safe Haven site, the Department of Child and Family Services is notified, and arrangements can be made for foster care or adoption. It would seem, however, that many in the region are still unware or too afraid to take advantage of the available opportunity for help. That is why Geras and her team continue to work so hard. "If we could save one baby, it would be worth it," she said. "And instead, today, I’m sitting here feeling responsible for one more baby’s death."

Legal Help for DCFS Adoptions

If you would like to provide a loving home for a child relinquished under the Illinois Safe Haven law, an experienced Arlington Heights adoption attorney can help you take the necessary steps. Contact the offices of A. Traub & Associates for more information on how you can contribute to saving the life of a child in need.

Sources:

http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20151112/uptown/infant-found-dead-uptown-police-launch-death-investigation

http://abc7chicago.com/news/abandoned-newborn-left-outside-was-beaten-to-death-me-says/1080698/


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