Today a middle-aged couple dropped off a newborn baby at a Colorado Fire Station.
According to the Lakewood Police, the couple told firefighters that a woman at Walmart approached them and said she didn’t want her baby anymore. Cody Beinlich, a fire fighter and paramedic who was at the fire station when the baby was delivered, said that this was the first time a baby had been brought to their station. He also mentioned that when the baby arrived it looked brand new.
Thankfully, the fire station ensured that the baby was safely transported to the hospital. Under Colorado’s “safe haven” law, parents can hand over an infant, up to 72 hours old, to an employee at any fire station or hospital, with absolutely no questions asked. However, authorities are looking into the situation because the child’s biological parents didn’t drop off the baby.
Linda Prudhomme, a spokesperson with Colorado Safe Haven for Newborns, told ABC News that since the law passed in 2000, 40 babies have been safely relinquished.
She said, “If the couple who dropped the baby off are relatives or the parents of the baby — and made up the story about the mother in the parking lot — then the circumstances fall under the Safe Haven Law. If it is determined that the baby was legally abandoned, police will write a report but will not pursue the mother.”
Davis added, “If a parent handed over the child to total strangers and they took it to a fire station, then the parent could be charged criminally, but that part of the story has not been substantiated.”
The West Metro Fire chief released a statement about the Colorado Safe Haven for Newborns law, but said it’s not clear if the law applies in this case. He said, “In April 2000, The Colorado General Assembly passed the Colorado Safe Haven for Newborns law. Colorado criminal law states that abandoning a baby is punishable by up to 26 years in prison. The Safe Haven law provides an affirmative defense against prosecution if a parent relinquishes the baby, unharmed, at a hospital or fire station within 72 hours after birth”
In the United States, the first safe-haven law was enacted in Texas in 1999 and now all 50 states in the U.S., as well as the District of Columbia, have passed safe-haven legislation. The National Safe Haven Alliance reports that these laws have saved over 1,000 infants in the past decade.