In Colorado, 12-year-old Halle Burke wants to thank her biological mother for placing her in the hands of two firefighters after realizing she couldn’t care for her. 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. 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.
Halle is extremely thankful that her mother gave her a chance at life and took advantage of the state’s safe haven law.
She said, “When I hear that story, I always think of hope. I always think that I am going to find my tummy mommy before it’s too late.” She also said she’s had a “really good life” with her adoptive parents.
In February 2003, Halle’s mother knocked on the door of a fire station in Westminster. The fire department paramedic, Duane Linkus, said, “I’ve never forgotten that call.”
CBS Denver reports that an engineer named Tom O’Neill answered the door. He said, “Out on this side of the door there was just a couple there and they handed me a baby.” That’s when he called Linkus to come help him examine the baby. “I look at the child. Child looks fine and Tom’s giving me the look in his eyes that something’s going on. And that’s when it hits me, that she’s here to drop off this baby,” said Linkus.
Halle explained that her mother’s choice was incredibly brave. She said, “…A lot of women, people, who are afraid to have babies and when they do they make bad choices about it, but my tummy mommy made a really, really good choice.”
Additionally, Halle’s adoptive mother, Julie Burke, wrote a book called “Fire Station Baby” about her daughter’s life in hopes that her biological mother would read it and contact them. Halle said, “I bet she would think, ‘Wow, that’s my daughter.’”
As LifeNews previously reported, a middle-aged couple dropped off a newborn baby at a Colorado Fire Station in January. 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.
He said, “The child didn’t look like it had been completely cleaned off. Still had some amniotic fluid dried on. It just had the appearance of a baby that had just been born very recently.”
Thankfully, the fire station ensured that the baby was safely transported to the hospital. 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.
Learn more about Halle’s incredible adoption story in the video below.