It was like a scene out of a movie. Someone knocks on your door, you go to answer, but it looks like no one is there. Then you look down and their is a baby laying on the ground. That is what actually happened to a Tuscon, Arizona apartment building manager who found a newborn abandoned in a duffel bag at her doorstep.
The mother was nowhere in sight. Some have criticized her for just leaving the 4 to 6-day-old baby girl where she did, suggesting it put her in harms way. But I would argue just the opposite. After making what surely was a heart-wrenching decision, she left the child where she would be found quickly.
Doctors who checked out the newborn girl say she is in good condition, but police say that dropping her off at someone's door was too risky. They say the caregiver should have physically handed her over to a worker at Baby Safe Haven, a place where you can desert you child with no questions asked. But even facing someone during that moment could be too intimidating for a women on the verge of such a societal taboo.
Of course, it’s sad to think that someone has abandoned their child, but what a relief she was unharmed. I can’t imagine being in a position where I thought my baby was better off with strangers than with me. But sadly, that is a reality so many young mother's face. That is why programs like Baby Safe Haven are such a godsend. These women are not made to feel bad or like criminals for their choice. In fact, these moms who abandon their kids responsibly (if you accept there is such as thing) should be lauded for that bravery. It's not easy to give up your child, even if it means they are better off for it.
There are too many cases where people have their kids living in dangerous and/or deadly environments. Children suffer through inhumane conditions every single day in this country. And how many times have we read about some young girl who gave birth and threw her baby in a garbage can? This mother likely did the best she could to get her daughter to a safe place. Was it ideal? No. But it was courageous. She wanted to give her baby something better than she could offer at this moment and I applaud her for that.
Do you think what this mother did was cowardly or brave?
Image via Alessandro Vernet/Flickr