Baby Abandoned in Walmart Lot Escaped a Worse Fate

baby abandoned walmart

Any story that involves a newborn baby being abandoned by his or her parents is a sad one, but there’s something particularly tragic about today’s news that an infant was given to strangers in a Walmart parking lot in Colorado. According to a Colorado fire station, a middle-aged couple brought in a baby on Tuesday morning claiming that a random woman had handed her over to them, having said she wasn’t interested in caring for the child.

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Cody Beinlich, a firefighter and paramedic who was at the station when the baby arrived, said the infant appeared to be just hours old:

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.

He says the couple who brought in the baby claimed to be completely surprised by the woman’s actions, saying only that she said she didn’t want her baby after approaching them:

They seemed to be concerned about the health of the baby, but also they wanted to get the baby into someone’s hands that could care for it. They said that they had no relation to the baby at all or no knowledge of what had happened.

The baby was taken to a nearby hospital and is said to be in great condition, healthy, and just a few hours old.

Colorado’s “safe haven” law ensures that parents can hand over an infant, up to 72 hours old, to an employee at any fire station or hospital, with no questions asked. However, police are looking into the situation because of the way the infant was brought in. If it ends up that the couple was actually the baby’s parents, they won’t be in trouble — but if a mom really did hand off her baby to someone in a parking lot, she could face abandonment charges.

Police are reportedly checking surveillance video from the store as part of their investigation. There are 15 different cameras on top of the Walmart building.

A spokeswoman with the Colorado Safe Haven for Newborns says this is a good opportunity for reminding the public that the law is there to make it easy on the parents of unwanted children:

We want to get the word out about the Safe Haven law so that the next time a mother has a baby she can’t keep, she knows she can go directly to any fire station or hospital. Happily, this baby is OK, but the mother could have saved precious minutes if she’d taken advantage of the Safe Haven law.

Since the law was passed in 2000, 40 babies have been safely given up in Colorado. Authorities say the most common profile of a woman who abandons her baby is a middle- to upper-class college student who's kept her pregnancy a secret.

It’s extremely sad that this child was abandoned, whoever her mother is, but I have to say it’s better that she’s in a hospital now rather than being treated poorly by people who don’t want her. Someone will eventually provide a home for this child, and maybe she’s better off in the long run. You see so many terrible stories about babies being left in toilets or trash cans; at least someone did the bare minimum to ensure her safety. I hope whatever circumstances led her mom to make this choice eventually change for her, and I hope the little girl goes on to have the loving home she deserves.

Do you feel like this little girl may have gotten off lucky, despite her tragic beginnings?


Image via bibbit/Flickr

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