Police in Colorado Springs, Colorado have a troubling mystery on their hands right now. Who left a newborn baby in a Dumpster in the freezing cold? And why didn't they just leave the helpless little girl at a hospital? After all, the woman who heard noises coming from the trash outside her apartment complex found the little girl, umbilical cord already cut, wrapped in what appears to be a hospital gown.
The newborn baby is in a hospital now, where doctors are keeping her under observation as police try to find the people who flaunted Safe Haven laws that would have made this whole thing simple, legal, and most of all ... safe.
Like most states, Colorado has a law that protects parents from prosecution if they give up their children within 72 hours of birth. It doesn't matter the reason. Maybe they're not ready for parenthood. Maybe they're depressed and struggling. Maybe they don't have money or patience or time or ... really, it doesn't matter.
What does matter is where a child is relinquished. Police stations and hospitals can take custody of a child because the people are equipped to care for them, to ensure they aren't at risk.
Dumpsters, naturally, are not on the list.
It's disgusting that a little girl was dumped -- literally -- in the trash. Perhaps even more troubling, however, is the hospital gown the girl was wrapped in. To get hold of a hospital gown, one needs to go to a hospital. In fact, she was likely even born in one. How else would these parents have this gown?
I can't summon even an ounce of sympathy for people who so obviously chose the "easy out" over the sensible one here. They were at a hospital at one point. Maybe it was before the 72-hour cut-off, and this was after. Still, they know that hospitals are safe places for babies, and they quite obviously have a means to get to one.
They could have left her there, safe, warm. But something tells me that would have made it "harder" on the adults here, that they would have had to actually deal with the "inconvenience" of questions asked, of faces of judgment. Maybe they would have had to face some legal wrangling because it was past the 72-hour window.
You know what? Tough. That child deserves better than what she was given. No matter how hard it would have been, that precious baby girl was worth it.
To so blatantly ignore the safe option here removes any chance that these parents were "trying" to do anything positive for this child. I hope the police find the trash who did this, and I hope they treat them to a taste of their own medicine.
Do you know about the safe haven laws in your state?
Image via Chris_Parfitt/Flickr