Abandoning a newborn baby

Australia
May 28, 2007 3:54am CST
Here in Australia recently we had much controversy when a mother abandoned her new born baby at a public hospital. Many condemned her actions - even the Prime Minister asking 'how could she do such a thing?'. Others sympathised with her saying that 'until you had walked in her shoes - how could you know what led to this abandonment?'. Although largely I sympathise with her, I also wonder why she couldn't have taken the traditional step of offering the baby up for adoption to give the baby and fair chance of a good and loving home. That way, the new parents would have access to medical history etc and the birth mother would be reassured that the couple who got the baby would endeavour to raise the child in a loving, caring environment. As it stands, she will be 'fostered' which allows 'Mum' to claim her back when it suits her whether that decision is right for the child or not. What do others think of this situation? I personally, have adopted a child of mine out when I was young and am glad I gave him a chance of a better life that I expected he would have with me. Am I wrong or is she?
2 people like this
5 responses
• United States
29 May 07
While I agree it would have been MUCH better for the mother to give the baby up for adoption, I applaud her knowing she could to care for the baby and abandoning it in a safe, public place instead of abandoning it some where unsafe or where the baby would not be found or worse yet, harming the baby (before birth or after). In the US they are passing laws that allow mothers to drop their babies off at safe places (churches, firehouses, hospitals,etc) and walk away. It is requested that they give medical information, but is not required. these laws came about as a result of several mothers giving birth and throwing the babies in dumpsters and trash cans. Sometimes the babies were found alive and other times they were not so fortunate.
• Australia
29 May 07
For sure but what a sad world we live in and as the previous person said - why on earth don't people take precautions if they know they don't want children? It makes me really sad for all those people who cannot have babies (my sister, for one) who would have cherished a child had they been blessed and yet we hear of others who discard babies (and children) as if they meant nothing at all.
• United States
29 May 07
I agree that it is a sad state when people feel the need to abandon their baby/child. It is definitely a much better situation when precautions are taken to prevent a pregnancy in the first place. I used to struggle with the fact that there are many couples who desperately want a child, but cannot have one of their own and yet there are unwanted pregnancies terminated everyday and babies abandoned. I realized though that life is given by God and I have to trust that He knows what He is doing. I guess I just feel it is much better to allow a birth mother to leave her child at a hospital or other safe place where the child has the opportunity to be cared for by a loving family that can provide for it, than to take away that opportunity by aborting it or killing it after it is born. In the US these children are available for adoption at some point after being abandoned, allowing them the things they would not have otherwise enjoyed. As I said before, it would be better if precautions were taken by every person who did not want or could not care for a child, but reality is, the world is not that way and there always has been and always will be unwanted pregnancies alongside couples who cannot conceive. I much prefer to think about things I can change than to get frustrated over things I cannot.
• Australia
30 May 07
Your response makes a great deal of sense. I do get frustrated at things I cannot change and wish I had a louder voice. But who would listen?
@mgmagana (3621)
• United States
28 May 07
well here in the u.s. we have the law that allows parents up to a certain amount of time to leave their babies at a safe place like a hospital or firestation or police station anonomously. i do agree with the law b/c without it parents would neglect their kids they didn't want or even kill their children, with this law it allows parents who dont' want their kids to give them up with no questions asked to be adopted so others can raise them in a loving home. just think if a mom doesnt want her child and there is no law supporting the abandonment of a baby at a safe house then think of wut the mom might do to get rid of her baby, she might kill it. as long as it's safely dropped off i don't c a problem with it.
• Australia
28 May 07
Maybe that's what we should do in our Country? Allow mums to leave their babies somewhere safe until they can decide what they really want to do. I don't know. The 'abandoment' part is the thing that kinda gets me when there are channels that can be taken that would be kinder on everyone concerned, mother, baby and any potential adoptive parents. There's certainly no cut and dried answer to this issue. So many factors to be considered, some I would never dream of, I expect. It's probably why this causes such controversy when it happens.
@mgmagana (3621)
• United States
29 May 07
well, it's relatively simple,if u don't want kids don't be irresponsible and have them, then there won't be any controversial laws.
@KrauseHome (35686)
• United States
30 May 07
Well, I feel that if a young Mom, or any mom for that fact cannot afford to keep a Baby, or just not in the right situation, should there not be a place a Mom can go and drop off her Baby without getting into trouble, or having to do it in Secret? To me that would be better than trying to raise the child with No future, or end up abusing the Child or murdering it because you could not care for it. But most of the Police systems never see it this way, and it would be nice if things would change a little more for there to be help besides Abortion for people not wanting or ready to have the child they end up pregnant with.
• Australia
30 May 07
That sounds like an ideal solution. Maybe polititians and other law makers should be required to read discussions on sites like this as part of their daily duties? Then we might find that social problems like this are addressed in a fairer and more compassionate way than now.
@Gemmygirl1 (2870)
• Australia
28 May 07
I do feel bad for the baby but i do sympathise with the Mother - i also applaud her for being smart & considerate enough to leave the child at a public hospital, there was a lady who dumped her baby in a bin or something similar in South Australia last year, i think it was. I believe maybe she was freaking out about being able to cope with a child & adoption is very final, the baby being in foster care will be loved yet if the mother gets herself together, she can still have the chance of being the mother she knows she has to be. Foster care also leads to adoption, my partner's god mother adopted a baby girl after she'd been with them for a certain amount of time & once the foster parents have adopted, the biological mother has no rights until later - or so i'm lead to believe. I don't think either of you are wrong, people do things for different reasons, maybe you thought adoption was best for your baby, maybe this woman thought after some time she would be capable of being a good parent!
• Australia
28 May 07
Yeah, I guess you are right. Maybe she hopes that she can improve her circumstances to claim her little girl back. There were so many times when I wished I could have turned back the clock and kept my son. My life worked out much better than it looked like it would when I gave him up but I have to reassure myself that I did the best thing at the time. It's one of the most heartbreaking subjects, isn't it?
@jbelle (913)
• Philippines
28 May 07
NO! You I think you're not wrong as long as you do the best for the child you give the child comfort and a good life. I guess some mother abandon their child since they cannot afford to give a better life to their child, for me its better they have given it birth than having a child get aborted, right?
• Australia
28 May 07
Thanks jbelle, I agree with you as I hate the thought of abortion (I am Catholic). It's just that I believe (and I am no expert) that if a mother does not surrender their child officially, then the child is in 'limbo'. Also, as the authorities pointed out - what about the poor mother? She may need counselling? When I gave my son up, I had excellent counselling and support and I felt reassured that my baby would have a better life than I could provide at the time.