After baby is found behind building: Options for mothers who need help

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Thursday, July 24th, 2014

(WRDW)- A newborn found behind a building on Wrightsboro Road yesterday. A mother tells Richmond County deputies she just couldn't care for the child, but local groups are saying there is help out there.

Hours after a 22 year old gave birth in her apartment, a police report says she left her newborn wrapped in towels behind the Masonic Lodge on Wrightsboro Road, then called EMS.

"I can't imagine how difficult a decision like that must be. I can't imagine what kind of situation a mom or a dad must be in where that's the best option for them," said Reverend David Henson.

In that report the mother says she already has a 3 year old and could not care for the newborn.

Once emergency responders arrived, the mother handed the child to them, the baby was taken to GRU, and now DFCS is handling the case. The mom isn't facing any charges, and that's because of the safe haven law.

According the national safe haven law, in Georgia a mother has up to 7 days to take her child to a hospital or any other medical facility and she wouldn't face any charges, and in South Carolina a mother has up to 30 days and she can bring her child here to any worship center, law enforcement office, fire dept, or medical facility.

As a reverend at St. Bartholomew Episocpal Church, David Henson is a safe haven.
They're required to accept any newborn when a mother says she can not care for her baby.
The baby must then be taken to a hospital and DFCS must be called.

"Using our imaginations compassionately can help us maybe put ourselves in this person's shoes," said Henson.

Once DFCS has custody of the child, they are placed in foster care or up for adoption.
For Reverend David Thompson, this hits close to home since he adopted a child himself.
Last year 12,245 children were adopted in Georgia, and at any given time there are 250 children who need adoptive families.

"I would rather have the child given up and be placed in a home which loves that child, than have that child be living in a home in which it is unwanted and unloved," said Reverend Thompson.

In Georgia, just the mother can turn her baby over. In South Carolina, either parent can do that. If you or anyone you know is a mother or soon to be mother who needs help resources are available.

Click the pictures for a complete resource sheet.

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