Action Alert: Legal Abandonment Laws Open the Door to Fraud, Don’t Save Lives
Many states around the US have jumped on the Baby Dump Bandwagon by drafting ill-conceived laws to legalize and even encourage anonymous abandonment. Baby Dump laws are unproven quick fix solutions to the tragedies of infant abandonment and infanticide.
Please help us protect the rights of the abandoned and put an stop to laws which fail to protect victims of infanticide. Please take a few moments to read these facts about legalized abandonment and write a short letter to your legislators expressing concern about such misguided legislation. We provide contact info. and sample letters for you. Our letters can make a difference.
There’s no evidence these laws work to save any lives. In addition, they
- Obliterate the identity rights of the abandoned child.
- Ignore the causes of infant abandonment and the urgent needs of mothers in crisis; no counseling or social services are accessible either pre- or post-abandonment for abandoning mothers.
- Reverse a century long trend in child welfare policy discouraging abandonment.
- Directly conflict with existing state and federal legislation and U.S. Supreme Court decisions, such as birthmother revocation periods, birthfather notification, and the Indian Child Welfare Act.
- Discourage the collection of medical and other background information. They also prevent anyone from being able to verify that the person leaving the baby is in fact the parent.
- Open the door to potential fraud and abuse. Georgia Tann, convicted Tennessee adoption black marketeer of the 1940’s, would benefit from these bills.
State legislators need to know that Baby Dump laws DON’T WORK! Despite a similar law passed in Texas last year, Texas mothers continue to abandon babies outside of their Baby Dump system. The following states, and possibly many others, are considering legalized abandonment laws. Please write to your legislators, and please let legislators across the nation know how you feel about copycat efforts. See our position paper on legalized abandonment, and some sample letters.
Background Information & Press Clips
Legalized abandonment has been all over the news. Every once in a while, someone raises a question about the what’s really going on, and about wisdom of jumping on the bandwagon without thinking through the issues. Here are some of their thoughts.
Opponents of the baby bill said it would encourage people to dump unwanted children. “We’re going to legalize child abandonment,” said Sen. Mike Egan (R-Atlanta). “When something gets so bad, to legalize it is not an answer.”
— The Atlanta Journal, March 23, 2000
The National Abandoned Infants Assistance Resource Center at the University of California School of Social Work actually did a study of infant abandonment at hospitals.
- Fact Sheet on Abandoned Infants (2000)
- Boarder Babies, Abandoned Infants, and Discarded Infants fact sheet (2005)
Judging Public Reaction To Abandoned Baby Cases, by Martha Ackmann.
Call, fax, write today! Your letters and phone calls do make a difference.