BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)– A baby girl is safe and in the care of the Woman’s Hospital after being dropped off by a local fire department over the weekend.
Early Sunday morning, a new mother surrendered her baby just 1-3 hours after birth to the St. George Fire Department Headquarters.
St. George Fire Department Public Information Officer Eldon Ledoux says, “She wanted to surrender her child to another woman, so we had a female communication officer volunteer to do that.”
The exchange occurred in the headquarters parking lot in They said no information was given about the baby, however, they applaud the mother for her courage.
The Safe Haven law gives mothers like this one, the ability to give up their newborn safely without legal consequences.
Ledoux says, “The whole program is to give children a second chance and mothers who aren’t ready to be mothers a second chance.”
There are some stipulations when it comes to surrendering a child.
Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) Child Protective Services Program Manager Lori Miller says, “(the baby has to be) under the 60 days (old), free of abuse and neglect, and the parent actually willing to directly relinquish the baby to an employee, whether that’s an employee of the site of calling 911 and relinquishing to the person that shows up.”
After the department received the baby girl, she was then examined by medical professionals and was determined to be in good health.
“A healthy, breathing normally, crying normally, and acting and looking like a normal healthy baby girl,” says Ledoux.
After those steps are completed, DCFS steps in.
Miller said, “DCFS gets involved in regard to taking custody of that child, placing that child in a certified foster home, and then attempting to free that child for adoption.”
The newborn is the first to be surrendered at this location.
Ledoux says, “It’s always good to be a part of a story that has a happy ending. We certainly wish a happy ending for the child and for the mother”
DCFS offers a multitude of services and resources for families and expecting mothers. More information and videos can be found here.