When a newborn baby was found at the Tucson International Airport in Arizona, everyone was stunned.
Even Chief of Public Safety John Ivanoff said he’d never seen anything like this before.
“It only happened last night so we’re at the very beginning of trying to figure this thing out,” Ivanoff told Tuscon News Now. The baby boy was found wrapped-up on a changing table in the bathroom by one of the airport employees.
Police are still reviewing security camera footage, but as of now, it looks like the baby might have been born in the bathroom. After that, the mother cleaned him, wrapped him up, and left him there.
Although the mother could face criminal charges for abandoning her baby at the airport, Ivanoff feels there are more important issues to address.
“My main concern is to make sure she’s OK,” Ivanoff said. “She’s out there, somewhere.”
Arizona observes the “safe haven” law, where unprepared mothers can leave their babies at hospitals, fire stations, and other designated areas to ensure their safety.
The Tucson Fire Station has one of the safe haven signs hanging on their wall to alert these mothers.
Paul Nathe, part of the airport’s fire department, hopes to add some of these signs to the airport to prevent other issues like this one. The baby is in good health, but that might not be the case next time.
“So that we don’t have a repeat of last night,” Nathe said.
“Instead they can bring the child directly to us or call us so that we can respond to them and make sure there is no break in care for the child and themselves.”
There have been a lot of questions after last night. If you feel you are unable to care for your newborn, there is a safe option. All TFD fire stations are a #SafeHaven #Tucson #Arizona pic.twitter.com/rz06LzwmLD
— Tucson Fire PIO (@TucsonFirePIO) January 15, 2018
Since the safe haven law went into effect in 2001, 40 newborns have been taken into adoption through the program.
According to Damien Johnson with the Arizona Safe Baby Haven Foundation, most of the abandoned babies are adopted within 24 hours.
Although this story is a sad one, we’re thankful that this newborn was found in good health. The mother is still unaccounted for, but officials are looking into the matter.
The safe haven laws are essential to prevent situations like this one. Some expecting mothers are lost once their babies are born, and these programs give children a chance to make it in the world.
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