|Infant dropped off at Oviedo fire station|
|Written by Shaun Chaiyabhat|
|Wednesday, July 04, 2012 01:58 PM|
OVIEDO, Fla. -
Oviedo fire officials said a parent dropped off an infant at the fire station on Tuesday under the Florida safe haven for newborns law.
Fire officials said the parent dropped off the infant at the Oviedo Fire Station 46 on Alexandria Boulevard about 5 p.m. Tuesday as part of the Florida law that allows parents to drop off babies under 7 days old at fire stations with no penalty.
Oviedo Fire Chief Lars White said after speaking with the dispatcher in the front lobby, the parent was asked basic health information, and the child was turned over within an hour. The process was anonymous and that's why officials believe it works.
"They must have done a lot of soul-searching to be able to leave it off," said Oviedo resident Kimberly Wilsom. "Terrible. I could never do it, but can you imagine that poor mother who had to take their newborn and be separated and say goodbye forever?"
White said the parent knew exactly what he or she needed to do for their sake and for their child's. The parent called a hotline prior to coming into the fire station, said White, and the baby was brought in swaddled in blankets.
After a head-to-toe assessment, the child appeared to be in good health.
"The parent was in good shape and was prepared. You could tell they were prepared to do this," said White. "The baby, you could tell, was well taken care of."
White said it's the best case scenario. Prior to the law going into effect in 2000, the State of Florida saw unwanted newborns tossed aside, abandoned, and sometimes left for dead. Since the law passed, 173 babies have been dropped off statewide, eight in Seminole County, and this case makes the second in Oviedo.
"As a parent, I have mixed feelings," said Oviedo resident Lisa Goldblatt. "But part of being a parent is doing what you think is best for your child and honestly, it's a pretty selfless thing to do."
Firefighters dropped the baby off at a hospital, where its health will be evaluated for the next day or two, officials said. It will then be placed with adoptive services and within 30 days, a judge will decide the potential adoptive parent. Either parent can reclaim the child before 30 days.
For more information, go to www.ASafeHavenforNewborns.com or call the toll-free hotline for parents at (877) 767-BABY.