Friday, August 24, 2001

New baby quickly gets new family

Mom stays anonymous

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — A woman took advantage of Butler County's newborn drop-off program and left her baby girl Sunday at Middletown Regional Hospital.

        Butler County Children Services has placed the baby in one of its prospective foster-to-adopt homes.

        This is the first newborn drop-off in Butler County since the program was started in April to discourage parents of unwanted newborns from dumping their babies in unsafe places. It allows parents to drop off healthy newborns who have not been abused. The parent will not be charged with neglect or abandonment.

        “We all said if we saved only one life, the program was worth it,” said Bob Walker, Children Services spokesman. “Now it's all worth it.”

        The program — called Secret, Safe Place for Newborns — was developed by Children Services, hospitals, law enforcement units, schools and the prosecutor's office. It's modeled after Hamilton County's program.

        At 6:30 p.m. Sunday, a woman brought a newborn to the hospital's emergency room. After the staff verified that the baby was unharmed, the mother was permitted to leave without identifying herself, Mr. Walker said.

        “We got a healthy, wonderful baby,” said Sandy Oswald, hospital spokeswoman. “The system worked beautifully.”


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