Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Don't let the actual law stop you
ME2 posted below about Baby Emma Rose who was found near some dumpsters on Mother's Day. The Plain Dealer wrote a follow up article here.

I find it interesting that Jim McCafferty, head of the Department of Children and Family Services, doesn't think pressing criminal charges is necessary in this case. He believes that this case would fall under Ohio's Safe Haven law which allows mother's to leave unharmed newborns with hospital staff or police within 72 hours of birth. Under these circumstances, she is immune from prosecution.
It's interesting because in preceding paragraphs the article states, "Emma's temperature was about 84 degrees, well below the 95-degree threshold to declare a baby hypothermic" and "'If she'd have been left out [much longer], she would have died[.]'"

Emma was found around 10:20 pm--just as
a wave of storms hit the Cleveland area. The winds reached 50 mph. Power went out in several areas.

I think it would be an incredible stretch to think that leaving a baby outside in such weather would trigger the safe haven law. So what does the agency actually consider to be endangering a child? I'm not really certain.

The real problem is that no one seems to know where the mother is, or even if she is still alive.

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