In Colorado Haven law was passed in 2000 • Colorado in 2000

The Denver Post - - NEWS -

passed a safe-haven law that al­lows a par­ent to hand an in­fant to a fire sta­tion or hospi­tal em­ployee within three days of giv­ing birth with no ques­tions asked. Par­ents are not pros­e­cuted for aban­don­ment if the baby is un­harmed.

As of spring, 51 ba­bies had been re­lin­quished in the state, ac­cord­ing to Colorado Safe Haven for New­borns, which peo­ple can visit at col­oradosafe­haven. org. sees an uptick in the num­bers. In one mem­o­rable case from last year, Jac­card said a dis­traught mother had called the Baby Safe Haven hot­line seek­ing in­for­ma­tion about New York’s law just min­utes be­fore a healthy new­born boy, his um­bil­i­cal cord still at­tached, was left at the manger of a Na­tiv­ity scene at New York City church.

The rea­sons for such cases are as var­ied as the chil­dren, John­son said, dis­pelling a no­tion that the moth­ers and fa­thers are young teenagers. Some are col­lege stu­dents re­luc­tant to tell their par­ents and can’t raise a child alone. Many are women in “toxic re­la­tion­ships,” with spouses al­ready abus­ing older chil­dren in the home and want to shield a new baby from that fate.

Larry and Jen­nifer Mer­gen­theimer, of Levittown on New York’s Long Is­land, are on the other side of the safe haven equa­tion. Their 18-month-old daugh­ter, Re­becca, was adopted af­ter be­ing born and given up in a hospi­tal on Mother’s Day 2015.

They say Un­cle Tim reg­u­larly checks in with the fam­ily.

“It was like win­ning the lot­tery,” said Larry Mer­gen­theimer, a 44-year-old nurse man­ager who lives in Levittown. “You can’t ask to com­plete some­thing any more than putting a child in a home. It’s amaz­ing.”

His wife, Jen­nifer, a 41year-old ra­di­o­log­i­cal tech­nol­o­gist, says the pre­co­cious tod­dler who loves Mickey and Min­nie Mouse com­pleted their fam­ily.

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