Baby abandoned at Tucson International

Mother could have surrendered baby safely

Who would do such a thing?

Someone abandoned a newborn baby in a women's’ restroom at Tucson International Airport Sunday night.
         
The baby was moved to a hospital. 

Thousands of people pass through Tucson International Airport every day.  One was a woman, who went into a restroom and abandoned a newborn baby.
       
The baby was in a women's room is near the rental car counters.
        
About 9:30 Sunday night someone found a newborn boy, but did not find his mother. Airport firefighters checked the baby before it was sent to a hospital. 

As Public Safety Director for Tucson Airport Authority, Chief John Ivanoff oversees airport police and firefighters.

He said when firefighters reached the baby,  "They made sure it was breathing properly.  Made sure it had good color, and all of those things came out we had hoped that it would.  The baby appeared healthy."
      
A mother abandoning her baby brought mixed reactions on KGUN9's Facebook.

One person wrote,  "This baby is probably going to be better off away from its mother."
      
Another said. "Better than dropping it in a trash bin...or killing it..Who cares why she did it.  The child is safe."
        
To keep unwanted babies safe, Arizona has a safe haven law that says a parent can turn over a newborn to a safe place like a fire station or hospital. There's no penalty if they turn in the baby in person, instead of abandoning it.
         
All Tucson Fire stations are in the program.  Firefighter Paul Nathe encouraged the Tucson Airport Authority to make TIA's fire station a Safe Baby Haven.

He says, "there are a couple of caveats.  One is that the child cannot be harmed.  So if the child is looking like it's been abused, that's a different situation then when we have to end up getting police involved.”

Under Safe Baby Haven rules, a firefighter or medical worker accepting a child may ask questions to learn more about the baby's health, but no questions to identify the parents.
         
But in the TIA case, because the baby was not turned over in person, police want to find the mother. They say first, they want to make sure she's alright.  What their investigation finds would determine if they would prosecute her for leaving her baby behind.

 

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