A Houston male is requesting custody of an infant who was left at a fire station. The man alleges the child is his biological son and was abandoned by his mother. Child Protective Services claims the man had been cohabiting with the woman but did not know she had left the infant. The man has stated the child’s mother had not been honest with him regarding the baby’s whereabouts.
Firefighters from a local Houston fire station had just returned from a call when they heard a baby crying. According to a department spokesman, the firefighters went outside and found a baby in a carriage inside the garage door. They quickly took the infant inside due to the intense heat in the city. He appeared well-fed, well-dressed, and unharmed. They entertained the child, contacted Child Protective Services and the baby was taken to the hospital.
After his release from the hospital, he was placed in foster care. According to Texas Safe Haven law, a parent who is unable to care for a child can leave the infant at a designated safe place, including a hospital or fire station. The child must be less than two months old.
Since the infant had just turned eight months, protective services must investigate the case and attempt to find relatives who will assume responsibility for the child. The child’s mother identified herself at an emergency hearing, and claimed there were reasons she surrendered the infant. After taking a DNA sample, protective services made a home visit to the woman, where she produced legal documentation proving she was the birth mother.
The father has expressed interest in taking custody of the child. Until paternity can be established, the baby will stay in foster care. DNA typically takes up to six weeks to be analyzed.
The captain of the fire department has claimed the woman’s actions were brave. He sympathized with individuals who are in such dire straits that they are willing to abandon their children rather than see them uncared for. He added her actions were preferable to making a tragic find in a dumpster or ditch.
As of yet, no charges have been filed against the woman. Many Americans find themselves living in situations where they are unable to properly care for their children. If a family member is willing to provide legal custody, a parent should consider what arrangements would be in the best interests of her children.
abcnews.go.com, “Texas Man Fights for Custody of Baby Abandoned at Fire Station” Christina Ng, Aug. 15, 2012