LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — A mother surrendered a 3-hour-newborn at a La Crosse fire station, invoking the state’s Safe Haven law.

La Crosse fire Capt. Tony Nickelatti tells the La Crosse Tribune the woman brought the boy to a fire station at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

Nickelatti says she gave a medical history and she was very helpful.

It was the first time in La Crosse County someone invoked Wisconsin’s Safe Haven law, which was enacted in 2001. It allows a parent to surrender an unharmed infant to police, fire, medical or emergency personnel or a hospital within 72 hours of birth and remain anonymous.

Deanna Hoffman with La Crosse County Child Protection Services says once the baby is deemed healthy, he will become eligible for foster care and adoption.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (35)
  1. Kathy says:

    I have to say, i commend this woman for following the law. So many times i’ve heard of people throwing babies away (Ahem, the person in Winona), which makes me sick. God Bless this Woman for her strength and Common Sense to follow.

    1. A Father says:

      Did the baby’s Father have any say in the matter? Or was only the Mother empowered with this decision?

      1. HDMC says:

        it dont matter. the baby will be adopted by a better suited, well rounded family who has their s*** together. this baby now has a chance, accept it.
        -a Father as well

  2. pat says:

    She loved the child enough to give him life and then to see he went to good hands, she could have just tossed him in the river.

  3. Marti says:

    A smart,rational,unselfish decision..That’s a good law to have on the books..I hope they both have a good life.

  4. Jacqueline says:

    Bless the mother for giving her baby a chance at life. I hope he is placed with as loving of family.

  5. Glad to hear it! says:

    What a good mother! Thank you young lady for doing what was best! God bless you!

  6. C Hopkins says:

    Hope now with this success .. others in this situation will see that this a safe way to make a right choice without being judged !!

    1. Paula says:

      I agree. I hope the media plays up the importance of making this decision, judgment free.

  7. kate says:

    That must have been so hard to do. But the baby will be safe and well cared for.

  8. Cheryl says:

    Im all for being responsible and doing the ” right” thing but honestly all this throwing babies away and women deciding to give up on these children makes me sick ….. I mean a safe haven is better then what others have chosen but as a woman who continues to try to become pregnant again with no success makes it hard to hear that women out there just decide that they dont want their babies. I guess I will never understand why so many women take getting pregnant for granted this just saddens me ….. But I do agree that she made a good choice by surrendering the child instead of potentially harming this child.

    1. nlc says:

      There are so many children available for adoption, why not do that? There are so many health care dollars spent on infertility when there are children waiting to be adopted. Many of the pregnancies that are the result of infertility treatments wind up being multiples and that in turn results in preterm births. These preterm births and resulting hospitalization are very costly and the infants go through so much.
      This woman should be commended for what she did, just think about all the children that wind up being abused or worse because of the situation they are born in to. Women should be encouraged to place their children for adoption rather than be encouraged to keep them and raise them when it isn’t the best environment for the child.

    2. BW says:

      My wife tried to get pregnant for years as well. I can tell you that this women did not take her pregnancy “for granted” as you stated. If she had she would have had an abortion. Would that have been worse in your eyes? This way she can give a couple, like yourselves, the opportunity to have a family. She cared more for this child that you will ever know!! What is more sickening is the fact that many women do take the children they are “raising” for granted. This woman did not!!
      NLC has good comment about adoption. Look into to it. It will change your perspective on the issue of a woman caring enough to place their offspring to be adopted. We adopted a baby 3 years ago and you know what, it was the best choice ever! Being a parent doesn’t mean you need to give birth to a child to be a true parent. Being a true parent is making sure that you give your child everything he or she needs to grow up to be a wonderful loving adult. Trust me being biologically related doesn’t matter. Look at all the biological families that treat their children like trash.
      This woman did the right and loving thing for the child. She didn’t “give up” on this child. On the contrary, she gave this child something every child should have – a chance!

      1. mamaminnesota says:

        I agree fully with you BW! Our son is 16 now and we got him from the hospital at a day old.This was a good thing and should set an example for all new mothers who don’t want the baby they have just given birth to. There’s enough tragic events , this was a blessing for the birth mother, her baby, and adoptive parents. Not being able to have children ourselves made us much more aware of the quality of life we give “our” children-Familys are not made,they are created!

  9. Terry says:

    Finally some good news about a baby!! Nothing worse then hearing about newborns being dumped in the trash and rivers.

  10. Paula says:

    God bless this courageous mother. You made a very brave decision today.

  11. Fred says:

    She will give this baby a better life and make some couple very happy that are more than likely struggling to have their own children.

  12. Tonya says:

    Three hours old, why was this baby not still in the hospital? I have never heard of babies or mothers being released from the hospital so quickly.

    1. Hadda says:

      I am sure that baby was not born in the hospital.

    2. whirly says:

      Wow, Tonya. You need to get off your couch and out of your house a little more often.

    3. Duh says:

      Are you sure you know how the baby was conceived

    4. georgette says:

      Wow….that’s all I can say Tonya………

  13. Dave Seavy says:

    She proves that there are people out there who do the right thing in the face of a heartbreaking decision. The baby wins, and there is one less person who’s not ready to be a parent. Everybody involved can sleep well, knowing the baby is safe thanks to the good decision on the part of its mother.

  14. Mel says:

    This mother is a hero in my book!!! If you, the mother, are reading these comments, don’t let a day go by that you don’t tell yourself that you are a hero and a very selfless person. You have my utmost respect!

    1. anna says:

      Great commen Mel!!!!

      I hope the birth mother is reading all of these comments as well. What a hero!!!! She is going to struggle a long time with her decision and have high days and low days. Hopefully these comments give her the strength she needs. God bless the baby and the birth mother!

  15. DeeDee says:

    This woman is very brave and awesome! God’s blessings to her. At least she didn’t toss the little one in the trash or in a lake somewhere. Her son has been blessed for having such a selfless mom. I pray nothing but good things for them and to the future happy family with whom this child will be joined.

  16. DeeDee says:

    Cheryl.. i have 3 wonderful children and only one of them was planned but I love them all fiercely. I can’t begin to understand your pain and frustration about not having children but please try your best to put aside your bitterness. We don’t know what this woman’s journey has been like- what took her to where she is now but she obviously loved her baby and I guarantee you that she thought long and hard about her decision. If she hadn’t of cared she would have done like so many others and tossed her baby out like it was yesterday’s trash. In her anguish she deserves our prayers, love and respect. God loves her and so should we.

  17. Theresa says:

    Safe Haven laws do not go far enough to protect the child’s right to his/her identity and medical history. While protecting the relinquishing parent’s need to avoid prosecution for child abandonment and saving time (versus making an adoption plan or getting support to parent), it does nothing but create life-long consequences for the child/adult who was left “Safe”. The laws should be amended to include birth family contact information to be shared with the child/adult. It also does not acknowledge the birth father’s rights and options. An updated medical history (more recent than at his/her birth) and links to genetic history are vital to all people. This law is very short-sighted and can actually do damage to children/adults.

    1. kate says:

      In this story it says that the mom did give a medical history. But I think more damage could have been done if a parent that isn’t able to take care of a baby felt like she had to keep it because it was too hard to hand the baby over. Be glad she made sure the baby was safe. Not every child that stays with the parents knows much about their history. Especially if they go into foster care later.

      Some people shouldn’t have kids. And some people get pregnant even though they are taking birth control. Or situations change after you find out you’re pregnant. I’m glad she made sure the baby would be safe.

    2. Callina says:

      I can see how you’d want the child to have more information in later years. However, as far as damage to the children… I still think they’re better off being left with authorities and given the chance at adoption than staying with a mother who can’t take care of the child, or worse yet, killed outright (before or after being born).

      There’s also the possibility that the mother doesn’t know who the father is, or doesn’t know him well enough to know his medical history. Perhaps he was/is abusive, and can’t or shouldn’t go back to him to find out.

      People who want to adopt a baby are often quite willing to assume the risks of an incomplete medical history. They will be loving parents and do their best to provide the best health care available to the child.

      This law, however flawed, helps bring babies to parents like these. I see far more good coming from this than bad.

  18. TWeber says:

    @Theresa… Apparently you live in a ‘perfect world’. The love and bravery of the mother are to be commended. She loves that baby more than anything, and she proved it. God Bless her, and the baby. Now, let the healing begin.

  19. Commonsense says:

    Thank you birth mother for doing one of thee hardest things you will ever do in your life “giving up your baby”

  20. V Pullen says:

    Kudo’s lady, you did the right thing. I hope this story receive a lot of positive media play. It says a lot about your character that you chose to surrender your baby to a safe-place instead of harming the child. Keep your head up, you did the right thing.

  21. RD says:

    God Bless her–she did the right thing.

  22. Jean Hehn says:

    This mother did the most difficult thing she will do in life and she did it for someone else. May she live the rest of her life knowing she did the right thing for everyone involved.
    May she rest her heavy heart knowing the child will be loved as much as she loves him.

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