The Short of It
The state of Texas has Safe Haven laws (also known as the Baby Moses law, that allows parents to leave babies 60 days old, or younger at fire stations, hospitals or EMS stations—with no questions asked.) One mother allegedly took advantage of this law and tried to leave her two young sons at a fire station after reportedly fighting with their father nearby. Though the children, ages 3 and 9 months, don't meet the age criteria for the law, the firefighters took them in and did their best to comfort the kids. And now Child Protective Services is involved.
Talk about an ugly case: While initial reports alleged that the Houston mom dropped off her kids at the fire station after having a fight with their father, who reportedly didn't want them anymore, more recent reports tell a somewhat different story—that both parents dropped the kids off at the fire station, saying they were simply overwhelmed—their 3-year-old has autism—and they couldn't handle them anymore. The mom told KPRC 2 that the allegations are "made up" and that it was all a misunderstanding; that both she and the dad were trying to help their kids out.
Firefighter Kenyetta Parker told ABC News the kids were under duress when the mother left the fire station, but the firefighters did their best to help. “They [the firefighters] wanted to make sure they were comforted so they had some stuffed animals on-site for them … they tried to make a very unpleasant situation as pleasant as possible."
The firefighters maintain that the mom was trying to leave her children under the Baby Moses law, but because of the kids' ages, the law doesn't apply. Yesterday, at an emergency hearing, neither of the parents showed up in juvenile court, so now they'll remain in state custody, in foster care.
Though this story breaks my heart—and as a parent seems unfathomable to me—I'm thankful for Safe Haven laws, and I am most grateful to the firefighters, who despite the ages of the children, took them in, teddy bears to boot. Who knows what this mom would have done if she had been turned away. There are no shortage of tragic stories of parents harming their kids or abandoning them in unsafe locations. Hopefully, the foster parents will provide these two boys the love and security they deserve.