What happens once you pick up a baby from a dumpster?
We don’t pick babies up from dumpsters. We help frightened girls and women find safe and legal options for their baby. They never have to leave a baby at a dumpster, church, or back alley. “No baby deserves to be abandoned. Each deserves a safe begining and healthy happy life.”
Are you an adoption agency?
We are not an adoption agency or facilitator. We charge nothing to the girls or to the families. We are a non-profit charity and our only goal is to help each girl or woman make a safe, legal decision. Approximately 60% of the girls and women raise their babies with our help. We often help hold their hand as they tell their parents, or find them shelter if they have been kicked out. Others may choose adoption but where her baby will go is completely up to her. She may work with an agency or choose to work privately with an attorney. We want each girl or woman to make a decision she is comfortable with.
Do girls really call for help?
Everyday we get calls from frightened girls and women across this country. Thanks to the kindness of Clear World Communications, a generous donor, we have now expanded our services into Canada. Our toll-free number crisis number for both countries is 1-888-628-3353.
How can I start a chapter in my own state?
Because we want to maintain the integrity of the program, we do not have other branches. We are based in Orange County, California and have volunteers all over the United States and Canada. Volunteers help publicize our toll-free number in their area and when a call comes in from a frightened girl or woman in that area, we can refer her to a volunteer or resources in her local area.
What is baby abandonment?
Child abandonment can take many different forms, and it can apply any time a child is left without appropriate supervision for extended periods of time. In the last year we have seen a national concern over a specific type of baby abandonment and that will be the focus of these FAQS. Baby abandonment for purposes of this discussion is when an infant under the age of 12 months is discarded or left alone for an extended period of time in a public/private setting with an intention to dispose of the baby.
How prevalent is baby abandonment in the United States?
Unfortunately no one really knows. It has been estimated that there are 57 babies abandoned daily across the United States-that adds up to over 20,000 babies a year. However, all states and/or counties are not uniformly maintaining data. The federal government does not have a formal data gathering process for this specific information.
Why is this issue of growing national concern?
Abandoned children have always been a concern in this country and states have criminal as well as child abuse laws to address it. The growing concern seems to stem from a realization that despite the existing legal framework, babies are being abandoned, harmed and sometimes dying as a result. The State of Texas experienced an unprecedented rash of baby abandonment in 1999. 13 babies were abandoned in the first 10 months of 1999. The string of abandonments garnered significant media and political attention.
Is baby abandonment illegal?
Baby abandonment is always illegal. However, at least 43 states allow a girl or woman to “safely surrender” her baby to staff at a hospital emergency room or in some states fire stations and other locations are allowed. Each state varies.
What is known about the abandoned babies and the persons responsible for the abandonment?
Little is known as no research has been done that identifies the population of parents who abandon their babies. There is information about individual cases, but they are not sufficient for a sample by which to make valid conclusions.
Why do we only hear about mothers abandoning their babies? What about the fathers?
Media and political officials have focused on mothers because most reported cases have involved the mothers. Fathers may be directly or indirectly involved but we have no evidence at this time.
How have states responded to this problem?
All states have enacted legislation that provides a process for legally surrendering a child. The intent is to give parents an avenue to safely turn over their child to a third party. The goal of Project Cuddle is to try and act as a bridge for any pregnant girl/woman that is feeling desperate and considering abandoning there baby. We get the call on our toll free crisis phone number 1-888-628-3353 and guide her to much needed medical care, emotional support and more. Project Cuddle’s 1-888-628-3353 number.
How many states have passed laws dealing with baby abandonment?
All states have passed some sort of safety surrender law
In general, what does the legislation entail?
The legislation varies from state to state but they all have similar elements. They provide for an affirmative defense or immunity from criminal prosecution against parents who leave their newborn infants safely in the hands of designated caregivers, as identified by the law. Some provide for anonymity, others require an attempt at establishing the identity of a parent as well as some minimal information about the baby’s history.
What happens once a baby is safe and in the hands of authorities?
That is dependent upon the laws of the state as they pertain to child abuse and neglect, foster care, and adoption. For the most part however, once a baby is medically stable the state would arrange for care in a foster or adoptive home.
Why does your program work?
We feel that one of the most important things is to work hands on with each girl or woman. She deserves to be treated with respect and TLC. Once she has delivered, Project Cuddle continues to assist her in establishing a plan for her future or re-establish family relations if she so desires. We never judge any girl or woman that is calling for help.