Thursday, September 5, 2013

Where is their safe haven?

This morning I woke up to a news story which has me reeling.

A fellow special needs mom, a brave woman who fought tooth and nail for her daughter’s education and placement in a top notch residential facility has been charged with attempted murder and suicide.

When I first read the news story I was speechless.  I know this mom.  I have spoken with her via private message, on twitter, and we have read and commented on each other’s blogs for more than two years.

So many of us are asking why this keeps happening in our community?  What drives a parent or caregiver to consider murdering an individual with special needs?

More importantly…..I want to know how we keep it from happening again?

In most states there is a Safe-Haven Law.  Here in Maryland this law reads as follows:

The problem with this law is that it only applies to infants up to ten days old and the law varies from state to state.

We need a nation-wide law that permits a parent or caregiver to relinquish a child (regardless of that child’s abilities) at a hospital or with any first responder without fear of civil liability or criminal prosecution.  We need a law such as this to save not just the life of the child but quite possibly the life of the one relinquishing them.

I can’t help but wonder how many who have murdered their children would have made another choice if an option such as this existed?  One?  Two?  Maybe all of them?

Making the choice to kill your child because caring for them has become too much has to be the most extreme form of selfishness imaginable.  With that final violent act the person is saying no one on this entire earth is capable of caring for their child.  That no one else could possibly have the solution to a what they as an individual consider insurmountable.

They’re wrong.

There is always a better, safer option.

Perhaps this unfortunate event which has hit so close to home for those of us in our community will be a catalyst for major changes ahead?  I don’t know what the first steps are to changing and/or proposing new laws.  But, I know there needs to be one.  I’m  going to start asking the hard questions and seeking out those who can help me answer them.

I want to see a Safe Surrender Law.

I think you would all agree our community needs this. The children need this.  Their caregivers need this.

Issy needed this.

God, please join me in making this happen.

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