Having a child is an incredibly demanding and monumental change to one’s life. Whether it be by accident, ignorance, or a change of heart, some people just aren’t ready or prepared to make the commitment. That seems to be the case in Tulsa, OK, after a woman left a newborn baby at the Access Urgent Care center in Tulsa on Tuesday Nov. 24, according to the local Fox affiliate Fox23.com.
Police say the woman arrived at the walk-in medical center and told an employee she was homeless and could not care for the child. Officers from the Child Crisis Unit said the woman did not do anything illegal.
Oklahoma has what’s known as Safe Haven laws. Also known as ‘Baby Moses laws’ under these statutes babies up to three days old can be left at any hospital, police station, child welfare agency, or medical facility without any sort of repercussions or legal consequences.
The baby was sent to St. John Medical Center and was determined to be healthy by doctors.
Urgent care centers have become increasingly popular over recent years thanks to their affordability and convenience, and this story highlights another unique aspect such places can offer in certain circumstances. In the U.S. alone, there are approximately 6,800 urgent care centers, most of which are located in freestanding buildings.
Babies who are left in this manner become wards of the state, and while this is certainly not the ideal situation for any child, it’s probably better than what they would be surrounded by if kept by many of the parents who choose this route.
The first state in the U.S. to officially enact such a law was Texas in 1999. Every state in the country had some sort of legislation on the matter in place by 2008.
The Tulsa police have said they will not perform a search of any kind for the woman.