Donna R. Gore
Comments 5

Shattered Lives: Don’t Trash Your Baby, CT Safe Haven Law

Shattered Lives Radio, Donna R. Gore, LadyJustice

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Unwanted children are too often innocent victims of parents who bring them into the world without the skills to raise them. We’ve seen too many criminal incidents surrounding the issue of abandoned babies and Connecticut, as well as other states, are doing all they can to save the lives of unwanted babies through Safe Haven laws.

Advertising campaign to bring awareness to CT Safe Haven law

Advertising campaign to bring awareness to CT Safe Haven law

According to Shattered Lives Radio host Donna Gore’s recent article, The Best Kept Secret: The Crime of Abandoned Babies:

“….infants 30 days old or younger can be brought to a Safe Haven (defined as any hospital emergency department). A nurse will meet the parent in a private room to obtain medical history (if the parent choses). Parental rights will be terminated in order for the baby to be adopted, and they will be given a packet from DCF. DCF will assume immediate custody of the infant. If the parent changes her/his mind, it is recommended that they immediately contact DCF and apply for legal representation.”

Shattered Lives Radio discusses the efforts of those in Connecticut who are trying to bring more awareness to their state’s Safe Haven Law which was enacted in 2000. Host Donna Gore welcomes her guest, retired Meriden, CT Police Chief Robert N. Kosienski to shed more light on the importance of Safe Haven laws and the impact it has on the lives of, not only abandoned babies, but also the life of the mother.

Chief Robert Kosienski addresses the press about CT Safe Haven laws.

Chief Robert Kosienski addresses the press about CT Safe Haven laws. (photo credit CTNewsJunkie)

Kosienski rose through the ranks of the Police Department before becoming chief in 1985. During his career, Kosienski introduced community policing, updated weapons, re-established the SWAT team, created the department’s DARE program and its first sex crime unit, and developed the first civilian police academy for the city. He also served as president of the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association from 1999 to 2000.


  1. “Discussion?” You mean you actually think that what you and a retired police chief talk about is actually going to have any impact on what a young woman anywhere in CT is going to learn, think, or follow?
    The group that meets at the state house are as remote from young people in CT as a group that’s meeting in Timbuktu.
    The more they purposely lock-out young people from their so-called “working group” the more useless it becomes. Look at Massachusetts. The promotion of our Baby Safe Haven law is 100% youth led and youth culture. And the results of that awareness campaigning is the best record in the world for stopping newborn abandonments. No other state can come close.
    The reaction of people in Connecticut is to get a bunch of very old people together and talk amongst yourselves about how terrible young people are.
    So answer this, do you want CT to have the same record is MA and have the lowest number of newborn abandonments in recorded history? Or do you want to just have a bunch of old people discussing something that they have absolutely no impact on, and watch as more and more newborns are abandoned? There’s no in-between. You can only pick one or the other. All the data proves it. Looks like you and the chief want the latter, and more and more abandonments. I’ll stay with young people and stopping 90+% of abandonments by making Baby Safe Haven a youth culture initiative.

  2. Again, Mike, thank you for offering this information. Perhaps it will be discussed on the show and another point of view can be heard.

  3. We can only assume that you are opposed to 90% of newborn abandonments being averted by proper safe haven law awareness campaigning that is youth led and properly demographically targeted. Your neighboring state of Massachusetts went from one of the worst rates for newborn abandonments in the US to the best by 8 to 20 times better then the next best state. It’s stunning that CT could be opposed to that kind of success. It was not done by putting retired police chiefs on the air, it was ALL done with young people communicating to their peers. Young people are the experts, not a bunch of old, old, old so-called authorities with their negativity towards youth. All the states that have that form of awareness campaigning have so many more deadly newborn abandonments that it is incredibly tragic.
    The last 7 weeks in the US is proof positive that old, old advocates are causing the deaths of countless newborns and the incarceration of too many young people.
    There have been 11 straight deadly newborn abandonments since mid-April. A 12th abandonment took place days before this string of tragedies. A newborn was pulled out of a trash bag in a dumpster in SC. The baby survived, but the next 11 weren’t as lucky.
    What is the common factor in all of these tragedies? In the 8 states that these tragedies occurred only old, old officials like retired police chiefs do ALL of the awareness campaigning for their safe haven laws.
    By forcing young people out of every single media awareness campaign these old, old officials simply signed the death warrants for the newborns, and the incarceration orders for the Moms because the old people are so horribly incapable of communicating Baby Safe Haven laws to teens and 20s.
    So do your show, and make things worse. It’s not an opinion, it’s fact with more data to back it then your chief can ever attempt to regurgitate.

  4. Hi MIke and thank you for your reply. I’m not sure how came to the conclusion that (1) I am expert about Safe Haven laws and (2) that there is anything right or wrong with the laws. This is only intended as an announcement to the Shattered Lives radio show where the issue will be discussed. I invite you to tune in and listen and check in with any questions or comments you may have afterwards. Thank you so much for the links provided and for offering your information and opinions.

  5. You will tell me what is wrong with Baby Safe Haven law awareness.
    There is most definitely something wrong with safe haven laws across the country, and it just keeps getting worse. But because most people can’t put their finger on exactly what the problem is I’m going to ask you, an expert, to point out what the problem is.
    To have you tell me what’s wrong we should first take a trip across the US and look at the basic data of the five most experienced and prominent safe haven law awareness centers. Then just maybe the problem will be pinpointed. Lets go west to east.
    The first center of major safe haven law awareness activity is Los Angeles, and southern California. This region is one of the worst in the country for newborn abandonments with three to more then five abandonments per year. The average for deadly abandonments is about 50%, which bears out across the country. But So Cal does have an extensive safe haven law, safe surrender campaign. It’s headed by a 70 year old Los Angeles County Supervisor, a regional elected official, who does every single safe surrender baby media availability. He’s seen very consistently in press conferences answering to the many, many newborn abandonments, as well as when he announces safely surrendered babies. He highlights his message as “saving babies.”
    One very recent press availability was the dedication of a small park in LA County in his name, and to the more then 100 newborns surrendered under the 15 year old safe surrender law he helped pass. But it seems there have been more newborns abandoned then saved in his region. Those exact statistics haven’t been released.
    Lets move east and look at Illinois. Once again the emphasis of the publicity is centered on “saving babies.” It’s also the name of the organization, Save Abandoned Babies. They’ve had just over 100 newborns surrendered under their law, but very recently released statistics that there have been 72 babies abandoned, with 37 deadly abandonments, since the Illinois law passed 14 years ago. Every time you see any media coverage of either an abandonment, or the release of information on newborns safely surrendered, you only see a now 68 year old retiree do every single interview on TV, radio, and in the newspaper story. So Cal and Illinois seem to have the worst rates for newborn abandonments, especially deadly abandonments, if you just do Google searches. And it’s easy to find stories and videos of the leaders of the two safe haven law awareness groups as well.
    Moving southeast the next major region is Florida. You see fewer newborn abandonments in this area, but you also see the one person who does all the media appearances. He’s a 70 year old retiree. Just Google Florida safe haven for newborns and you’ll find many links with the 70 year old gentleman on them, as recent as this week on CNN. Once again the emphasis is on saving babies. The statistics that are released show a slightly lower abandonment rate, but the media emphasis by this group and its leader is on the few more newborns they have “saved.”
    Time to move north and look at New York. The newborn abandonment rates are still high in Google searches, you also find stories of safely surrendered newborns. But, you also see stories about the regional foundation leader, a 65 year old retired police EMT. He does all the media appearances explaining the safe haven law, the lack of ability in promoting it to the generation who uses it, and the need for more publicity about the law. He also wants to do all the publicity about the law as well — as do his counterparts in LA, IL, and FL in their regions.
    Lets move north to Massachusetts. It’s very hard to find recent stories about newborn abandonments. That’s because Massachusetts has only had one in the last 6.5+ years. Massachusetts releases statistics that in fact there has been only three newborn abandonments, one deadly, in the last 8+ years. Their stats show that they used to have an average of 3 per year prior to 2004, and the passage of the Baby Safe Haven law.
    Who does the promotional awareness media availabilities? You don’t see any retired police or 60+ year old officials, you only see young people, primarily a now mid-twenty year old young woman who is very prominent in many web searches under Baby Safe Haven — especially video searches. Use their brand name, Baby Safe Haven.
    The state boasts proven statistics that they have gone from one of the highest newborn abandonment rates, prior to law passage and implementation of a youth led awareness campaign strategy, to the lowest rates ever recorded in modern times. Simple searches bear out the cause and effect, as well as numerous youth led awareness activities. The emphasis of all Massachusetts campaigns is also very different! It’s always centered on young people helping peers learn about the laws, hotlines and web sites to get help in a time of crisis that could lead to an abandonment. Peer to peer communication with young role models who show that it’s normal to discuss Baby Safe Haven among peers. Never discussion by elder officials about “saving babies.” Seems they want to help young women first, which then always helps the babies they are carrying, or delivering.
    Massachusetts has used teen rap singing as TV PSAs that have the highest number of web hits for any video of its type. There are young twenty something comedians that have used the rap song as part of comedy routines, further spreading the name brand and basic law info in a complimentary way. Searches also show a teen/20s rock rave club named “The Baby Safe Haven” that existed in a Boston suburb where large numbers of student housing is in walking/few T bus stop distance away. Seems Massachusetts is a very youth oriented, driven and a very youth accepted awareness campaign.
    Other searches across the country, as recently as looking at the last seven days, shows the same patterns. Many, many stories about abandoned newborns, outside of Massachusetts. You also see many, many officials much older then the young people who may be using the safe haven/safe surrender laws. The older officials are doing all the media spokesperson work. The pattern is the same is places like Indiana, South Carolina, New Jersey, Missouri, Connecticut, Michigan, and many, many more states.
    So now it’s time for you to tell me what is wrong with safe haven/safe surrender laws.
    Introducing just a few of the young people who will inform their peers.

    The originator of the MA campaign with over 100 media coverages for Baby Safe Haven: & & & &
    In Los Angeles, one of a few young Asian American female vocalists with charting records in the US. SOTs for TV news use: 1 – 2 –

    Here’s 16 year old from Wichita, KS, on radio, TV, and front page newspaper coverage: & &

    This 20 year old is the only bilingual spokesperson/advocate for any Baby Safe Haven law in the US. In Chicagoland en Espanol: & Charting Dance Music record:

    18 year old from Danbury, CT, on radio and another front page newspaper sto &

    16 year old from Tennessee:

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