Mom Drops Unwanted Newborn At Florida Fire Station

The baby, whose umbilical cord was tied off by firefighters, appeared to be healthy and unharmed.


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --

A Mandarin fire station got an unexpected delivery on Valentine's Day -- a 6-hour-old baby its mother dropped off and said she could not keep.

The mother told firefighters at Station 51 that she had become pregnant by another man and she did not want her husband to know that it was not his baby.

The baby, whose umbilical cord was tied off by firefighters, appeared to be healthy and unharmed. They took the child to Baptist Medical Center to be checked out.

Under the "Safe Haven" law passed by the Florida Legislature in 2000 in an effort to save lives of unwanted newborns, it is legal to drop off an baby within three days of birth at fire stations, police departments and hospitals -- no questions asked.

Since the law passed, more than 90 babies have been safety turned over to authorities in this way.

"The Safe Haven law is meant to ensure that newborns don't get abandoned," said John Harrell, spokesman for the Florida Department of Children and Families. "Best of all, from the parent's perspective, they're not going to face any charges -- they're not going to be tracked down."