Providing more of a 'Safe Haven'
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Jen Bradley stands near the crib in the nursery of her East Troy home. She and her husband, Jonas, are in the process of adopting a baby they received through Wisconsin's Safe Haven law. Since the law was enacted in Wisconsin in 2001, 125 babies in the state have benefited from it. Terry Mayer photo.
EAST TROY -- It’s said that everyone deserves a second chance. However, what about the all-important first chance?
Members of the National Safe Haven Alliance and its satellite organizations are making sure one leads to the other, whether it’s a couple seeking to provide a home for an abandoned child, the birth mother who doesn’t see any other alternative but to give her baby away or the innocent victim in every scenario -- the newborn girl or boy.
(Read all of this week's stories from Walworth County Sunday HERE. )
Jen and Jonas Bradley suffered through five emotionally painful years of trying to have a baby. And with their faith wavering, the East Troy couple’s hope for a child and a brighter future was restored -- and then some -- this past fall because of the Safe Haven law.
The Bradleys had decided against fertility treatments and the usually more costly and time-consuming adoption process, choosing instead to go the foster care route. As fate would have it, on the same mid-November day they received their license in the mail, they picked up their 2-day-old son, a Safe Haven baby, from the hospital.
“It was definitely a mad scramble, and we didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into,” Jen Bradley said, “but I thank God every day since. He’s our little miracle. Something like this makes you truly appreciate being a mother and what family really means. He’s not our biological son, but he’s ours and is first in our lives.”
And he’ll have company in October. That’s because in January, Bradley found out she was pregnant. And even though their Safe Haven infant won’t officially be the Bradleys’ son until this fall -- and they’re reluctant to talk specifics as not to jeopardize the process -- there should be more tears of joy soon.
It’s one of many heartwarming success stories because of the Safe Haven program, legislation that became law in Wisconsin in 2001. It states that mothers can leave their babies up to 3 days old with an employee at any hospital, fire station, sheriff’s office, police station, emergency medical services provider or any other law enforcement agency in the state, all with privacy protections through no-questions-asked provisions.
However, Wisconsin’s chapter of the NSHA, Safe Place for Newborns, is among those who support extending the time window to 30 days. And they have allies in the Wisconsin Legislature who will take a second shot at pushing a bill through.
For the complete story, see HERE.