Yesterday’s sentencing of the mum in Quakers Hill who left her new baby boy in a roadside drain in 2014 has prompted Senator Helen Polley to renew her calls for introduction of Baby Safe Havens.
The district court sentenced the mum, who had intellectual capacity of a mid-primary school aged child to 3.5 years in jail.
Senator Polley has been fighting for Baby Safe Havens in Australia for over 10 years and says that this case reiterates the need for baby safe haven law reform.
“I have written to NSW Premier Mike Baird on more than one occasion urging him to consider changes to existing laws to allow the introduction of Baby Safe Havens and to seek support in placing the issue of baby abandonment on the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agenda,” Senator Polley said.
“The NSW Government has made its opposition to baby safe havens quite clear saying that there are already social services and amenities in place - but it is obvious that bureaucracy is failing these women and these mothers.”
“We should not be punishing mothers who have disabilities or mental health issues with jail sentences without putting in place all avenues of support,” Senator Polley said.
The mother of this abandoned baby boy has admitted that she was scared, and that she should have found someone rather than putting the baby in the drain.
“If we had baby safe havens and this mother had the option to safely abandon her baby, perhaps this situation could have been avoided.
“The stigma surrounding unwanted babies needs to stop and we need to show support for parents who are unable to care for their baby.
“We know this is a public policy issue which can be solved. Other countries like America, Japan, Canada and Germany have had baby safe havens for a while now and we certainly have the capacity to do so here in Australia.
“It is time our political leaders stood up and had the courage to implement them now,” Senator Polley added.
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