Sections

The limits of compassion

Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

When it comes to mothers overwhelmed by an unwanted child, the state has one of the most compassionate laws in the nation.

The Abandoned Infant Protection Act allows parents, guardians or other legally responsible people who cannot care for newborn infants to anonymously and safely leave the infant in the care of a responsible person at a hospital, police station, fire station or another safe location.

But the baby cannot be more than five days old and the hospital, fire department, police precinct or community center must be notified. It is fitting that police arrested 31-year-old Hua Zheng for leaving her baby on her pastor's doorstep at 10 p.m. on Mother's Day. She has been charged with reckless endangerment, abandonment of a child and endangering the welfare of a child. The 3-day-old baby survived.

Perhaps we will learn that the mother is mentally ill or suffering from emotional trauma. But on face value, her act was reckless. As we understand it, she did not ring the bell. The baby was found by the pastor's 24-year-old daughter. Had she not come by when she did, this story might have been tragic.

An abandonment requires the mother to take reasonable steps to ensure her baby's safety. It is not enough to leave a baby with a note on a doorstep or outside a firehouse door. A mother who turns a baby over safely faces no repercussions, questions or threats. But to leave a baby in a vestibule at night is heartless and criminal.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

This week’s featured advertisers

CNG: Community Newspaper Group