The fate of San Antonio’s newest “Baby Moses,” the first in recent memory, now rests in the legal system, after the newborn baby girl was handed over at Fire Station 29 Thursday afternoon by a young woman in her 20s believed to be the mother.
“A young lady knocked on the door and said she had a baby she couldn’t keep,” said District Chief Russell Johnson.
Hearing what had happened, Dennis Moreno, a local family attorney, said, “You’re always happy that some parent made a good decision to protect their child.”
The Baby Moses Law allows a parent to surrender their baby if it is healthy and was born within the past 60 days. The child also must be taken to a fire station, hospital, given to an emergency medical technician or a “designated emergency infant care provider.”
Moreno said no questions are asked at the time of surrender.
“They can give us information about the health of the child, even family members if they want to,” Moreno said. “But there is no prosecution for abandonment or neglect.”
Moreno said typically what happens in these cases, Child Protective Services takes emergency custody of the baby. He said usually, about two weeks later, a hearing is scheduled, at which point the parents or their relatives can ask the child be returned.
“So it can still happen. It’s rare but it can still happen,” Moreno said.
Moreno said the sooner CPS or the Children’s Court is contacted, the better.
He said it can help improve the family’s standing, but also services can be arranged to ensure the child’s welfare.
But Moreno said at some point soon, the child can be put up for adoption.
Moreno said the law especially benefits young mothers or those whose families were not aware of the pregnancy.
“This gives them a way to provide their baby a good future that perhaps they wouldn’t have had under mom’s care,” Moreno said.
The family law attorney said he believes there are fewer Baby Moses cases because parents realize they have other options, such as adoption agencies, or family members who are willing to help.