According to a November 9, 2021 news story published in Michigan State University’s Spartan Newsroom, in the 20 years that Michigan’s “Safe Delivery” (Safe Haven) program has been in business, an astounding 288 babies have been Safe Havened–that is, legally abandoned. Metro Detroit accounted for the majority: 125 or about 44% of the cases. Of that grand total, 281 babies (97.5/%) were left at hospitals. The detailed running account of the state’s Safe Delivery usage that suggested that many of these births actually occurred in hospitals to presumably identified parents, is no longer online and I cannot find it through the Wayback Machine. If a large number of babies are being born in hospitals and are Safe Havened there, then why? Who is encouraging the widespread use of the “Safe Surrender option” in ways it was never intended to be used? Is someone trolling maternity wards? I have no idea, but…
apparently in Michigan private adoption agencies, not appropriate state agencies, are granted custody to move these highly attractive and marketable newborns through the fostercare and adoption process.
According to the article, that old standby, Bethany Christian Services, has placed 30 Safe Haven babies into their “forever homes–11 in 2020 alone. Using the lowball figure of $30,000 a pop, that means that Bethany has made nearly $1 million dollars on the backs of “desperate mothers” and their unfortunate infants. Nate Bult, identified as Bethany’s senior vice president of public and government affairs says (and I’m not joking):
A number of the moms who choose safe delivery have a closed adoption.
Come on Nate!
This is not the first time I’ve heard that Safe Haven and especially Safe Haven Baby Box schemes are called “closed adoptions.” I plan to address this in another blog soon.
I checked the Michigan Safe Delivery law and the language is vague on who or what is responsible for Safe Surrender baby management, and how these processing entities are selected. Private agencies are not listed specifically. Instead, we see the term “child placing agency. ” That, of course, could mean a state agency, but since Bethany has moved 30 babies, it suggests that babies are routinely shipped off to private adoption corporations to finish the forever family identity-stripping process. This means that Michigan adoptacrats, again, using the lowball figure of $30,000, have potentially glommed more than $8.5 million off of abandoned babies. “Safe Delivery ” keeps the Great Lakes adoption cruise line afloat.
And get this: the “child placing agency” is responsible for “due diligence.” culminating in this language.
(f) Within 28 days, make reasonable efforts to identify,lsnaguate: locate, and provide notice of the surrender of the newborn to the nonsurrendering parent. The child placing agency shall file a written report with the court that issued the order placing the child. The report shall state the efforts the child placing agency made in attempting to identify and locate the nonsurrendering parent and the results of those efforts. If the identity and address of the nonsurrendering parent are unknown, the child placing agency shall provide notice of the surrender of the newborn by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the newborn was surrendered.
Does anyone with a modicum of knowledge of how most adoption agencies operate, really expect them to follow genuine due diligence and procedures, perform any type of in-depth search for the non-surrendering parent, and then actually inform that parent of the scheduled adoption? Over the last few years, enough agencies have been investigated and sued over their lack of due diligence– specifically, failure to inform men that their children are being put up for adoption. Side-note, the popular response to this little problem is that a mandated search of state-run Putative Father Registries clears up the Dad Problem. This solution is disingenuous for two reasons: (1) PFRs do not pertain to those who are legally married, and (2) registries are searched by the name of the mother who hides under Safe Haven anonymity. Of course, if the vast majority of legal abandonments were being done by men instead of women, anonymous abandonment would all be moot.
Corporate adoption raking in the bucks with abandoned babies is plain sickening. In most states, the appropriate social service department handles the disposition of Safe Haven babies, but a few states, like Michigan, outsource the job to private industry. My guess is that this happens due probably to the financial and time burdens that care, paperwork, and due diligence can exert. I have asked my traditional Safe Haven advocate friends about agency involvement in this baby processing spammer, but they have no idea what is going on either. It doesn’t seem to have been their idea. “Perhaps” it’s the jingle-jangle-jingle of election fundraising and endorsement in the Statehouse that did the trick.
Obviously, state agencies have their own set of problems–terrible problems, in fact– but leaving the adoption process of Safe Haven babies to the notoriously opaque adoptacorpos is abhorrent.
As usual, it’s up to Class Bastard–the one exploited the most by the adoption system– to raise the alarm.