Florida: Questions about "Safe Haven" and Adoption Agency Privilege

Back on November 4, Al Neuharth, old newspaper man and founder (of among other things USA Today) wrote a rather unnotable piece in Florida Today, “Chosen Children” in which he extols National Adoption Awareness Month. Neuharth is a longtime advocate of adoption, so the essay isn’t surprising. . Left hand couple:  Fornes & Neuharth Neuharth, 87, and his wife, Dr. Rachel Fornes have transracially adopted six children between the ages of 11 and 20. Fornes, in fact,  founded the not-for profit adoption agency Home at Last located in Cocoa Beach, FL. and is a former board member of the National Council for Adoption. About half-way through the otherwise routine adoptaarticle, these curious paragraphs pop up:  [Rachel] has special contacts with schools, churches, hospitals and police who put her in touch with pregnant women who cannot or don’t want to take care of their offspring..I In Florida, women with newborn babies can leave them at any of those locations for caretaking, no questions asked. Then, instead of desertion, they are in good hands while the adoption process proceeds. Remember that in Florida, babies dumped off at “safe have” stations do not, as in most other states, go through the state system.  Continue Reading →


NOTE: I’m not here to argue which de jour term is appropriate, but to discuss how the misuse of language in a recent op-ed piece in USA Today can negatively affect public perception. ****** Al Neuharth posted a really annoying blog in Friday’s USA Today. (The media mogul is founder of the paper). In Little Caylee’s legacy: No child unwanted, Neuharth argues that the Caylee Anthony case “should help us focus on two prime human problems in our society: unwanted children by women who get pregnant by mistake wanted children by women who can’t get pregnant Unless some new evidence develops, it’s apparent that Casey Anthony was a lousy mother. At best she’s stupid or crazy. At worst, evil. The press has widely reported that she wanted to put Caylee up for adoption and was pressured by her mother, Cindy Anthony, to keep her. For the record I believe that motherhood should be consensual and no woman should be forced, coerced, or pressured to either carry to term or to keep or not keep a child after it is born. The decision should be her responsibility and hers alone. What annoyed me about Neharth’s piece was not so much the Continue Reading →