LUBBOCK, Texas – After a baby was found in a dumpster in Hobbs, New Mexico, local first responders want people to know that expecting mothers have options to safely surrender their infants.
Mike Wilson, Deputy Chief of Operations at Lubbock Fire Rescue, said the Baby Moses law allows mothers to legally surrender their new born babies so long as they are unharmed.
“As long as the child is 60 days or younger, can take that child to any fire station, EMS station, a hospital or freestanding ER and we will take that child,” said Wilson.
Wilson said mothers who surrender their children will remain anonymous .
“If you do surrender your child in one of those locations that we discussed, you know that is private,” said Wilson, “We don’t even contact law enforcement, you know, unless, you know, there’s some kind of extenuating circumstances.”
Wilson said once a baby is surrendered, they are provided medical treatment to make sure they are healthy and unharmed. After that, the baby is taken into custody by the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services and later placed with a caring family.
Laura Contreras, Client Services Advocate at Nurturing Center, a Lubbock nonprofit, said pregnancy is a pivotal time in a woman’s life and that their organization provides resources to expecting mothers.
“We give emotional support to them through what’s going to go on with their bodies and what they should expect,” said Contreras. “We offer parenting classes so they can learn a lot through that how to be a better parent and with the parenting classes [and] also offer baby items.”
Contreras said they also offer free pregnancy tests and free first ultrasounds to let women know how far along they are.
“I think that’s really important for women to know that we’re there and that somebody cares about them,” said Contreras, “Even if we don’t know them, we will get to know them [and] build that relationship.”