'Safe Place' Takes In Tulsa Newborn After Homeless Mother Leaves Him
TULSA, Oklahoma - A baby is safe after a mother dropped off the newborn boy at an urgent care facility.
Access Medical Center's Urgent Care closes at 8 p.m., but on Tuesday night, it was busy, so staff stayed late. That meant they were there when a mother knocked on a back door with her newborn baby in her arms.
It's never happened at Access Medical Center Urgent Care before, but Director Dr. Steve Nussbaum says it's what his staff is there for.
“We are a safe place,” he said. “We can help, and we take that role very seriously in our clinics.
Tulsa police say a mother showed up to the clinic with the baby wrapped in a towel, his umbilical cord still attached.
“She wanted to make sure her child was in a safe place,” he said. “I think those words were actually used by her at one point. And then she made the decision to leave.”
Nussbaum says the mother gave the baby boy to a nurse.
The mother told the nurse she was homeless and unable to care for the child.
“This is something brave, courageous,” Hope Pregnancy Center’s Waleska Ferreria said. “Because she chose life for that baby.”
Ferriria meets with expectant mothers, many times homeless, every day at Hope Pregnancy Center.
She says a woman in a situation like Tuesday night, would likely feel alone, scared and ashamed.
But she says it doesn't have to be that way.
There are places for expectant mothers to get help, long before the baby comes.
“We have different resources where they can go and get help/counseling and see if adoption is a good option for them,” Ferreria said.
The read behind the mother's decision in this case is a story we may never know, and some may say the ending is one of both heartbreak and hope.
“It's sad because there's a mother that made a really, really hard decision, but there's also probably a family out there that's probably going to get an opportunity to pour into the life of the child.”
Oklahoma's Safe Haven Law allows a birth mother to leave a newborn at a hospital, fire station, police department without facing prosecution.
The clinic said it called EMSA and 911 and within 15 minutes of the baby being dropped off, he was taken to a hospital. The newborn is said to be a healthy.