NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) –
The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services released photographs of the baby girl surrendered at an east Nashville fire house in August under the state’s Safe Haven Law.
The pictures showcase the baby’s journey through the foster system, from surrender to her reunion with her biological mother.
DCS began photographing the baby and her foster parents, Shawn and Bryan Roach, days after the baby was placed in their home.
The photographs were released to promote greater understanding of the Safe Haven Law and spread the word about this option available to women who are unsure they will be able to parent.
The baby’s mother, who has requested continued confidentiality, has given permission for the photographs to be shared.
No parent had reclaimed a baby in Tennessee until the baby girl’s mother came forward in September.
Bryan and Shawn Roach were the baby’s foster parents for a little over a month. They continue to be foster parents and they look forward to adopting a child.
“We learned more about ourselves during this whole experience. We also got to meet the mother and are going to keep in touch. She’s a brave young woman and I think she will become a good mommy,” said Shawn Roach.
“The law worked the way it was supposed to, giving a mother a chance to safely relinquish her baby. This mother was also able to deal with a crisis situation, change her mind, and reclaim her baby, all while keeping her child safe,” said Shannon McCloud, Executive Director of a Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee, which promotes awareness of Safe Haven.
“We want any mother in that type of situation to choose the alternative of a Safe Haven surrender instead of unsafely abandoning her newborn. It is a safe and legal option, both for the baby and the mother,” McCloud added.
This baby girl was the 77th newborn relinquished under the Tennessee Safe Haven Law, a little-known provision that allows biological parents to surrender healthy and unharmed newborns in designated safe places – without fear of prosecution and a 30-day window to reclaim the child.