Newborn rescued from trash after good samaritan heard mother's screams, saw her abandon baby

A baby wrapped in a blanket.
A baby wrapped in a blanket. | Unsplash/Tim Bish

An unnamed good samaritan recalled how the sound of a woman’s scream prompted him to look out the window, where he saw a homeless woman giving birth to a baby. To his surprise, the woman carried the baby across the street and placed the child in the trash. 

The man who witnessed the woman give birth on the sidewalk spoke to reporters about what happened, but he asked to remain anonymous. 

As local news outlet KHON2 reported Tuesday, the mother gave birth in the Kahala area in Hawaii around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday night. At the time, the witness was home alone when he heard the sound of the woman screaming outside. 

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After he looked out the window and saw the woman giving birth, the man told the news outlet that he picked up his phone and called 911. The unnamed witness said that he was in “disbelief” as he watched the mother take the child across the street and place the baby in a trash can before walking away. 

“Just in the moment, I was in shock a little bit. Really no words,” he said. 

When the man went outside and grabbed the baby out of the trash, the newborn was crying, which he noted was a “good sign.” He held the baby in his arms while waiting for an ambulance.

“I broke down a little bit and started crying because I didn’t know how someone could just leave their kid like that,” the witness said. 

“The last thing I heard, the baby was in stable condition,” he continued. “I’m grateful to God that I was here home when this all happened so that I was able to get the kid in time to save its life. It could have turned out very different if I didn’t hear the screams and I wasn’t home.”

Authorities opened a child abandonment case, although the baby’s mother has not been located, according to KHON2. 

As KITV reported Thursday, the abandoned baby remains in a serious condition, and Honolulu Police are still investigating the incident. According to Hawaii state Rep. John Mizuna, the situation could have been avoided if the homeless woman had known about the state’s safe haven laws. Mizuna also chairs the State’s Human Services Committee.

“Our people need to know that we have a vehicle for the relinquishment of unwanted newborns,” Mizuna said. 

In response to the deaths of abandoned newborns, Hawaii enacted safe haven laws in 2007 that allow mothers to legally surrender a child no more than 72 hours old at a hospital, fire station, police station or with any emergency services personnel. The mother can leave the child without fear of prosecution, and the law states that the newborn must be in an “unharmed condition” at the time of the surrender. The law defines “unharmed condition” as the child being alive with no evidence of abuse. 

“Any personnel of a hospital, fire station, or police station, or emergency services personnel receiving the newborn must make all reasonable efforts to provide the child with necessary support and care to protect and preserve its health and safety while in temporary custody,” the law reads. 

The facility or personnel who receive the newborn are also required by law to attempt to obtain information from the person surrendering the baby, including the child’s name, the name or address of the parents or person surrendering the baby, as well as their desire to potentially reclaim the newborn. 

By law, the authorities or emergency services personnel who receive the child must give information about social service agencies to the person leaving the newborn, and they must inform law enforcement agencies that they received the child. 

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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