PLAINFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) – A Plainfield mother is telling her story, hoping it could make a difference and help shed light on the ‘Safe Haven’ law.
Holly DeSimone is a mother because another mother made one of the toughest, selfless decisions a person can make.
“This time of year, being so close to my daughter’s birthday, I think a lot about that mother. Thankful and grateful that she knew about Safe Haven,” DeSimone said.
DeSimone received the greatest gift thanks to a courageous young mother.
“She had a home birth, had the baby at home, it was late at night on Christmas Even and she had tied off her umbilical cord with an elastic band, and had wrapped her up in a blanket and walked into St. Francis Hospital, handed her to the nurse and said, ‘I give up this baby under the Safe Haven Act,’” DeSimone said.
The baby was dubbed the Christmas baby on the news.
“We saw the story and I remember my husband, I’ll never forget what he said. ‘Wouldn’t that be something if we got that baby?’ And I said, ‘foster parents don’t get babies, you’re crazy,’” DeSimone said.
Crazy? Maybe. Impossible? No.
Against the odds, the Department of Children and Families selected the Plainfield couple’s application out of hundreds of applicants. DeSimone will never forget that phone call.
“She goes, ‘you and David were unanimously selected’ and of course our world turned upside down in a matter of seconds,” DeSimone said. “They put that baby in my arms and a switch just turned on. I was immediately a mother.”
She’s forever grateful to the other mother who carried the child, gave birth, and decided someone else would do a better job. Under the Safe Haven law, a parent can give up a child 30 days or younger, no questions asked without fear of facing child abandonment charges.
“As a doctor and as a mother, truly to make that courageous decision that the best thing for that child might not be you,” said Jennifer Martin, Chief Medical Officer at St. Francis Hospital.
Since this law went into effect in 2000, 45 babies have been surrendered this way and that’s why doctors say this law is so important.
“I can’t imagine making that choice, but that must be the most difficult choice a mother would ever make,” Martin said.
The Christmas baby is about to turn 14 years old soon. Her name is Hannah.
“The story of Hannah in the Bible who was barren of children and I was barren of children, so I just knew that I was going to call that baby Hannah,” DeSimone said.
Hannah hopes by telling her story, more struggling mothers will know this is an option.
“There should be more talking about it for awareness, so they save a life, save multiple lives,” Hannah said.
Holly says nurses are supposed to call babies who are surrendered to the hospital either Jane or Jon Doe, but back in 2007, they couldn’t help but call the baby ‘Holly Eve’ with her birthdate. Since that’s her name, Holly says she saw that as a higher power telling her Hannah was her daughter.