Teen mother sentenced in baby abandonment case
Imagine giving birth, alone and unassisted, next to a fire pit in the back yard. Imagine being a 15-year-old girl, with no resources and no one to turn to for help. Suddenly you have a baby, and no earthly idea of what to do. How to handle the situation? We have very few details regarding the young mother’s life, but what we do know is that she was alone and afraid, and made a bad choice.
In those confusing and painful minutes after giving birth to a baby she never planned for, she decided on what seemed like the easiest course of action. She would put the baby down across the road from where she lived, so that she could still see it, and watch….. Hoping that someone would find it and take it in, which would make the problem go away. Knowing that eventually if no one came along, she would have to pretend to find it herself.
But the baby was found, and it wasn’t the quiet solution she had hoped for. In fact the entire scenario spiraled out of her control and she ended up facing child abuse charges. Well, obviously! you say. What do you expect when you leave a baby on the side of the road? But there is never just one side of the story, and it is so easy to judge even when you don’t have all of the details.
Being a teenager is a confusing time in life. Being pregnant can be a very emotional and very upsetting stage in life, especially when you are unsupported and the pregnancy is unplanned. Giving birth is hard at the best of times, but going through childbirth alone in the dark outside, must have been traumatic, to say the least.
So while many people were angry and dismissive of the teen mother who decided after the fact that she would like to regain custody of her baby, we understand. Now that she has had time to heal and regain some emotional equilibrium, and now that her baby is no longer a terrifying secret, the pressure is off. She is not terrified anymore. There is hope of reconciliation. Hope for a future that she may not have even dared to dream of even a few months ago.
The young 15-year-old mother was recently sentenced to six months of probation by the Newaygo County Family Court. And this may actually turn out to be a blessing in disguise for her. Having come into contact with the Family Court, she now has a greater chance of creating a support system. Of getting the help she needs. Of finding assistance and a new direction for her life.
The baby, who is currently in temporary foster care, is healthy and developing well. There is no indication of whether or not the child’s teen parents will regain custody or even visitation in the future. But there is always room for hope. Hope for lessons learned and positive experiences gained. Hope for change and a better future.