TEMPLE, Texas — The New Mexico mother caught on camera allegedly throwing her newborn baby in a dumpster is bringing attention to the laws and resources that are in place to protect infants.
The story is making headlines across the country and has people reacting with questions on how this could have been prevented.
Candace Jeter, a program director with Renaissance Family Services, says it's important to remind people that there are resources and options out there instead of actions like dumping the baby in a dumpster.
"There [are] so many organizations out there to help fund and support parents who feel like they're hopeless, or aren't involved, don't want to have the state involved," she said. "There's funding out there for housing."
Her list goes on, but most Jeter says most importantly people need to know is that help is just a call away.
She recommends calling loved ones, or even their Central Texas agency.
"We can help direct, or help comfort, or help provide the services that we can," Jeter added.
Another option for parents who can't care for their infant is to leave them at designated safe baby sites.
The Baby Moses Law, also known as the Safe Haven Law, designates hospitals, free-standing ER, EMS stations and fire stations as safe baby sites. Then, your baby will receive medical care and be placed with an emergency provider.
"Gives new mothers a chance to drop off an infant without the fear of repercussions for abandonment or anything like that," said Santos Soto, with the Temple Fire Department.
The only regulations with the law is that infants have to be 60 days old or younger and also unharmed.
Soto says there are minimal questions asked, but mothers can choose to keep their identity confidential.
"It's mainly just getting the the medical history of the infant in question," he said, "If there's any health conditions that are known about we can make sure that that infant receives the proper care and is taken care of as best as possible."
Soto says a couple infants have been dropped of at the Temple Fire Department over there years and they're just glad they're able to be there for the youngest in society.
"It's something that we do, we take care of them regardless of what that call is, and if it's one of those where they come to the station needing the help, we're going to be there to help," Soto added.
Texas was the first state to adopt a Safe Haven Law but now all states have formed a law similar to Texas.
The National Safe Haven Alliance reports 4,422 babies have been saved to date through this type of law.