Joint Action Alert
January 19, 2023
TIME SENSITIVEOn January 23 (Monday) the Kansas House Committee on Child Welfare and Foster Care is holding a hearing on HB 2024, a bill to legalize the use of Safe Haven Baby Boxes–called Infant Refuge Bassinets in the bill. Kansas has never sealed Original Birth Certificates. There is opposition on the ground in Kansas, and we are asking those opposed to these devices to testify in person in Topeka, or by remote. or to send emails in opposition. Your testimony/letters need not be long. I have submitted joint testimony for SSHBBN and Bastard Nation and plan to testify by remote.
HB 2024: Read the bill hereCommittee: House Committee on Child Welfare and Foster Care Date: Monday, January 23, 2023 Time: 1;30 pm, (CST) Submitted Testimony Instructions:
- Must be in PDF form
- Email to: Carol Robertson at Carol.Robertson@house.ks.gov
- Indicate in email with testimony that you want to testify remote. You will sent the link information. Otherwise, your testimony will be submitted. only.
- If you are Kansas constituent or have a Kansas connection, mention it
- Deadline to submit testimony: Noon CST. Friday January 20, 2023,
If you cannot submit testimony please contact committee members:
Ranking Minority Member
MembersRep. Ford Carr Rep. Allison Hougland Rep. Leah Howell Rep. Cyndi Howerton Rep. Susan Humphries Rep. Bob Lewis Rep. Cindy Neighbor Rep. Sandy Pickert Rep. Jeff Underhill Rep. Paul Waggoner
Quick List:http://kslegislature.org/li/b2023_24/members/rep_ousley_jarrod_1/; http://kslegislature.org/li/b2023_24/members/rep_carr_ford_1/; http://kslegislature.org/li/b2023_24/members/rep_hougland_allison_1/; http://kslegislature.org/li/b2023_24/members/rep_howell_leah_1; http://kslegislature.org/li/b2023_24/members/rep_howerton_cyndi_1/; http://kslegislature.org/li/b2023_24/members/rep_humphries_susan_1/; http://kslegislature.org/li/b2023_24/members/rep_lewis_bob_1/; http://kslegislature.org/li/b2023_24/members/rep_neighbor_cindy_1/; http://kslegislature.org/li/b2023_24/members/rep_pickert_sandy_1/; http://kslegislature.org/li/b2023_24/members/rep_underhill_jeff_1/; http://kslegislature.org/li/b2023_24/members/rep_underhill_jeff_1/’ http://kslegislature.org/li/b2023_24/members/rep_concannon_susan_1/; http://kslegislature.org/li/b2023_24/members/rep_johnson_timothy_1/
Safe Haven Baby Boxes Do Not Address Causes of Newborn AbandonmentSafe Haven Baby Boxes do not address core reasons for newborn abandonment: poverty, inability to secure affordable health and maternity care; denial or ignorance of pregnancy, discriminatory immigration policy and practice, physical, sexual, and substance abuse, shame, mental illness, dysfunctional family relationships, and poor communication skills. Boxes do not decrease the infant mortality rate as proponents claim; and in fact exacerbate it with proponent emphasis on secret pregnancy, delivery, and abandonment.
Six Talking PointsThe use of Save Haven Baby Boxes:
- Creates a parallel child welfare system that rejects informed consent and a full record of identifying information and social and medical histories of the newborn. Their use eliminates adoptees’ right to identity by denying their right to full and original birth and heritage records—and in the case of Kansas, a rejection of its historical OBC access law
- Replaces professional best practice standards with unprofessional and unethical “relinquishment” by letting parents abandon solely for convenience or out of ignorance with no counseling, paper-signing, or discussion on alternatives such as government and private financial and material assistance for family preservation, temporary foster care, and legitimate adoption planning.
- Denies the non-surrendering parent the right of custody and to rear her or his own child. There is no mechanism in place to prove that the “surrendering” person has the legal right to do so. Abusive, embarrassed, or frightened partners, spouses, family members ,and even traffickers can use drop boxes without consent or knowledge of the (other) parent with no repercussions.
- Disenfranchises natural parents –particularly the non-surrendering parent (usually the father) –their right to due process by eliminating their ability to locate the child; thus denying them knowledge of (among other things) the dependency proceeding to which they are a party. The Putative Father Registry, touted as a safeguard, is useless since records are filed by the name of the mother.
- Creates at-risk adoptions due to possible litigation from the non-surrendering parent or biological family members seeking custody.
- Encourages women to keep problematic pregnancies a secret by discouraging them from seeking family and professional communication; and assistance for sexual and physical abuse, mental illness, substance abuse, and social isolation—factors that cause nearly every newborn discard. Studies indicate that once a pregnancy is acknowledged and discussed the chance of discard is almost always abolished.
Bastard Nation: the Adoptee Rights Organization. PO Box 4607. New Windsor, New York 12553 www.bastards.org
Stop Safe Haven Baby Boxes Now! Corpus Christi, Texas 78412 https://stopshbbnow.org 614-795-6819