Wednesday, December 2, 2009

After - Like Story.

Many of you are familiar with Amy Efaw's wonderful debut, After, which I reviewed and gave five starts to back in August. For those of you who aren't, however, the story is about a teenage girl who has a baby and is so in denial about it that she throws the baby in a trash dumpster.

Amy Efaw said on the book's website ( that her inspiration for the book came from a real, live dumpster baby story. "One winter day, the big news story was about an off-duty police officer and his pit bull who stumbled across a trash bag that was left with some garbage cans at the curb. The dog just wouldn’t stop barking, so the officer tore open the bag and found a newborn baby inside, still alive." (from

Before reading after, I had never heard about "dumpster babies" or anything about this.

However, tonight watching the news, I heard a story that shocked me. There was an abandoned baby found alive in a dumpster recently in a city in my state. For more information on what actually happened, click here. I know the article doesn't say this, because that's the first article that came out, but the mother has been charged with child abondonment, child neglect, and child abuse.

I still can't fathom why a mother would do that to her child. I just don't get it. It's your child, the one person in the world you're supposed to love and take care of for the rest of your life.

So, what I'm getting at with this post, is I want to know your opinion. I want to know what you think of these "dumpster baby"cases. I want to know what you think the people who do this to should get charged with, if anything. Are they rightly charged when they're charged with things like child abandonment, neglect, and abuse? Should they not get charged at all?

I want to know what YOU think.



The Story Siren said...

the same thing just happened in my town too, last month... she was the same age as my sister.

Jessica Kennedy said...

I think is absolutely terrible.

I also think each case may be different regarding the who, the why and the where.

I don't think it's acceptable at all that a parent should leave their child, let alone a new born, anywhere alone.

The charges seem fair. As long as the child is found alive and relatively unharmed.

I also think that the parents, because both can be at fault here, should be counseled extensively because there is obviously something extremely wrong with them. Even if it was just a spur of the moment decision and they were on their way back to retrieve the child.

Really, really sad. They could at least pick a public area where someone would notice an abandoned child pretty fast. A dumpster is sending a totally different message. They should at the very least think that far ahead.

Poor child.

Sasha said...

Omg! Who would do that?! That's just so...evil. Thank you for writing about important issues like this :)


Soccer Mom Extraordinaire said...


I'm glad that my book got you to sort of pay attention to dumpster babies in the news and that through reading it, you are able to (hopefully) better understand the sad issue.

All best,

~Amy Efaw

jessjordan said...

With nearly every state having safe haven laws that allow parents to drop off newborn babies at designated locations without facing charges for abandonment, it's sad that new moms still find themselves in such a desperate situation that babies end up in dumpsters.

What's my opinion? I definitely believe there should be consequences for these types of actions. However, as with any other crime, there are mitigating factors to consider (e.g., the expert testimony in After).

Not only are there criminal penalties, but there would also be a civil matter. The Department of Children and Families would file allegations against the mother of abuse, abandonment, and/or neglect, and may seek to terminate the Mother's parental rights. (In fact, this was my one issue with After, as it did not discuss the civil side of things. But that's just me being unable to shut off my work brain.)

It's just a sad, sad situation. What really needs to happen is teens need to be counseled about these issues--and the consequences of one's decisions--in school. Hopefully, with distribution of more information to the people who need to hear it most, one day things like this won't happen anymore.