A 19-year-old Chicago mother left her 6-month-old baby boy at a fire station Monday.
And although the fire station, like all other fire stations in the state of Illinois, is considered a safe haven for abandoned babies, that law applies only to children aged 30 days or younger, ABC Chicago reports.
Larry Langford, Fire Media Affairs Director, told the Chicago Sun-Times that the mother walked up to the Engine 107 station in the 1100 block of South California Avenue with a baby in her arms around 9 a.m. Monday. The woman reportedly told firemen there that "she couldn't deal with her situation anymore" and needed to give up her child.
Chicago Fire Lt. Ed Stutz, who was at the station when the woman arrived, told the Chicago Tribune he asked her "a few times, are you sure you know what you’re doing? ... She seemed to know what she was doing. It was a conscious decision."
The Department of Children and Family Services is now investigating the incident, though it is not yet clear whether the woman will face any charges, according to ABC.
The boy was reportedly taken to Stroger Hospital to be checked out and was found to be in excellent condition, the Tribune reports.
Illinois's Safe Haven Law, on the books since 2001, is intended to give parents an alternative to abandoning their babies, the Belleville News-Democrat reported. Parents are allowed to turn to personnel at police or fire stations, hospitals or emergency medical care facilities without any questions asked or fear of prosecution.
During the first 10 years since the law went into effect, 72 babies, as of early January, were legally given up by their parents at save havens throughout the state, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.