National News

Infant surrendered at AnMed Health under Safe Haven Act

Officials with the AnMed Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Anderson recently accepted an infant surrendered under Daniel’s Law, The Safe Haven for Abandoned Babies Act.

The African American baby girl was born on June 5 and weighed 7 pounds, 1 ounce.

Anderson County DSS took custody of the child.

A permanency planning hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. July 15 at the Anderson County Family Court at 100 South Main Street,

This is the fourth Daniel’s Law baby surrendered in South Carolina during the 2021 calendar year.

The SC Safe Haven for Abandoned Babies Act provides a safe, legal option to abandonment for babies up to 60 days old.

Officials with the SC Department of Social Services say that Daniel’s Law is intended to save babies, and not hurt or punish anyone.

“We just want to let people know that if you’re pregnant or confused or frightened or worried about what the future is, you do have options to safely give that baby to DSS. Just to let them know that we don’t want someone to harm that child,” said Connelly-Anne Ragley, Director of communications and external affairs at SC DSS.

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National Safe Haven Stories

Mothers can safely, securely surrender custody of their baby as a last resort under Louisiana’s Safe Haven Law

Call 1-888-510-BABY or text SAFEHAVEN to 313131 to connect to a 24/7 Crisis Hotline


BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – Officials with the St. George Fire Department (SGFD) say a mother recently had to make the difficult choice in surrendering custody of her baby to firefighters. It’s one of the places designated as a “safe baby site,” where parents can drop off their child. The woman was able to safely and legally relinquish custody of her baby due to a law currently on the books called Louisiana’s Safe Haven Law. 

Around 2 a.m. on Sunday, May 2, a St. George Fire Department communications officer answered the call from a mom asking specifically for a woman to come outside and take her newborn baby, which was born just three hours earlier. 

“It feels good that the mother made, what I applaud, the decision to bring the child to life and for whatever reason, whatever circumstance, just felt that the child could have a better life with someone else,” said Eldon Ledoux, the public information officer for St. George Fire Department. 

The baby girl is healthy, according to St. George Fire paramedics. Emergency medics picked her up and took her to Woman’s Hospital. St. George Fire Station Headquarters is known as a safe baby site, meaning parents can anonymously surrender their babies as long as there’s no sign of abuse or neglect.

 “My heart still breaks every time I read about a child discarded in a dumpster, in a ditch, or wherever. This program was set up to prevent that and, in this case, not saying that would have been the child’s ultimate fate, but in this case, it worked the way it was supposed to,” added Ledoux. 

That’s why there are signs on other fire stations, hospitals, or other legal sites that can take care of the child. “The Safe Haven Law enacted in 2000 in Louisiana, so it provides a safe, legal, last resort to abandonment, you know, allowing that parent to give up custody of that newborn up to 60 days,” said Lori Miller, the child protective services manager for the Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services. “It’s free of abuse and neglect.” As long as the baby is less than 60 days old, parents can drop their child off at any safe baby site or call 911 and an emergency responder will pick up the baby.

Parents have 30 days to change their minds and decide if they want their child back. The program is meant to remind parents there are other options if they want their child to have a better life. As long as the parent leaves their baby with an employee and the baby shows no signs of abuse or neglect, the parent can walk away knowing that their baby will be safe.

  • The relinquishing parent may also call 911, allowing the parent to relinquish a baby to an emergency responder in a location chosen by the parent.
  • Mothers in need of assistance can call 1-888-510-BABY or text SAFEHAVEN to 313131 to connect to DCFS’s 24/7 Crisis Hotline.

There are programs supported by the Safe Haven Law, including guidance for parents who are looking for options.


JERSEY CITY, N.J. — A teenager walked into a restaurant in Jersey City on Wednesday afternoon with a newborn, handed the baby to a customer and then left.

The entire incident at the El Patron restaurant was captured on surveillance video.

The 14-year-old mother walked up to the counter and claimed she found the infant girl.

Restaurant owner Frankie Aguilar said the teen handed the baby to a good Samaritan and ran away.

Alease Scott and her boyfriend Walter Cocca were eating lunch when the teen asked for help.

Scott didn’t hesitate.

“I said, ‘Do you mind if I check the baby’s vitals?’ She readily handed the baby over to me so my focus went right onto the baby,” Scott said.

The teen mother walked out leaving Scott with the newborn girl who still had a portion of the umbilical cord attached. Scott and her boyfriend could tell the baby was having trouble breathing.

Police were called and quickly responded with medical gear and oxygen.

Fortunately, Scott is trained in CPR and first aid.

“Once I applied the oxygen mask to the baby, all of a sudden we heard the most beautiful cry and the baby started moving, she slightly opened up her eyes and then she closed her eyes but the sweetest thing was when she got hungry and she was trying to suckle on the oxygen mask so we knew she was OK after that,” Scott said.

Police found the teen mother, and both she and the baby are doing well.

The child will be put up for adoption and at this point, the 14-year-old is not facing charges.

Officials are taking the opportunity to remind everyone that New Jersey has a Safe Haven law which allows parents and guardians to drop newborns off at hospitals, police stations or fire stations.

“I’m just so happy I was there to help because she just was desperate and didn’t know what to do, she was so young,” Scott said.

 If you live in New Jersey, visit or call 877-839-2339 to find out more about the state’s Safe Haven Laws.

Abandoned At An Arlington Fire Station 18 Years Ago, A Young Man Graduates From High School

By Joseph Warren 

One grainy photo shows a baby, maybe a day old, with his eyes closed.

He is strapped into a baby carrier, covered by a white blanket. A tiny hand protrudes. There is a full bottle of milk and an extra diaper right in front of the shot.

He doesn’t have a name yet. Later, his place of birth is simply listed as “fire station” on his birth certificate.

On Thursday, Koregan Quintanilla – the boy whose path seemed so uncertain on the morning of November 9, 2002 – graduated from Haltom High School in Watauga, one of 559 children wearing a black cap and dress.

Koregan Quintanilla slipped his tassel on the other side of his cap during his graduation from Haltom High School at Globe Life Field in Arlington on Thursday. Quintanilla was among the first babies in the state to be left at a fire station under the Baby Moses Act in 2002. (Lynda M. González / employee photographer)

‘Love at first sight’
Quintanilla is now 18 years old, tall and lanky with dark hair. He has five sisters, loves Frank Sinatra and sings in his school choir.

In 2002, he would have been among the state’s first Baby Moses Babies. The law, which was introduced only a year earlier, allows parents of an infant for up to 60 days to leave the child in a hospital or fire station without questioning or punishment.

Wes Keck, the now retired firefighter who found him outside 12 Arlington Fire Station that morning, was making coffee and cleaning the kitchen when he peeked outside and took a double shot.

“I was shocked,” he said. “We knew fire stations were safe havens, but it still surprises you.”

It was cool outside. The baby was sleeping. Boldly touched him to make sure he was breathing. He took him inside and gathered a few other firefighters to notify the dispatchers.

Koregan Quintanilla – at that time still nameless – was left in blankets at a fire station in November 2002, accompanied by a full bottle and a spare diaper. Later, his place of birth is simply listed as “fire station” on his birth certificate.

That evening, Becca Wolford received a call from her case worker at the Texas Department of Family and Protection Services.

Wolford and her then-husband Daniel Quintanilla had been foster parents to their daughter Emily three years earlier and knew they wanted more children.

Five days later, on her own birthday, Wolford met the baby who had been left behind at the fire station. He was tiny, just under 6 pounds, and calm.

“It was love at first sight,” she said. “I knew it was meant for us.”

A meeting
As he was growing up, Quintanilla would often ask to watch his birth video, and his mother would play a video from an old news clip.

On his 10th birthday, he asked to return to his fire station and meet Keck and other firefighters who were there that day.

The Dallas Morning News and national news agencies covered the story. Quintanilla stood next to his father, smiling and answering questions from reporters, a dozen microphones in front of his face.

“He was always painfully shy before,” said his mother. “That really got him out of his shell.”

Quintanilla spoke to reporters with his father Daniel Quintanilla after meeting Arlington firefighter Wes Keck, who found him outside the station 10 years earlier. Texas Baby Moses Law allows parents to leave a child under the age of 60 in a hospital or fire station without questioning or punishment.

Keck, who had kept Quintanilla’s baby photo in his fire department cabinet for years, told the boy that he was now part of the firefighters brotherhood. He still has it in an old storage box in his Decatur house.

“Something like that stays with you,” said Keck. “It’s not something you forget.”

The two still stay in touch, mostly through casual text messages and social media.

‘My way’
Quintanilla sometimes wonders about his birth parents. Who are you? Where are they?

“It comes to my mind every now and then,” he said. “It’s strange to think there’s someone out there with a biological connection because I really feel like I grew up with my family.

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For more information on the Baby Moses Safe Haven Law in Texas visit

or call the Texas Baby Moses Hotline 1-877-904-SAVE (1-877-904-7283).


Freddie Figgers: The millionaire tech inventor who was 'thrown away' as a baby

Freddie Figgers was given his first computer at the age of nine. It was old and didn’t work but it was the start of a love affair with technology that turned him into an inventor, entrepreneur and telecoms millionaire – a future that few would have predicted after his tough start in life.

“Don’t let your circumstances define who you are.”

Just one piece of advice 31-year-old entrepreneur Freddie Figgers would like to pass on to others.

When he was eight years old, he asked his father, Nathan, about the circumstances of his birth, and the reply was unforgettable.

“He said, ‘Listen I’m going to shoot it to you straight, Fred. Your biological mother, she threw you away, and me and Betty Mae, we didn’t want to send you through foster care and we adopted you, and you’re my son.'”

Freddie had been found abandoned as a newborn baby next to a dumpster (a large rubbish container) in rural Florida.

“When he told me that, I was like, ‘OK I’m trash,’ and I felt unwanted. But he grabbed my shoulder and he said, ‘Listen, don’t you ever let that bother you.'”

Nathan Figgers was a maintenance worker and handyman and Betty Mae Figgers, a farm worker. They lived in Quincy, a rural community of about 8,000 people in North Florida, and were in their 50s when Freddie was born in 1989.

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