Odessa foundling touts Safe Haven Law

January 11 – A woman who was abandoned in childbirth in Odessa has set herself the task of spreading awareness of Safe Haven laws that can make the difference between life and death for an unwanted newborn.

Kristin Winchester was abandoned in a 7-Eleven in Odessa in August 1989, shortly after her birth, and discovered by an employee on the back of a truck.

“A woman called the store and told the sales clerk to check because she saw someone place something,” said Winchester, who now lives in Orlando, Florida. “Basically, that’s how someone found me. They found me in the back of the truck and after that I was called ‘Baby Girl Doe’. “

Like Odessa’s Baby Girl Doe, a newborn boy was rescued over the weekend in Hobbs, NM after he was found in a garbage bag in a dumpster by several Hobbs residents doing “dumpster diving”.

Winchester is now an adult and shared her story on her blog called Baby Girl Doe, which can be found at https://babygirldoe.wordpress.com/.

She also has a podcast that tells her story and also speaks to people from similar situations.

Winchester spoke by phone on Tuesday over their podcast, entitled “Born a Foundling”.

A foundling is an infant abandoned and raised by someone other than his or her mother or father.

Each episode of the podcast tells the unique story of a foundling, how he coped with life as a foundling and how he wanted to find out why his life began like this.

So far, three episodes of the podcast have been released, and a fourth will be out soon.

The podcasts can be accessed at https://bornasecret.buzzsprout.com/.

“I’ve had a blog (where) I’ve been telling the truth about what happened for years,” said Winchester. “I have a podcast that is about other foundlings who have been in similar situations to where they were abandoned as toddlers looking for their parents … It’s really about finding their origins and birth mothers . “

The story goes on

Winchester (girl name Brown) grew up in Springfield, Missouri.

After learning of her story, Winchester eventually found out who her birth parents were through genetic genealogy in a year-long search process.

“My story is different from others,” said Winchester while speaking on her podcast. “My (birth) mother despised me. I was like the bogeyman that comes back. I wouldn’t get any answers. I felt like I owed them. I couldn’t go on with my life until I found out what happened. I did something that most people might not have, and I don’t know if I did the right thing, but I did what I had to.

“The first three episodes are different founding stories. My episode will be out soon, but the moral of it is that it didn’t have to be like my birth mother did. It didn’t have to be this awful situation you’re listening to the first three episodes, the mothers don’t have to be the villains, they don’t have to be the bad person, I’m sure a woman in need who is pregnant alone … that’s for sure difficult But at the end of the day I hope my story is to have compassion and hopefully a birth mother will not behave or treat anyone like that in the future. “

The Safe Haven Act was highlighted by law enforcement in Hobbs, NM on Monday after they arrested 18-year-old Alexis Avila for attempted murder after police said she had her newborn son in a dumpster at Broadmoor Shopping Center thrown away. A video of the teen throwing the baby in the trash has been shared over a million times.

The baby survived and is recovering in a Lubbock hospital. Hobbs police said during a press conference Monday the teenager confessed and her parents did not know she was pregnant.

During the emotional press conference, police praised the quick work of those who found the newborn, immediately called 911 and kept the baby warm until help arrived.

The baby could have been left in a hospital, fire department, or police station under the Safe Haven Act.

Part of Winchester’s podcast is to make the Safe Haven Act better known and easier to understand. The law allows parents to anonymously hand over their uninjured child to a designated safe haven within a certain time after birth.

“That’s part of the podcast,” said Winchester. “On the show we raise awareness of the Safe Haven Act. It’s part of the mission. … I’ve always been an advocate of the Safe Haven Act.”

For more information on the National Safe Haven Alliance, please visit https://www.nationalsafehavenalliance.org/.

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