Safe Haven Laws Are Not Only About Saving Babies
This book explores the social politics of legal infant abandonment in advocacy and media discourses surrounding safe haven laws, which allow a parent to relinquish a newborn legally and anonymously at a specified institutional location such as a hospital or fire station. More specifically, it considers the social constructions of motherhood perpetuated by safe haven advocates as well as the social injustices that compel infant abandonment. Using a feminist framework, the book offers insights into the contested nature of what defines good and bad motherhood and examines the issues that surround unsafe infant abandonment from a reproductive justice perspective, with particular emphasis on abortion and adoption politics. This introduction discusses critical perspectives on why we do not need safe haven laws, the cultural components of wanted and unwanted motherhood, and assumptions about maternal love, infant abandonment, adoption, and infanticide. It also provides an overview of the chapters in this book.
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