The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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July 12, 2013

No charges to be filed after police ID mother of abandoned twins; said she couldn’t care for them

‘Safe Haven Law’ allows unharmed infants to be given to proper authorities

WELCH — The West Virginia State Police have identified the mother of the twin infants who were dropped off at Welch Community Hospital on June 26.

Sgt. J.S. McCarty, assistant commander of the Welch Detachment of the West Virginia State Police, said the woman who took the twins to the hospital is actually their mother.

According to McCarty, the Mingo County woman, whom he did not identify, told State Police that she already has children and did not think she could care for the twins. “She knew that the hospital would take care of them,” McCarty said.

Like most states, West Virginia has a “Safe Haven Law” that allows an unharmed infant to be relinquished to the proper authorities with no questions asked, according to information on the National Safe Haven Alliance website.

“The Alliance and states work together to save the lives of innocent infants and to protect the lives of their mothers,” according to the website.

McCarty said that there are no criminal charges pending and the twins remain in the custody of the Child Protective Services of the state Department of Health and Human Services.

“We really just needed to get in contact with the mother for identification purposes,” McCarty said. “She did nothing that was criminal. She gave the infants to the proper authorities.”

“She advised us that she already has children and that she couldn’t take care of the twins,” McCarty said. “She gave birth at home,” McCarty said.

— Bill Archer is a writer for the Bluefield Daily Telegraph

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